Saturday, June 5, 2010
All Monkeys are Not Created Equal
It’s really true that the last kid gets the short end of the stick when it comes to….well, almost everything. Our first born children get the best of us, the middle children get the rest of us, and the last children get what’s left of us. And usually, it ain’t much.
Child C’s birthday (as in A, B, C is my third) was last week and we are celebrating the big day tomorrow. I did not send out cute Smilebox cards with music-I sent out a generic email invite. I did not give people 4 weeks notice-I gave them about two. I am not having it at a park, indoor gym, or Chucky Cheese-we are having it in the back yard if it doesn’t rain. Depending upon how clean the house gets by tomorrow, we may have it outside even if it does rain.
To add insult to injury, Child C has never had a party with kids before. Last year doesn’t really count because I’m quite sure she doesn’t remember it, and the kids who came were the same ones who are at my house almost everyday and very often the weekends. Same ol’ same ol’. Last week on her actual birthday we didn’t even have a cake. We wished her happy birthday a lot, but that’s about it. Sadly, my goal for tomorrow’s birthday is get ‘em in, feed ‘em cake, and move ‘em out. Break out the slip n’ slide, some water balls, two hours start to finish, done.
It’s terrible I know. I recall very fondly my son’s three-year birthday when I invited the entire family to a huge park in Chandler, Arizona, everything themed Elmo, replete with a huge Elmo shaped cake I baked from scratch, including the red-dyed coconut I used to make Elmo look hairy. I’m old now. I just don’t have that kind of energy (or time) anymore. I suck, suck, suck.
And though I suck, I’m not particularly mad at myself, because I’m reasoning that she’s only three and the chances of her remembering her mediocre birthday party are slim. I could be wrong about this, but fortunately for me I won’t find out if this damages her for at least 10 or so years. And by that time you can be damn sure I won’t remember a thing about this party. By then I can play the senility card.
But something is bothering me quite a lot. The girl loves Curious George, so at the very least I wanted to have a few things that represented the darling monkey; plates, ineffective cute napkins, maybe a cheapy plastic table covering. Curious George is pretty popular so I’m thinking it shouldn’t be too hard.
Well, Michael’s craft store has nothing George. Nothing monkey. Nothing even banana. Besides getting some frosting bags, frosting tips, and a tube of black icing, the entire trip was a bust.
I know that if I headed to iParty I could find an entire section devoted to Curious George, with little plastic tumblers, party favors, monkey masks, and maybe even some banana flavored candy. Artificial banana flavor, yummm.
But iParty is a 15-minute drive from my house and in the course of the last few days, I did not have the time to spare. At all. I headed to Target to get what I could, crossing my fingers that some corporate buyer also had a child who adores George.
Well, guess what. No George. No banana stuff either. But wait! They do have some monkey things but nothing resembling the cuteness of the curious one.
This is that creepy looking Paul Franco monkey design that seems to be all the rage these days. This is a George monkey knock off. I’m thrown back to my childhood when my mother forced me to wear Lee brand jeans instead of Levi’s because they were cheaper, and they “look just the same.” No one wore Lee jeans. Everyone wore Levi’s. Just because they both use denim doesn’t make them interchangeable. Turns out, a monkey isn’t just a monkey either.
What bothers me most about the Target monkey—and I’d hold onto your seats because I’m going to get a little inappropriate—is that the mouth really bothers me.
A lot. It’s just too…vaginal for me. Labial if you will. I know Freud would have a field day psychoanalyzing why I must turn that stupid monkey’s mouth into a vagina, but I’ve said it. It’s clearly the same part of me that thinks Muno looks like a big, bumpy, one-eyed dildo. Judge me if you will.
I know Child C will not think that anything is wrong with knock-off monkey, but it bothers me that over 10 little children are going to be eating chocolate cake off labial-monkey faces. It’s just gross. And even though I have a problem with this monkey face, do you think it encourages me to get my ass in the van and drive the 15 extra minutes to get REAL Curious George monkey paraphernalia?
Of course not. Because I do not have the time. Because she is my third child and this is what’s left of me. So tomorrow while the kids are inhaling cake off inappropriate plates and wiping their little innocent mouths with primate porn, I’ll just have to grin and bear it. I suppose it could be worse. That funky monkey could be eating a banana.