So then…I dart around the craft table, setting out supplies in a wild-eyed frenzy.
It’s Group Playdate Prep Time — and I’m a whirling dervish setting up the kids’ activity for the 12 excitable 4-year-olds about to come crashing onto my patio for festive frolicking!
Sweat forms on my upper lip as I ensure I’ve thought of EVERYTHING.
I shall not be like my sweet friend Kim — who innocently packed her son’s adorable cow piñata with those individually-wrapped miniature chocolate bites — then hung the piñata on a backyard tree – 6 hours before the party — on a 102 degree day.
She unknowingly created a veritable cow “crockpot” where those little chocolates simmered and boiled and broiled. By the time the kids had all whacked and thwacked that poor cow, it burst open, spewing melted chocolate all over the place. It was HILARIOUS – to us, of course — but not so much to Kim – especially when her son gleefully yelled, “My piñata’s POOPING!”
And I shall not be like me — when I provided darling little treasure chest craft kits to the kids at the group playdate I hosted last summer. How was I to know the jewels intended for decorating the chests looked like delicious little candies, causing all the moms to hover nervously to ensure no one ingested a ruby or sapphire? A swallowed gem would mean a mom’s on poop patrol to reclaim that little “treasure.”
Nope, this time, I shall prevail. No Poop Patrols. No Pooping Piñatas!
I’ve cleverly purchased white t-shirts (in a variety of sizes!),
NON-toxic fabric paints (in a variety of colors!),
and brushes (in plentiful supply!)
plus stencils of amazing shapes and designs –
and plastic aprons for everyone!
I am “BRILLIANT CRAFT MOM!”
My sweet 4 year old Chloe and her pals have a blast decorating the white t-shirts.
Moms ooh and ahh over the stenciled hearts, flowers, and moons.
Kids painstakingly create intricate designs with many colors.
Moms and kids make adorable HANDPRINTS and stencil their NAMES on their shirts.
This craft is going over fabulously!
I take a moment to bask in my brilliance.
After snacks and games, my playdate guests make their way home, excitedly holding their personalized crafts aloft so the shirts can dry.
A spectacular success!
The next week, Chloe asks, “Can I wear my painted shirt tomorrow?” Sure!
I toss it in the washer, then when the cycle’s done, I pull it out – and the shirt’s completely WHITE.
WHERE THE HELL did the paint go? Where’s the butterfly – the rainbow – the lopsided flowers – the stenciled “Chloe?”
I look in the washing machine. No paint.
So now I have a frikkin’ plain white t-shirt.
I’m holding the thing in complete shock, wondering what I’m gonna tell Chloe.
And then I gasp because I realize that if this happened to OUR shirt – it probably happened to the shirts of our 12 playdate guests!
Oh.My.God. HOW EMBARRASSING!
Did I buy the wrong paint? The wrong shirts?
I Google “fabric paint washed off shirts WTF!” — and see directions about PRE-washing the shirts – ensuring they’re 100% cotton – IRONING the painted designs with wax paper to SET the paint before washing it – and all SORTS of other things that might’ve prevented my DISAPPEARING DESIGN FIASCO.
I explain it all to Chloe and throw myself on the mercy of the court. She’s quickly mollified by a rousing game of hide and seek and 3 Oreos, so the UN-painted shirt is quickly forgotten.
But here’s the odd thing. I don’t receive one phone call or text about the disappearing paint from ANY of the moms who attended the playdate!
So help me solve the mystery:
a) They’ve never WASHED the shirts – they just let their tykes re-wear the painted shirts over and over without cleaning them!
b) Their kid hasn’t WORN the shirt yet, so it’s a little surprise time bomb just waiting to go off as soon as they try to wash it.
c) The moms have ALREADY washed the shirts, discovered the paint disappeared, and are much too polite to ever mention it to me.
c) Mine’s the ONLY shirt that turned white. (IhopeIhopeIhope)
— Darcy Perdu
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(Any similar disasters at your parties or playdates? Can you solve the mystery of the silent moms? Give me your best conspiracy theories!)