Friday, May 17, 2013

Photo Documentation and Memory Implantation

Today I've decided that the keys to parenting are held in the phrases "Photo Documentation" and "Memory Implantation."

Mama Sez:  "It happened the way I say it happened."

As parents, we wind ourselves into a tizzy trying to create the perfect scenario for our children, who are going to remember the situation in a hazy, inaccurate way anyway.  In the end it is easier to just provide the photos and doctor the memories.


Aunt Claudia made Little K a giraffe cake for her b-day

For example.  Monday was Little K's birthday.  I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I've been having a couple of headaches lately, and it's been tricky trying to make any kind of life plans.  So, I called a bunch of friends Sunday night and told them to meet at Chuck E. Cheese at 11:00 the next day unless they heard differently from me by 10:30.  It's a birthday party!

Monday morning, I swapped favors with my friend next door because I was running late.  She picked up three boxes of Little Debbies Snack Cakes for me, and I took her son to the party so she could volunteer at the school.
Now I had cupcakes for the party!



At 10:45, as I was applying the finishing touches to my face, with dripping wet hair, the phone rang.  I really should have been on my way to the party--I'm sure some people were probably already showing up.  Anyway, all of this ceased to matter, as it was Princess on the phone with the stomach flu.  Oh!  No!
So, I ran down to my friend Jana's house with the four little people behind me (hers, mine and neighbor's), got them all buckled into her car, threw the cupcakes in with them, thanked her again, and raced to the school for Princess.

Jana would start the party, and I would meet her there after getting Princess settled.  Handsome would come work from home.

On my way home with Princess, Jana called to tell me that Caboose had just puked in her car. 

This was when I came up with my pitch for a really, really bad TV reality program.  Also I started a headache.  I wonder if these are stress-induced?
Little A and Little K at Chuck E Cheese
Happy Birthday!

 Long story short:  I helped hose down Jana's car, bought a couple of pizzas and 2 million tokens, thanked everyone for coming, threw a sobbing Caboose into the car, stopped for a slurpee for Princess and some chocolate for me, and headed home to nurse my head.  Jana took over the party, making sure to get some good photo documentation as proof that it happened.  When it comes up later, it will appear to have been a well-planned fun-filled birthday party and if Little K assumes that Caboose and I were actually there, too, well, what can I say?











That's not the end of the story.

Practical Application of Theory
Wherein I return the favor and help Jana with Little A's party

See, a long time ago, Jana found a really good deal on some fun little toys that would make great party favors.  She purchased them, and then planned a theme party around the favors for her daughter's 5th birthday!  (Little A)  For reasons out of her control, she was unable to have the party the weekend of the birthday, so she kept the decorations up, and the party plans on hold.   

It's been two months.

So, here's my take on the whole thing.  Jana has paid for the party that technically never happened.   She paid for the party favors that no one has received.  She's paid in 'brain time' and fretting and by keeping the dang decorations up, with all the guilt she experiences each time she sees the decorations and is reminded that she hasn't thrown the party yet.
Not only that, but then she paid for it by having the neighbor kid puke in her car and by printing out Chuck E Cheese coupons for the neighbor kid's party and then taking over the party and doing photo documentation of the neighbor party where her own daughter and all of her friends had a great time eating pizza and playing games.  AND her daughter is in all of the pictures of my daughter's Photally Documented party, so...
Why shouldn't Jana just use the photos from Little K's party to document Little A's party-that-never-happened and then just implant some memories for little A?*
Who's birthday was it?
She can just sliiide into it.  Each day, when no one is looking, she can take down one decoration.  Every day she can replace the decoration with one small suggestion, craftily worked into the conversation.  "That birthday party at Chuck E Cheese was super-fun!"  That's all.

The next day, "You always did seem to want a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese." Wistfully.

A few days later, "I sure wish we could have used my idea.  Maybe next year."  (This inserted when things are a little hectic.  Sort of subliminal-like.)  "But you have good ideas, too!"

*This is totally ethical, our government does it all the time!

So that when taken all together, subliminally, what her brain says, deep inside is:
"What?  No, honey.  That was your party, not Little K's party.  Remember?  Mommy drove, and Caboose down the street threw up in our car and we had to call her mommy to come and get her?  Remember?  You played on all the toys, and we ate pizza, and had Little Debbies Snack Cakes after?  And we saved the cute little party favors for another party because you really, really wanted a Chuck E Cheese party?"  Disregard the man behind the curtain.


According to my theory, all Jana needs to do is gently cultivate this seed carefully over a period of about a week, then casually refer to is about six months later, and voila!  A memory is made.  

Back it up with some photo documentation, and Little A fondly remembers her amazingly flexible Mother who laid aside her desires for a coordinated theme party in their beautifully decorated home to accommodate her beloved daughter's wishes for a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese with her little friends.  Slap a gold star on that woman's forehead, no one misses the decorations, and mama has moved on to the next source of guilt.

Yo Mama Sez "If I say it happened that way, it happened that way.  Look in your scrapbook."

And they lived happily ever after again.
________________________________________________________________________


Random Factoids:

Today Little K volunteered to be my "Personal Yodeler" all day if I would only allow her to come into the bathroom with me.

There has been a "Bucket 'O Panties" floating through my house for the last three weeks.  It pops up in random places.  It hasn't motivated Caboose to actually use the facilities, but it sure is fun to have around.

3 comments:

Rexburg Family Photo said...

Send me a disc, I'm going to photoshop Emma into all the scenes and then we can just skip her bday altogether. Then in about two years I'll just invent a memory we can all laugh about now like -- remember when we had your 6 bday party at chuckie cheese and you sat in your cousin Katie's mashed potatoes? She won't actually remember but.... wait a minute, I need to go check my photo album.

Rexburg Family Photo said...

Send me a disc, I'm going to photoshop Emma into all the scenes and then we can just skip her bday altogether. Then in about two years I'll just invent a memory we can all laugh about now like -- remember when we had your 6 bday party at chuckie cheese and you sat in your cousin Katie's mashed potatoes? She won't actually remember but.... wait a minute, I need to go check my photo album.

bluestocking mama said...

Solid plan. Go with it. And please do not squash her future career opportunities as personal yodeler by denying her this much-needed apprentice time. What kind of mother would you be then?