Monday, August 20, 2012

Party Girl

"Hey Jane! Our parties used to look a lot different right?," shouted a friend from across the room.

I laughed as I sat there cross-legged on the floor, with a Corona Light in my hand fending off an unwelcome hair pull or involuntarily nose-picking courtesy of any one of the 5 children between the ages of 1 and 5 years old who had me surrounded.

The friend was the birthday girl, E's father.  The party was the second first birthday party that P, T and I attended this past weekend.  The beer was a far cry from the Kir Royale or Red Bull Vodka that I used to enjoy when hanging out with my husband, the birthday girl E's parents (who used to be known by their first names) and any number of our other friends on a given night out in Manhattan where we all used to live.

I mulled over topics like coxsakie (google it),  teething and music class with the other suburban, NJ mom's at the party.  I wore shorts from old navy and a checkered button down.  I finally heaved myself up off the floor, looked at T and said, "your turn."  As in, it's your turn to entertain the baby and make sure he doesn't injure himself or smack another child.   Folks, it appears I've gone from sexy twenty-something girlfriend who suggests the next fun activity to thirty-something wife who orders the next item on the to-do list.

In the land before children, a typical Sunday afternoon involved nothing remotely close to Disney characters and birthday cake.  And that's because a typical Saturday night involved wearing something scandalous, going somewhere fabulous, and waking up in that same scandalous outfit, with a french fry in your bed and a bad case of the horrors (aka: the what-did-I-do-last-nights?).  The only food I wake up next to these days are half-petrified Cheerios courtesy of P (who hides them EVERYWHERE).

I was always particularly fond of "the morning after," when over coffee and brunch we would all sit around and crack up about whatever ridiculous thing we said to a bouncer the night before.  The days when the "morning" after meant some time after noon when we all woke up.

Do I miss those days?

I certainly don't miss the unfortunate middle-of-the-night heart pounding that comes with three Red Bull Vodkas or the regret of devouring a pound of roast beef at 4am (hey, it's protein).  I certainly do miss the scandalous outfits, the devil-may-care attitude and the non-stop energy that we all seemed to have.  Fortunately for me, I don't have to miss the laughs.  Although the subject matter has gone from boozy mishaps to poopy diapers, the friends have stayed the same so the laughs are always there.

While I'm pretty sure I may never find myself in the position of having post-work cocktails turn into a 6 AM visit to the Korean Barbecue, I'm guessing I have a few wild nights hiding in my back pocket.  Until they come around, I'm quite content with a nine PM bed time (for me) and a six AM wake-up call from P because these days I laugh just as hard, I love even more and my appreciation of it all is that much greater.

So when I post that annoying Facebook parent post about P taking his first steps today (he did!), I ask those of you who don't care (which means most of you) to humor me.  It's certainly not the most entertaining post, nor does it live up to your scoring the best table at Beauty and Essex, but it's what I've got and I love it.

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