My six year-old son L is turning seven next month. Last year, I was the official organiser of, and the entertainer for, his birthday party – an event that was held in our backyard with 30 of his friends and cousins (plus his then four year-old brother).
This year, however, I have been dumped from these duties by my wife. The list of grave errors from 2012 that led to my dismissal in 2013 is pretty long, although most were honestly unintentional.
For instance, I didn’t know that one was suppose to fill the pinata with lollies and goodies. I genuinely believed that the lion-shaped papier-mache that I bought for last year’s party came with all the sweets already pre-loaded. Of course, I only realised my momental mistake when the kids finally smashed the pinata wide open, only to be greeted with nothing but air. What greeted me afterwards were 60 hostile eyes from the children, as well as plenty rolled-to-the-back-of-the-head ones from the parents.
I also forgot to make the rules perfectly clear to the kids during last year’s party that the treasure hunt (for toys and lollies) was strictly confined to the backyard. Needless to say, when I rang the bell for the activity, 32 over-zealous kids not only combed every inch of the yard, but also ranscaked the entire interior of the house, leaving a trail of destruction that took days to remediate.
However, this post is not about how I lost control of the birthday party for L last year. It is about how L is losing control of his love life this year, even at such a tender age.
You see, we have decided to hold L’s 7th birthday party next month at a ten-pin bowling alley, with a limit of 10 close friends from his school. Everything was set in stone. My wife was happy because I was in no way involved with the organisation. I was happy because there was no way I could reprise the co-ordinator role after last year’s debacle.
However, last weekend, while I was having dinner with my wife, she asked me whether L can increase the number of friend invitations for his bowling party to 12.
“No way, woman! 10 kids from school plus 6 of his cousins. That’s 16 times $35 per small head! The fact that I can’t do the math in my big head tells me we are already spending a fortune!“, I whinged.
“Yeah, but L told me he HAS to invite 2 more girls from school“.
“Why”? I asked, without being particularly interested in the answer.
“Well, L told me that if Madison and Grace find out that they haven’t been invited, he will be in serious trouble with each of them“, my wife whispered carefully, just in case L was easvesdropping, instead of sleeping in his room.
“Who the hell is Madison and Grace? Are they even close to L“?
“Well, close enough that each writes L these cute little love notes every now and then“, giggled my wife, beaming with pride that her elder son is already so popular with the opposite sex.
Up until that point, I was merrily enjoying my juicy steak while savouring a newly opened bottle of wine. However, upon hearing those words from my wife, I stopped mid-bite and stared at her with a dumbfounded expression.
“Come again?! WHAT love notes? How come I never heard of these love notes“?
Before my wife could respond, I continued: “In any case, if these are the girls that he’s close to, why has he invited Eizar and Emily instead“?
“Because Eizar and Emily have been writing love notes to L much longer than Madison and Grace“, my wife replied, with her giggles now degenerating into full-on hysterics.
I, on the other hand, didn’t find any of this at all funny. Aside from the burden of inviting all the girls who write love notes to him, I couldn’t help but fret over where this may lead to as L gets older. Judging by the appearances of their mothers who I have seen at school, some of these girlfriends could turn out to be real high-maintenance types – ones that could inflict serious damage to L’s fiscal and emotional well-being for many years to come.
Having said all that, I will OF COURSE extend the party invitations to those two girls – indeed to any other girls who have been writing cute little love notes to my son at school.
I will do it because the “Game” has begun and my son needs a dependable wingman. Someone who’s going to make him look good to the chicks, someone who’s going to be the Goose to his Maverick.
Most importantly, I will do it because the window of opportunity will be short – indeed, fleeting, before L realises that it’s not cool to have your father as the Goose to his Maverick.
Keep on pounding.