Saturday, January 19, 2008

the heartbreak of the Lola

One of Lola's pre-k friends was turning five, and the little birthday child was, naturally enough, very excited about her birthday party. This adorable little girl had lots to tell Lola about the upcoming party, and Lola came home from pre-k with many breathless updates. "It's a drop-off party. What is a drop-off party? It is a drop-off party, and you have to remember that. I am going to stay after the party! I am going to stay until midnight! And she says there are going to be two Barbie dolls in my thank-you bag."

Apart from the two Barbie thank-you bag (which was mentioned several times a day), the alleged after-party had a powerful hold on Lola's imagination. Lola and another few favored guests were hypothetically going to play until midnight (or as the birthday child herself said to me on my workday at pre-k, "Sixty o'clock! We're going to stay up to sixty o'clock!").

Iris tried to talk some reason into her younger sister. "Lucy, NO ONE is inviting you to stay until midnight. NO ONE. Not for ten years!"

"But she SAID," Lola said obstinately.

I tried to lower Lola's expectations with no luck. Today as I dropped Lola off ("Remember, IT IS A DROP-OFF PARTY!" Lola instructed me firmly, although as it turns out, other parents stayed, eating exotic cheeses and swilling down microbrews), I asked loudly, for Lola's benefit, "So what time should I pick up Lola?" The birthday child's father looked at me as though I were an idiot and said, "Four o'clock."

When Iris and I arrived to collect Lola, Lola refused to put on her shoes and sat down on the floor in passive protest She did buy herself an extra half an hour (during which time Iris ate two slices of birthday cake), but her staying until midnight was clearly not on the hosts' agenda. Then it was time to take her perfectly reasonable, and indeed beautifully hand-decorated little thank you bag, which contained not a single Barbie ("I knew no one was giving her a Barbie," said Iris happily). And that wasn't all. As we drove home, Lola burst out crying. "I forgot my pinata candy!" Also, she reported that another child had taken away her "only lollipop, I think it was chocolate."

I took Lola to a drugstore for a consolation lollipop on the way home, but a heartbreak which was building for weeks cannot be easily cured, even with sugar. Poor Lola learns again that the world is not as delightful as we hope it will be.


hughman said...

if it's any consolation, i've been to many a party for which i've had higher hopes. later in her life, when liquor is involved, she may have better results.

Anonymous said...

Oh poor Lola!! I can feel her disappointed all the way over here :( I can remember similar heartbreaks with my children and it is truly sad to see their innocence dented.

hokgardner said...

We had a similar situation here. The little boy next door decided he wanted a boys-only birthday party this year, and my oldest was distraught that she wasn't made an honorary boy for the day. We had to send her away with grandmother for the day to prevent her from standing at the backyard fence and watching the party while crying.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how many times my daughter's friend invited my daughter over only to show up and find out that the parents, knowing nothing of the event, had made other plans, and my daughter had to come home brokenhearted.

Trouble said...

childhood is so disillusioning. Just wait until she reaches adulthood.