Warning: Birthday Party Ahead

The things we do for our offspring.

Like last morning, I sloshed my way through an Oregon downpour for the sole purpose of buying a Hot Wheels track for the kid’s friend’s birthday party. It was after my workout – I was in my sweats, my eyeliner had streaked down my face and I smelled like a bouquet of sweet daisies. I then sloshed my smelly way back to the car and drove home in wet socks.

Then came step two of proceedings: the son had to watch a safety video of the birthday party venue – a trampoline place – before we headed over there.

Okay, to be fair, we didn’t have to. But this online form required that my 6-year-old sign that he watched the video. And I didn’t want my first born’s first-ever signature to smell of fraud.

So being a conscientious mom, we watched a harrowing video together: four minutes of stick figures being sent to hospitals and graves (I kid you not) with alarming regularity.


This party was starting to sound as much fun as a root canal procedure.

The video’s voiceover was delivered in a crisp British accent. I like to call it the Simon Cowell syndrome – when the voice of judgment and warning has to be imported from the UK.

In this case, we were told in the Queen’s English that falling on your head may result in a broken neck.


Thumbs up, mommy! Best way to get your veering-on-socially-anxious child comfortable before a birthday party.

The video also advises children to get off the trampoline when they’re fatigued. That’s a foolproof warning for a first grade party – six-year-olds always throw in the towel at the first sign of fun-induced tiredness. And, obviously, the video also threw in the pertinent warning to “always stay in control.”

Anyways, the evening saw us driving 35 minutes in the pouring rain so my kid could jump on trampolines instead of on our couch. I had the distinct privilege of mingling with a bunch of people I’d never laid eyes on before. Then my week of sticking with green smoothies was washed down by coke, pizza (with a cheese-filled crust) and Costco cake which screamed high-fructose corn syrup.

Parenting – the stuff of dreams, really.

Thankfully, when did a postmortem of the video later (pardon my choice of words), Sonny Boy proclaimed that it was “funny.”

“Because the other kid kept breaking all his bones. Not me,” he explained.

I guess we need to move on to teaching him empathetic thought patterns. We may need a video for that. Perhaps Colin Firth could do the voiceover.



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