Friday, May 14, 2004

How Not to Host Playgroup

You know, it's not too tough to host playgroup. It's not art; it's not even a skill. All you have to do is mastermind one fairly directed activity and then have at least three different parts of the house completely open for the kids to play. And if you are blessed with sunshine, it's laughably effortless: pull out the trikes and the balls, open up the sandbox, and you're in business. Oh, and snacks. You gotta have snacks. But they must be the kind of snacks that do not wake the beast that slumbers within every child. In other words—for the love of all that is holy and pure—no chocolate.

In case you haven't guessed, I just returned from a form of torture unique to mothering: a woefully (yes, that is 'full of woe') bad playgroup session in which our hostess—on the loveliest day of May so far—cruelly held six preschoolers, two infants, three mothers and one nanny hostage in a 10x15 foot room littered with horrible plastic toys that created a cacophony of the world's most unpleasant sounds. Was she not aware of my delicate sensibilities?

And then, in a move that I felt certain was some sort of prank for the new HGTV show "Punk'd for Mothers" (hosted by an increasingly desperate Cindy Crawford), there suddenly appeared before us a platter of 100 brownies and a small bowl of baby carrots. I looked at my watch: 10:00 am. By 10:15, despite all of us pleading with our children, the baby carrots were untouched, half of the brownies were gone, and Vida's left arm and right eye were twitching. Our hostess, who I now felt was deliberately trying to ruin my life, remained oblivious, and none of us was bold enough to ask her to take the chocolate away. There was only one option: I looked at the other mothers, and they looked at me. We glanced at the nanny, who intuitively understood our desperate need to stop. the children. from ingesting. more sugar. We passed the plate around over the kids' heads, each grabbing our share.

And that is how I ended up eating eight brownies for breakfast. Got milk?

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