I have some of the most wonderful friends.
Two of my in real life besties are affectionately dubbed The Momtourage.
The Momtourage became banded together when I was in law school. Both of my fellow moms work at the law library at my school (The
Lawbrary) and could always be counted on for good lunch conversation, a full-sized candy bar after a particularly heinous final (on which I earned an A-), raucous karaoke on Thursday nights and shoulders to cry on when things just aren't humming along as they should. These are the ladies I can call when I'm too sick in bed to drive my car to pick up my kids from school or, who know that with the rotten commute I used to have, that I would never make it on time in driving snow to meet the 'after school' closing deadline. They have my back and that's a wonderful thing.
You can imagine how many times we collectively cheered, yelled, cried, prayed, etc. during the adoption process for M3. All the court dates that came and went without a successful "pass" would have been the end of me if I had not had an awesome group of women at work to report to and from whom to receive support. I have an amazing boss, another professor I do work for who is super supportive, colleagues who do the job I do who have always taken an active interest and the Momtourage. Seriously sanity saving.
The Momtourage wanted to have an adoption shower before M3 arrived, but by the time we could "officially" do such a thing, we were out of time and my husband would be home soon. We were finally able to settle on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend as a good night for a Welcome Party. My friend, Kim, hosted the party at her house (she throws great parties and has such a wonderful house to gather lots of people) even with her mom recovering from major surgery. She fended off my pleas to relocate the party, postpone the party, etc. She had made it potluck and decided that was the most genius thing she could have done--she was right! Great food and a little bit of all the favorites--everyone brought their best stuff! The grill was manned by very competent grill masters and that rounded out the party food. SOOOO good.
We didn't tell M3 much about the party--pretty much just that we were going to Miss Kim's, there would be lots of good food and we could play in the backyard. I had not even inquired into who RSVP'd in the affirmative, so the day was full of lots of fun surprises of guests coming. One of my dearest friends I made in law school stopped by with her husband (who had made a wonderful potato salad that EVERYONE raved about) and another friend (who is expecting her 3rd child very soon) stopped by with her family even after hosting a birthday party that day for her oldest son. And, the other folks, lovingly dubbed "The Usual Suspects" were there in full force as well.
We definitely put some things on our "to work on" list.
I saw entirely too much of M3 holding court over the other kids. Not really playing, but more bossing. It was painful to watch. Any of my attempts to step in, have her take a break, have her be more inclusive of others' ideas were thwarted. Other parents were telling me it was okay,
telling their kids to take a chill pill and put up with her for a little while longer, and even relatives in attendance said things like, "If the other kids didn't want to put up with it, they would quit." Not sure what they would play, though, as M3 had taken all the bean bags from the cornhole game and refused to give them back for others to play with--again, no one would let me put them back with the game...
When the kids finally did make a break and M3 refused to play what they wanted to play, she moped around for a bit and then began bossing the adults--so uncomfortable to sit at a table of a half dozen people (our wonderful friends) and have my five-year-old order them to watch her eat her hamburger "And then, when I pinnish, you clap, okay? DO IT! 'YAY!'" Um. Not so much, M3, not so much.
I will give the kids credit for trying to engage her in other games later, but again, it didn't quite
work. She knows how to play ball. She kicks and throws the ball with the best of them, but last night? We were much more interested in holding the ball and not letting other kids have it. So many lessons we still need to learn. I never did see her throw this ball to the kids. She'd act like she was going to and then just hold on to it. Very patient and well raised kids we were dealing with last night. I appreciate their ability to just be nice no matter what she dished their way.
It's absolutely impossible to explain in a sentence or two what allowing this kind of behavior for HOURS means to us as a family in the coming days, but my husband is definitely more receptive to my concerns with yesterday given that M3 has been attempting to boss us around all morning--ordering us about and being quite rude. We're also staring down a family cookout on Monday which, based upon the precedent set yesterday, will have M3 thinking that her cousins (whom she has never met--just like the kids yesterday) are hers for the bossing. We have a few months to curb this behavior, or M3 will work her way through her 15-student pre-K class very quickly, I'm sure.
Many of the guests yesterday brought a little something for M3 and some of them even brought things for M1 and M2. So very kind. I realized after putting M3 in a chair and lining the ground at her feet with presents, she had no earthly idea what she was supposed to do. It took precisely one gift bag opening experience for her to completely get it and to enjoy it. Unlike many of her peers who probably would super excited about one gift and squeal about it, M3 was super excited about EVERY gift and delighted in checking out the front, the back, the sides, etc. of every book, box and stuffed animal. Many of the things are perfect for sharing with her sisters--projects they can do together, etc.--which I'm certain will take even more explaining as we're quite fond of using everyone else's things, but not so fond of sharing what we have claimed as "ours."
Always lessons to be learned at our house!