Social Occasion Part 2

February 4, 2009

Speaking of International Relations (as David just did), one of the impossible tasks of modern life is to arrange a social event by email. It takes about 57 emails before schedules can be reconciled. I was trying to arrange a date and time when Mama and Mommy and Random Granddaughter and Mary and S and F can all have an international social occasion at the mommies’ house.The date Mary set doesn’t work for S and F. We arranged a week later.

I thought, dinner. The mommies said, how about brunch at 10 am? S and F said, we have an appointment and can not arrive until eleven. I said, how about 11 am? Mary said, that would be fine; I sleep late on weekends. The mommies said, that would be late because RG must take her nap by 1 pm. I said, I am making an executive decision, we will meet at 10:30 am.

Then the mommies asked, what about food preferences? T(hey have had guests who wouldn’t eat this or that.) I will email the guests today and ask what they like to eat and what they don’t like to eat. They are very polite people so they probably will tell us they eat everything. Nobody eats everything. RG hardly eats anything. (She will be the first five year old to suffer from anorexia.)

Mrs. Random is concerned I am taking advantage of the mommies to be my diplomatic social hostesses (which of course, I am), and said, we [Grandma and Grandpa] should pay for the food. The mommies said, don’t worry about it. Of course, Mrs. Random, in her Martha Stewart alter, is fretting about it.

Now RG is on deadline to learn Quechua and Romanian in three weeks. And the mommies said, RG may get bored with all the adults around and wander off and do something else in the middle of the social occasion (and perhaps provoke an international incident).

At the last minute, somebody will probably not be able to make it. I will sulk because all my careful scheming has come to naught.

Then there’s Bunny, the killer rabbit masquerading as RG’s favorite stuffed animal. He may decide to wreak revenge on me (for my bunicide in the woods) in the middle of the social occasion, ruining the mommies’ best tablecloth with bloodstains.

This is the first week I don’t have to go to work. I have a list of 10,000 things I need to do. Mrs. Random has a list of 10,0020 things I have to do. The 20 have to come before any of mine. Perhaps her 10,000 things come before my 10,000 things.

Which leads us to what I once called The Fuzzy Bunny Problem. The fuzzy bunny problem from the point of view of adults is: how do you introduce an innocent child to the Existential Dilemma?

If your child is not kidnapped and forced to become a child soldier, or raised in a concentration camp; if you don’t abuse your child or allow your child to watch television or nasty movies or read nasty books, what do you do about the bubble of innocence?

Do you, as a parent, puncture it on purpose? “Hi, kid, now that you’re six years old…POP! Sorry about that kid; we just thought it was time.”

Or do you let your child go to school wearing her bubble of innocence and let the other children poke holes in it?

“Welcome home from kindergarten, kid. Oh, I see the other children wiped out your bubble of innocence. Sorry about that. We were meaning to get around to puncturing it ourselves, but Mom and I are very busy, you know, so we never got around to it. I’m sure the other children were very kind about it….”

Oh, dear blog reader, no one wiped out your bubble of innocence yet? Oh, dear. Please close the blog and read no further. This is a disillusioned-adults-only blog. I guess I should have put a warning label on it.

No, don’t have your attorney call me in the morning. I know a very good attorney; he won a big lawsuit for us; you don’t really want to have him wipe out your attorney’s bubble of innocence.