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Scavenging

May 24, 2010

I’m trying to get over yesterday’s funk about “no vacation for you!”

Rewrite of that first sentence:  I’ve been working hard to get over last week’s funk about “no vacation for you!”  The first step was to drink more wine than my “diet” actually allows – 5 nights in a row.  The second step was to tell work to Go Fuck Itself on Friday.

Okay.  What I really said was “I’m working from home on Friday.”   And I meant it.  I even went back to the office at 9:30 p.m. after a work dinner to get my computer so I could “work from home.”  I thought the home-time would be rejuvenating, and because L~ had a school thing that she wanted me to attend at 1:30 p.m., at the other side of my often-one-hour commute, I felt justified.  I was saving time for the firm.  I could work, work, work right up until the event, and then work,work, work after the event.  No commute time lost!

So when I got an email at 10:30 saying, “Hey Suzie, can we meet today about X Project?”  I responded with, “Hi very sweet paralegal who I adore.  I’m working remotely today, so let’s have a call about X Project instead of meeting.”  She responded with “Great!  I’m free now, if you want to call.”  I responded again with “Um, I can’t!  because I’m currently “working” at CVS [pharmacy-type store, for you non-New Englanders].”

And so went the day’s productivity.

Or rather, work-related productivity.

I did not review documents, and I did not draft briefs and I did not research legal issues.

But I did put together my Adirondack chairs,* and I did plan …..

THE SCAVENGER HUNT!!

We had L~’s 12th birthday party this past weekend.

When it was time to start planning the party, all she knew was that she wanted a sleepover, and she knew who she wanted to invite.  It wasn’t a huge list (6 names were on it, creating a group of 7 girls), but it was a little bigger than I find comfortable for sleepover (i.e., more than 1 girl was on the list).   But it’s her birthday, and it only happens once a year.  So I said okay.  Then I looked for ideas on activities.

Mini golf?

No, Friend A did that last year.

Bowling?

No, Friend B does that all the time.

Swimming?

No, we did that last year.

A movie?

[no, mom doesn’t want to spend $150 on tickets and snacks – because Mom believes in much lower key birthdays, and it’s already a sleepover.]

Hey – what about a scavenger hunt?

Yeah!

I spoke with a friend who had done Hunts for years with S~’s age group, and she gave me some the run-down on what was entailed.  The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a great idea.

I had a few moments of doubt – do we really need two teams?  Because won’t some girls be disappointed not to be with the birthday girl?  And does this particular group break down into teams in a healthy, harmonious way?  L~ assured me that yes, they would.  She also insisted we absolutely needed teams … otherwise, what’s the point?

I also doubted whether or not the girls could go on their hunts without adults.  Our town is a pedestrian-friendly, kid-safe town.  L~ and most of her friends often walk considerable distances with parent blessings.  But not all of them do.  So I was concerned – the kids wouldn’t be happy about adult escorts, and all parents may not be happy with the lack thereof.

But L~ stayed excited about the idea, and I thought we could make it work.  So I committed myself in the way of announcing it in an invitation.

I continued to vacillate about the adult-escort issue, and ran the question by a couple of friends.  On their advice, I sent an email to all parents and asked for their input – letting them know that if everyone wasn’t comfortable with the kids off on their own, they would be escorted.  Everyone said, “they’ll be fine!  booooo to the escorts!”  And then perhaps “oh oh oh! adults to your house for cocktails while the kids are running wild in the streets!”

[instead, i stayed home alone and polyurethaned my Adirondack chairs … (see supra and infra)]

I collected ideas from friends and town as well as my best friend in the whole wide world (i.e., google), and set to making a kick-ass list of items, photos, and puzzles for the kids to solve.

Writer Dude and I initially had very grand schemes — we were going to send them out with a single clue that had to be solved before they could find the next clue – we were going to make them go to the library and research stuff before they could move on, etc.

We didn’t end up doing all that.  But I came up with about 10 items, 10 photos, a riddle, and a puzzle.  The riddles were HARD.  The parents could not solve them.  The puzzle was a Sudoku (easy), and I had highlighted 2 squares and told them that once they solved it, they had to get a photo of a house with that number on it (Team A), or get a photo of a menu with that price on it (Team B).

The girls had a blast.  We had a team with 3, and a team of 4.  The team of 4 won.  Then there was some unsavory response … from someone on the losing team.  But I pulled out my “strict mom face” and told them that if they couldn’t resolve/drop the issue, the party was OVER.  The last thing I felt like doing was spending 13 hours mediating a dispute between two 12 year olds.  No!

So they stopped.

We then had lots of energy and eating and yelling and dancing and singing and movie-watching and talking and screaming and ice-cream eating.  And a little sleeping.

Next year, I’m forcing WD to help me come up with the more intricate and involved set of scavenger items, and I’m inviting a much larger group,** and I will even invite boys (7th grade … totally appropriate, no?), and then I will call them all back to my home for a pizza party, and then I will send them all to their OWN homes to sleep.  I think this way, I’ll get more than 6 hours of sleep myself.

* Yes, I put together my Adirondack chairs.  The same chairs that I stained, to go with the deck furniture that I put together.  What’s that you say?  “Suzie, did you not know?  You do not have a penis, you cannot do these things!  Where was your husband?  Why is he making you do this??”

Or so said a neighbor friend to me while walking down the street.  “What are you doing?”  “I’m putting together my chairs!” “All by yourself?”  No really.  He said, “All by yourself?”  And really really, my response was, “Well, there weren’t any grown ups around to help me.”   That’s where the more overt sexism came out, with the “Well, don’t you have a husband?  Why get married at all if you can’t have your husband do these things for you?”  And I didn’t even have to make shit up to be snarky in response.  I told the truth, “My husband is at the grocery store getting the things he needs to cook dinner tonight.

** Slight unexpected drama:  I limited the number of girls invited to the party based on the space in our house.  In other words, I cannot fit L~’s entire 6th grade class on the floor of L~’s room.  As it is, I kicked S~ out of the house, and put half the girls in HER room.  I do not have a mansion.  Of course, though, while the girls were out on the Great Hunt, they ran into an uninvited classmate.  It was awkward.  [understatement.]

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One comment

  1. […] anyone remember last year?  Remember my after-the-fact affair with fate […]



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