More importantly, some of us used to have lives besides our children and are fiercely maintaining the notion that we still do.
So send Daddy and the kids off to Chuck E. Cheese for the evening, and email a blanket invitation to the other moms at the bus stop. This time it's my turn to host.
Knowing other women are going to be roaming my downstairs is encouraging me to do things I haven't done in ages, like vacuum the baseboards and clean off the top of my refrigerator.
I might even finally wash the slipcover of my IKEA chair. It's had toothpaste on it since last summer. Don't ask me why; I don't know.
All this cleaning means that I'm keeping the food simple. A couple of sandwich and veggie trays from the deli counter and see ya later, kitchen.
Maybe if there were some stay-at-home-dads coming, I would have ordered a meat tray. But there aren't any dads in my group right now, which makes things a bit simpler.
I'm never sure if I should invite the dad or the working mom to this type of thing. I don't want either of them to feel left out. But that's a conundrum for another day. Right now I've got other things to think about.
The true planning goes into what to drink. Of course I've got to have ENABS (equally attractive non-alcoholic beverages). That's what the soda and coffee is for. The real fun is going to be the hot chocolate station with an assortment of optional spikes.
So I head to the grocery store to buy milk, cocoa powder, whipped cream, Baileys and peppermint schnapps. That's when things start to get weird. It's 9 a.m. and the liquor aisle is already full. Thanks a lot, Initiative 1183! Hopefully I'm the only (former) kindergarten teacher present.
I meant to get just a couple of bottles of wine, but the 10 percent off promotion when you buy six bottles really hooks me. I'm a sucker for "buy more/save more" promotions.
Before I know it, there's enough alcohol in my cart to supply a small frat party.
Since I'm at Fred Meyer anyway, I also pick up a new laundry basket, birdseed and a rib roast.
Then I start worrying that other shoppers might be thinking: "Who's the lush with the laundry basket?"
Or even worse: "Is that the mommy-blogger from The Herald?"
When my husband comes home that evening he sees the full wine rack and says, "Whoa! Careful with the schnapps!"
That's really good advice because the birdseed I bought looks kind of like party mix.
Jennifer Bardsley, an Edmonds mom of two, blogs at teachingmy babytoread.blog.com.
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