Tuesday, March 01, 2011

"You get a pass."

Here's a story for you.

Sometime in the weeks after Massi was born, I got a phone call from a mom inviting Cannon to a birthday party. I was just about to leave so I shouldn't have answered the phone, but I did. I scribbled down the details about the party for "Zeb" and went on my way.

Cannon was really excited to go to Zeb's party. He hadn't seen Zeb since football season and also, during football season he had missed a skating party because of a football game. So we got a present, a bow and arrow set, and Cannon looked forward to the event.

Day of the party arrived. I brought Massi with us and we drove the 20 minutes to the skate rink. I went in with Cannon to help him find the people and to help him with his skates. We looked for someone familiar, someone else from football. Cannon didn't see anyone he recognized but I saw a few kids from Ridge's class at school.

We found a table with presents on it addressed to Zeb so we set our gift down and the mom approached us. She gave us a ticket for skates and I helped Cannon hand in his shoes at the counter and get the right size. We went back to the table and the mom asked me to repeat Cannon's name. I repeated it and she asked,
"Is he new to the program?"

About the same time another kid at the party asked Cannon,
"Are you Ridge's brother?" Cannon nodded and I started to realize what had happened.

I told the mom that no, Cannon wasn't in the high cap program, he knows Zeb from football. To which the mom looked at me and shook her head with a look like, my son? No football for this family.

And I asked again, this is a party for Zeb? I thought you invited Cannon to the party when we were on the phone.
She thought that maybe she said Cameron instead of Ridge since there is a Cameron in the class. That would explain the mix-up.

Cannon was standing by me during this conversation, looking more and more dejected as it went on. Plus, I had a baby on my arm, spit-up running down his chin, starting to get fussy. The mom said that it was okay if we went home and got Ridge and they could both come to the party since she had a couple of extra skating tickets. I called Eric, and vented my frustration and asked Ridge if he wanted to come. But really I wasn't going to drive home and back again. That's ridiculous. Ridge didn't want to go since he's never been skating and because he didn't have a present. I was close to tears, mostly because I was disappointed for Cannon.

Cannon and I worked out that everything would be alright if he got to keep the present and we would just leave.

I looked for the mom to tell her thanks, but we're leaving, but I couldn't see her anywhere. We took our present and proceeded to exit when I saw another mom from the class. I stopped and explained the situation to her, that we were leaving, that I had brought the wrong son to a birthday party (sheesh) and she tells me,

"You get a pass."

I think I spluttered something like, the mom said the wrong name, they both know a boy named Zeb! (I had no idea there was a boy in Ridge's class named Zeb. He never mentions him. And even when Cannon was wrapping the gift he never said anything like, Hey, there's a boy in my class named Zeb too. It isn't a common name -- yes, name changed but the real name wasn't common either.)

But this other mom just looked at me with this seeing and not hearing glaze on her eyes, seeing an exhausted mother of five who can't keep her children straight.
So we left.
And when we got in the car I cried.
And I called Eric before I started driving and vented my frustration. (I had to sit in the back seat and feed Massi anyway.)
Then later the mom called Eric and said that she was "totally cool with it." And to ask if Ridge was coming.

Grrr. Sigh.
So lessons learned:
Never answer the phone, let them leave a message.
If someone invites my child to a party, get more details. You just don't know how many Zebs are out there.


Kim said...

Sorry about the whole birthday party mixup. For all that you went through, the mom could have been considerate. She could have said something along the lines of, "I'm so sorry about the whole mixup, but we would be happy to have Cannon come and join the party." Instead of telling you to bring Ridge. That way he could have gotten to know some of the boys. I guess some people are just rude.

Shannon said...

I agree with Kim's comment; how hard would it have been to say "This is awesome! We've heard Ridge talk about Cannon, and are so glad to have the chance to get to know him!" or something like that.
And for the record, I think Heavenly Father is giving you a big fat A+

Kelsey K. Hartley said...

I would have cried out of frustration too. I hate those situations where you're feeling like, "How am I the alien in this conversation?"
You're trying your darnest to be a good mom by not only getting your kids to be where they want but you also made the effort to buy an age appropriate gift, get the child there on time all the while taking care of four other children; including one who needs feeding every couple hours. It's not easy being a mom and you are juggling the needs of five children, a loving husband and a little time for yourself.
I too am trying to just let the phone ring because it's never worth the hassle to run to it when whoever it is can wait.

Andrew said...

Totally with Kim and Shannon. As a fellow mom, and one is most likely not sleep deprived... she should have just made Cannon feel welcome, and maybe asked if Ridge would like to come as well. What a yucky situation, friend. I think you are an amazing mom!

Andrew said...

That was Kathy, by the way...

Paige said...

Thanks friends.
I love that Kelsey -- "How am I the alien in this conversation." I'm totally going to use that phrase.

Alexis said...

I like Kelsey's comment, too. I would have cried too when I got to the car.

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