Last weekend was my daughter’s second birthday party.  We were going to do something mellow — a picnic at the park with friends and family, no cooking, just takeout.   But it didn’t end up exactly as mellow as I planned.

Here I am helping Lainey blow out her candles

There was the issue of the picnic tables.  My nanny and I staked them out early in the morning.  But I hadn’t officially reserved them and multiple parties were now arriving in need of a place to sit and my tables were the only ones in the “open” section.   And there was also the issue of picking up food but not wanting it to sit out too long, which meant spending the morning in my car going back and forth and back and forth from my house to the park.

Anyway, I just finished packing the sandwiches in the car for my last trek to park.   The temperature outside was in the mid 80s, which meant the temperature in my car was in the mid 90s and I didn’t want the mayonnaise to spoil.  Plus, I just got a call from my softie nanny that a large Russian family who were having some sort of non-determinant party would now be joining us for the day at our tables.

So my daughter, whom I had been too busy to say hello to while in the midst of my “efficiency mode,” runs over to me with pure delight on her face, saying, “Mommy, Mommy,”  then trips, falls, and starts crying.  And since I’m so wound up, I barely notice and start heading to the door, leaving my crying daughter, who is still on the floor, to the care of my husband.

Now understand, my husband gives great care, but he can also call me on it when I’m not making the best of choices, so he picked up my daughter, handed her to me, and said, “Hold her.”  Of course I protested, we couldn’t afford the hospital bill if 35 people got sick.  But I also knew he was right.   So I stopped what I was doing, and I held her, for probably only 53 seconds, which is all it took for her to be back in fighting shape.  But more importantly, I remembered why I was doing all this in the first place.  (Then I rushed to the car to get those sandwiches out of the freakin’ heat.)

Overall, the party turned out great.  Everyone, including the Russians, had a wonderful time.  And after it was over, I held my daughter for a lot longer than 53 seconds.

I’d love to hear from you.  Who else has let the stress of a party cause you to make some bad choices?