Since LittleBear starts school this September <gulp> and he doesn't really know many people from his new school yet, it seemed a kind idea to try and help him get to know a few. And, handily enough, I know quite a few of the mothers of his future school mates*. So inviting a bunch of people round for a weekend lunch in the garden seemed like a good idea. I could even traumatise my poor, introverted husband and cat by inflicting social interactions with strangers upon them. In the end, only the cat left home for the day.
By my final
reckoning, I think we had 9 adults and 7 children for lunch today, and
despite my fears, the carpet was largely bare of lego and cat hair
before they all arrived. And largely covered in lego when they left. And
I was very proud of my LittleBear for allowing so many other children
to play with his toys without upset. He drew the line at letting them
play with his Arctic Lego.
There was only one insane water fight in the garden, no tantrums, no tears, no thrown food, no vomitting, and only one child relieved himself in the middle of the lawn (and he's 2, so entirely at liberty to do such things. Though the cat is currently regarding that particular patch of lawn with grave suspicion)
I had been going to write about the process of getting ready for a party, and being proud of myself for not turning into a total stress bunny, the way I normally would, and how I just allowed myself to wing it, and that this is major progress for me. And then I realised that this is something I've written about before.** Which rather suggests that I've already managed to chill out, notice that I've chilled out, and write about it. And yet my perception of myself doesn't seem to have caught up with reality, and I still think of myself as a stress-monster who freaks out, over-thinks everything and lies awake panicking about anything and everything. Actually, I am all of those things, but I'm also vaguely competent and seem to have mastered some aspects of life without disintegrating into a soggy puddle. I wonder whether if I practice I might become competent at some other aspects of life too? Not that being reasonably ept at having a garden party isn't a good skill to have, but using a telephone might be helpful too, or communicating with workmen, or speaking to new people, or learning that the whole world is not my fault or responsibility...
* This comes about because, back when LittleBear was too small too really make friends or actually know people, we went to a LOT of mother-and-baby and mother-and-toddler groups. So I met a lot of mothers, and in theory he met a lot of children. Since he hasn't been to most of those groups in at least two years, he can be forgiven for having forgotten most of the children. Meanwhile, thanks to Facebook and a new regime of Pub Mums I still know many of the mothers.
** One of the best parts of re-reading that particular blog entry, is that I
clearly use the same technique for winning the hearts and minds of
small children every year - I give them ice-cream cones. And they
respond by sitting in a happy line along the edge of the summer house.