Last weekend Gracie had her first birthday party.
Well, it wasn’t her first birthday party, I mean we have one for her every year, but it was the first birthday party where she invited some of her friends from school.
Which is fine, but it’s not. Of course I want her to have friends over to celebrate her birthday but when the kids have friends over to our house it’s not a very relaxing time for me. Instead of sitting back and enjoying the fun I’m in charge of a handful of other people’s children and that is quite stressful. From the allergy issues to the religion concerns it can get quite overwhelming.
This one is allergic to dairy products. This one can’t have meat. This one can’t have pop. This one can’t have wheat. This one is going to be really early to the party and this one is going to stay late.
But we’re having pepperoni pizza, cake, ice cream and pop and the party starts at 5:00 and ends at 8:00!
Not to mention the fact that we have Sherman and Leroy, which adds a whole different type of stress when we have a house filled with kids who have never seen dogs that look like bears.
Which is why we have a set protocol when the kids are inviting their friends over for a party.
- Do they have dogs?
- Do they have large dogs?
- Are they afraid of dogs?
- Are they allergic to dogs?
These are very important questions I need to know before they come over. Don’t worry, these questions aren’t listed on the invitations, but maybe they should be in the future.
So for Gracie’s party she had 6 friends coming over because that’s all the nine year old girls I thought I could handle. Two of the girls had dogs. One girl had a large dog and the other a very small dog, so I knew I was in for teaching some dog education classes.
Before the girls arrived I had Sherman and Leroy in a separate room of the house. Actually, they were in the man cave with my husband doing man things.
As soon as the girls started to arrive I knew I had made the right decision to keep the dogs in the man cave. The first 10 minutes was the worse as each of them arrived and were greeted with high pitch screams from the ones that were already here. Then the screaming and running started and I almost made a mad dash for the man cave.
I wanted the girls to have fun, but I was scared. Scared of the girly high-pitched screams. I was a little girl once and I’m sure my screams weren’t that high pitched, but if they were I apologize to every adult that may have been affected.
Luckily the girls settled down pretty quick and all began playing a game.
I could hear Sherman whining from the man cave and I suppose it was driving my husband and the other men nuts because he yelled up to me that he was letting Sherman up to the party.
So Sherman made his way up and greeted all the girls with a friendly tail wag and some slobber which sent the girls off in a screaming fit.
Which is exactly when the dog education class took place and I immediately went into this mode. .
- No screaming by the dog.
- No putting your face by the dog.
- No running up to the dog.
- No pulling on the dog.
- One girl petting the dog at a time.
Are we clear?
Of course I went into more explanation with each rule but I don’t feel the need to go into that here with you because you all know the deal.
Then the floor was opened up for some Q & A.
The first little girl wanted to know why Sherman slobbered so much.
The second wanted to know how much he weighed.
The third wanted to know how much he ate and if he ate cats.
All very logical questions so far.
The fourth girl wanted to know if she could ride Sherman like a horse.
Oh no. The ride the dog question. A question that makes every responsible dog owner cringe.
I’m dealing with a child. I need to be delicate yet stern and try to educate as much as I can……………. but we ended up with this repetitive conversation instead:
Me: No you can not ride him.
Little Girl: Why?
Me: Because he’s not a horse, he’s a dog.
Little Girl: But he’s big like a horse.
Me: But he’s a D-O-G and one does not ride a dog.
Little Girl: Why?
Me: Because dogs were not made to be ridden. Their backs are not made that way. The bones in their back will break and you will hurt the dog and the dog could die. (so much for delicate)
Little Girl: If I was smaller could I ride him?
Little Girl: Did Gracie ever ride him?
Little Girl: Why?
Me: Because he’s a dog.
Little Girl: So I can not ride a dog, ever?
Me: That is correct. You can never ride a dog.
Then Sherman shook his head which sent slobber flying and the girls running and screaming, which in turn, ended our dog education class, and not a minute too soon because I was starting to get a twitch in my eye.
The rest of the party went on without a hitch and I’m happy to say that every girl left in one piece and no allergic reactions were had that I’m aware of. Leroy never made it to the party. He stayed down in the man cave. The vision of him trampling all of the girls as they ran squealing around the house was enough for me to have him sit this party out.
Another good party down in the books and a few more kids educated about dogs, maybe.
Little by little I shall reach them all.