To say that the party was off the chain doesn't even begin to describe; this party broke the chain in half. This party melted the chain down and using precious metals made an even crazier chain. It started at 2PM, unheard of in the toddler world where events are usually either pre or post-nap. But the chosen time was intentional. The host wanted to send a message: No lightweights.
I walked in at 2:30 and knew right away this wasn't an ordinary birthday party. No Minute Maid from concentrate, no High-C in this heezy just bottles of Pom.
A Raffi CD was blaring Baby Beluga and these toddlers were leaving it all on the dance floor. After a few minute of clinging I found my crew in the living room playing with blocks. Wooden blocks from Denmark. I picked up a cube and examined it; the buttery wood was nothing like my dollar store trinkets. I brought it to my nose; the scent transported me to the shores of the Baltic sea, to a place dense with Linden trees, Viking legacies, and children who willingly and stupidly wear pants made of sheep's wool. No lead. These people went all out.
Two minutes into parallel play I felt a familiar anger rise in my solar plexus. Hunger. It didn't take long to find what I was looking for. The spread was impressive: whole packages of fruit snacks, four types of crackers including a bowl overflowing with intact Goldfish, and recognizable cheese.
"Whattryou having?" a drowsy two-year hanging onto a nearby chair slurred. I made my selections. I don't know if it was the atmosphere or 100% juice drink making me brave but holding the plate as I walked across the room to show mommy my spoils felt right at the time. Once the mess was cleaned up and more food secured I feasted hungrily.
The party was in full swing now. A remixed version of The Farmer in the Dell laid over a track from The Fresh Beats Band was bringing out the wild in errybody. "One, here comes to the two to the three to the four," a 3-year old girl who clearly knew her numbers spun crazily almost taking out a few people in her vicinity.
"WHAT'S SHE ON?" I shouted over the music to the kid on my right.
"THE HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SIZZURP! ONE PART ORANGE SODA, TWO PIXY STICKS AND SPRINKLES!"
He had me at the orange soda. Before I could go in search of the sizzurp I was swooped up for a forced bathroom break. I didn't go quietly- all this environmental stimulation was leaving me feeling somewhat belligerent- but I did go. A lot. Some on my shoe.
Later as I was trying to hide a home furnishing I'd damaged behind some drapes I saw mommy sitting on the couch talking to someone. He couldn't have been more than 16-months old. Overalls made out of khaki material, white collared short-sleeved Circo. I was fine until I saw her laugh her beautiful sparkly laugh and pat him on the head. Like lightning I headed over there prepared to say something casual like, "What are you guys taking about?" but it came out, "NO!"
The big infant acted like he didn't even see me and kept the conversation going.
"I two trucks. Two trucks. Gween. Two gween trucks."
"Cool story, bro," I stepped between him and my mom, "Did you come here with someone?"
He continued to ignore me and tried to regain eye contact with m'lady whose lap I had now managed to climb on to.
Reaching into his pocket he pulled out two Hot Wheels and would given them to her if I hadn't hit them both out of his hand. He laughed like we were playing.
"Broseph. You need to move along." He kept staring at me and it wasn't until I finally knocked him off balance with my foot that he backed away. I turned to my mom. Can't leave you alone for a minute, can I? She whispered something about gentle feet.
Out of nowhere the music calmed, the lights dimmed, and a woman carrying the cake of all cakes on a crystal platter appeared singing, "Happy Birthday." I was touched. A wave of appreciative embarrassment washed over me as I made my way toward this kind stranger. How did she know chocolate is my favorite?
In what can only be described as the rudest awakening of of my life my mom pulled me back by the hood of my sweatshirt and said, "Not for you."
Even if I'd wanted to fight back the tears I would have been powerless against the oceans upon oceans of acute pain. If this celebratory confection and song were not for me, then who? The birthday melody that just a few moments ago sounded so sweet was now jarring and each note increased my restless fury. As the cake was placed in front of a lanky toddler I foggily recognized from the park I felt the world come out from under my feet: she picked me up, and just moments after I'd internally decided to rush the birthday boy and smash his cake into a sugar and flour puree.
The next several minutes were spent in spiritual solitude. The cotton fibers of the right shoulder corner of my mother's shirt may have muffled my sobs and absorbed my tears, but as I peeled my face away from her body my broken disposition was apparent to anyone who cared to glance upon me. "Go ahead and look," I said to myself.
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks, a slice of cake appeared. The traitor/stranger lady waved a piece like a white flag timidly under my nose causing me to smile involuntarily.
I don't remember when I took my pants off. Actually, I can't remember anything after the cake. I woke up in my carseat with a party bag in my hand and someone else's shoes on my feet. To whoever has my red Pedipeds, keep them. They smell like pee.