You. And You. But Not You.

This morning I took Punksin to ballet class. It’s usually a family event, with hubby and Pudding along too, because that’s just how we do things. Besides, we’ve formed a cool little group of parents over there, hanging out, waiting for our daughters to finish, and yukking it up.

First we met one mom who brings her daughter there solo (Solo Mom). This mom then introduced us to another set of parents, Couple, who also regularly bring their daughter to class as a family (they have a daughter just a few months older than Pudding.) Then there are two guys who bring their kids while their wives stay home, presumably getting some much needed rest. You have to admire the Solo Dads – they’re there every week without fail, and not only are they not complaining but they seem genuinely happy to be there participating in their little girls’ activities. It’s rather heartwarming. (gush gush)

We all sit out there around a table in the waiting area, drinking coffee, talking sports, kids, life and whatever comes up. It’s really fun and often we’re still there yapping long after our ballerinas have emerged from class. The kids then get to playing with each other in the waiting area while we slowly get our stuff together, laughing and chatting all the while. We’ve had so much fun that it’s become something to look forward to, our own little social scene. And we’ve recently begun to talk about taking this out of the dance school, trying to get together at a house or restaurant to have a good time somewhere where we don’t have to run out to other errands.

The 4 other girls are about a year older than Punksin. Their classes last 15 minutes longer than hers, which is only 45 minutes. This morning, because of some last minute work drama and just generally not being ready in time, Hubby decided to stay home with Pudding while I rushed Punksin to class. So it was me and the two Solo Dads at first. Then Solo Mom showed up, and then Couple came bustling in with their two girls. We sat and we chatted per usual.

Soon Punksin’s class let out and I grabbed her, took her into the changing room to put on her clothes. Then we merged back into the group for our goodbyes, and by this time the older girls were out too. Couple’s daughter noticed a card on the table and asked her dad what it was. He answered that it was an invitation to a birthday party from Solo Mom; her daughter’s birthday is coming up, apparently.

Now, I should point out here that Solo Mom and Couple have known each other for some time. I’m not clear on exactly how long, but there’s definitely a relationship there that predates the dance school; as a matter of fact, Couple lives a considerable distance away and come to this school primarily, it would seem, because of the friendship they have with her.

So I understood that if her daughter was having a party, she would definitely invite their daughter. What I wasn’t too clear on was why she didn’t invite ours.

Before that comes off as too presumptuous, let me explain. She’s had other events to which she’s invited us (although I did once get the impression that we were sort of an afterthought). Still, although we’ve yet to really interact with her outside of the school, she’s always made noises about it.

So it seemed a little odd that we were left out. Not on my own behalf, mind you. It was my daughter I was thinking about. And it wasn’t even so much that I cared that we weren’t included, but it seemed to me that if she knew she was not going to invite us, the tactful thing to do would have been to extend the invitation to Couple when we were not around. That shouldn’t have been too hard, given the fact of their pre-existing friendship. I mean, the moms talk on the phone, they chat and hang out. Why give an invitation to a birthday party right in front of my daughter, who was not invited?

Perhaps she did try to be tactful, because the card was already out when we emerged from the dressing room. Maybe Couple just neglected to put it away in time. And I have no idea if the Solo Dads got invitations or not, so it could be that she just invited all the older girls, who are the same age as her daughter, or it could be that only Couple got an invitation because of the long-standing friendship. I have no idea. And I don’t really give a shit. I still think she should have done it elsewhere altogether. Because what happens?

As I noted, Couple’s daughter sees card and asks what it is; daddy answers.

Daughter becomes excited and starts talking to solo mom’s daughter about it. Right in front of my uninvited daughter. And invited daughter, being sweet and guileless, starts to talking to uninvited daughter – that would be my daughter, you understand – and saying she can come to the party! Which was very nice of her, except it wasn’t her party to invite people to. And if you’re a mom with just the hint of a fucking clue, you have to know that this is exactly the type of thing that can happen, which is why you should do your selective, velvet rope inviting, very carefully.

Clearly I missed the moment of truth that might have explained a lot. I don’t really care. I just know that on behalf of my Punksin, I felt really really bad.

I think Couple Mom picked up on it because she was standing next to me while her daughter invited mine to the party, and started saying something about when her daughter has a party everyone will be invited.

Maybe she was trying to make me and Punksin feel better. I appreciate the effort, but it wasn’t her fault.

The only saving grace with this, thank God, was that when Couple’s daughter was waxing on and on about Punksin coming to the birthday party, those words, which would normally cause all kinds of excitement, seemed to float right over her precious little head. I was shocked – and thankful. Because I would really have a hard time explaining to my 3-year old that she’s not actually invited to the party that her friend is assuming she’s coming to.

Uh, sorry, sweetie, but although that little girl is inviting you to party, it’s not her party and we can’t actually go.

Why?

Because it’s not her party and the mommy of the girl whose party it is, didn’t invite us.

But why?

Hmmm….how to handle that part?

  1. Because she doesn’t like us.
  2. Because she doesn’t like you.
  3. Because her daughter doesn’t want you there.

Personally I like #4.

Because she’s an asshole, sweetheart!

There. I feel better.

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