Most BRILLIANT Craft Fail

Most Brilliant Craft in the History of All Crafts -- but then something goes TERRIBLY awry... #FUNNY #playdate #party #kids #paint #arts&crafts #DIY #humor

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!)

How Would YOU React to this Mom’s Behavior at a Birthday Party?

Y'all Don't Come Back Now

So then…she stomps into the backyard with her son Jeremy and demands, “Is this a drop-off party?” I glance at my 6-year-old birthday boy Tucker cavorting with his friends on the sport court, more pals painting art projects, and yet more kids running around the backyard.

“Uh…no.”

She heaves a frustrated sigh, obviously displeased that she cannot just dump her child and split. I smile cheerfully and introduce myself, since it’s the first time I’m meeting Jeremy’s mom, Tammi. She says, “I thought this was a drop-off party.”

OK, Tammi, let it go.

“Oh, you’ll have fun. You probably know some of the other parents from first grade. Besides, it helps to have adults around with so much going on.”

She gives me a look. A hard look. A look that says, “Hey, your party invitation is an implicit contract for you to babysit my kid for 3 hours while I get a mani-pedi.”

She declines my offer of lemonade and clomps off, whipping out her cell phone.

When the other parents help with the art project, she’s on her cell. When the other parents help clean up, she’s on her cell. I’m pretty sure if a pack of wild Komodo dragons ran rampant through the yard, she’d be on her cell — standing on a lawn chair.

I call everyone in for dinner, a sumptuous homemade Mexican feast of enchiladas, tacos, and quesadillas.

Tammi walks in and says, “I didn’t know you were having dinner. We already have dinner plans tonight.” She frowns. “You really should have put something on your invitation about this.”

I smile cheerfully (through clenched teeth). “But I did! You know, the part that said: ‘Come enjoy our delicious Mexican fiesta. After running and playing, you’ll need a siesta!’”

She gives me a look. A pitying look. A look that says, “Poetry does not belong on a party invitation.”

“We have to leave now. We have plans.”

I smile cheerfully (hallelujah) and say, “OK, be sure to get Jeremy a party favor before you go.”

She does not move. “Jeremy wants to have cake before he goes.”

“Oh. We’re planning to do that at the end of the party.”

My husband David says, “Oh, we can do the cake now if you have to leave.”

I shoot him a look. A hard look. A look that says, “Don’t you dare accommodate this woman!”

But he is already looking for a large knife.

I turn to Tammi and say soothingly, “If we do the cake now, people will think it’s time to leave. I’m sure you understand.”

She folds her arms. “Jeremy really wants cake.”

Now I am looking for a large knife.

David says, “We could just cut off a little piece for him now and bring out the cake to sing Happy Birthday later.” (Since when is he the gracious host?)

“But it’s an ice cream cake and it isn’t thawed. It’s still frozen solid.” I’m determined to stand my ground, but David is oblivious to my frustration. In fact, he accepts this task as though it were a “Survivor TV show” challenge of strength and ingenuity!

After several attempts with a butcher knife, an ice pick, and finally an electric carving knife, he manages to hack away a chunk of ice cream cake for little Jeremy who ultimately declares, “I don’t like chocolate chip.”

— Darcy Perdu

(Before you ask, yep, this is all true. And yep, we learned our lesson.  Instead of inviting Tucker’s whole class to future birthday parties, we became a bit more discerning about inviting the kids he plays with most — and kids whose parents I don’t want to strangle.)

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Click these posts for MORE Moms who drive me CRAZY! —

I Don’t Mean to Be All Judgy on This Chick, But REALLY!

Seriously, Lady — Yer Killin’ Me Here!

(So how about you – any party guests or parents who exhibited comically ungracious behavior at one of your parties? Do tell!)

How would YOU handle this Party Doomsayer chick?

Party Doomsayer
So then…she asks, “Do you have a lifeguard on duty?”

I look at my backyard. All the kids are on the sport court or grass. The pool cover is pulled tight over the pool, completely obscuring the water — and the pool itself is surrounded by a 5-foot-tall locked iron fence.

And it’s November.

“No,” I say to the concerned mom. “Tucker’s birthday party is really just on the sport court and patio. There won’t be any swimming today.”

“Well,” she says, with a little self-righteous cock of the head. “You never knooow with kids…”

Oh, but I do know. That’s why I locked the pool fence, ensured the pool cover completely encased the pool, and invited all the kids’ parents so they could enjoy lunch out on the patio while simultaneously keeping an eye on their kids.

Also, the kids aren’t 4. They’re in 4th grade.

But I calmly reassure the mom, Karen, that no one will be admitted to the pool. I’ve just met her today – and I’m committed to making friends with all the parents at Tucker’s new school. It’s why I invited the moms to attend the party in the first place.  I know 25 kids is a lot for a birthday party, but we wanted to include all his classmates.

Karen seems slightly mollified by my assurance and wanders off.

I greet more parents, stack birthday gifts, and snap photos of Tucker having a blast with the kids from his class.

Then Karen sidles up next to me and says in a loud whisper, “Some of the kids are riding scooters and bikes!”

I look over to see a few kids riding around on the sport court.

“Yeah, that’s great,” I say. “Some of Tucker’s and Chloe’s old bikes are a little small, but the kids seem to be having fun.”

“But you don’t have enough helmets for all the kids, do you?” she asks.

Um, no. I don’t keep 25 helmets at my house. I have 2 kids, for God’s sake. So I have 2 helmets. And a couple of their old smaller helmets. Was I supposed to buy 25 helmets for this backyard party? I want to say this, but instead, I say politely:

“Oh, it’s just a flat sport court; they’re not going very fast. We’re in the backyard, so we’re not near the street at all. I think it’ll be OK.” I find myself feeling a bit defensive.

I check out the kids – will they be OK? They’re 9 and 10 years old – they look pretty hale and hearty – I think they’ll be OK, right? Right? This chick is messing with my head.

Chloe, age 6, calls me over to refill the chip bowl. She’s so excited to be at her big brother’s birthday party hanging out with older kids.

I meet more moms; we laugh and talk; I keep an eye on the kids; all seems to be going well.

Karen approaches me with a determined look. “You’re going to let the kids jump on the trampoline?”

As opposed to what? Sleep on the trampoline? Eat the trampoline?

“Um, yeah, it’s ok. My kids and their friends jump on it all the time,” I say.

“Trampolines are so dangerous!” she exclaims. “Someone could be paralyzed for life!”

“Well, um, OK, but it’s completely enclosed by that netting that’s like 10 feet tall – and it’s on the grass.” I say. “Besides, everyone’s parents are here, so if they don’t want their kid on the trampoline, I’ll let them tell their kid.”

She stares at me.

“And the party entertainment will be here any minute, so the kids will do that soon anyway. I think it’s OK if they’re on the trampoline for just a few minutes,” I say cheerfully, biting my tongue.

She says, “OK” with that tone of voice where the “K” part goes up an octave – like OKaaaaay, it’s on your head…

Now I’m second-guessing myself. Should I have forbidden kids on the trampoline? Was it a bad idea to have a backyard party?

I know accidents do happen, and I try to take reasonable precautions — but I don’t want to live in a constant state of paranoid panic.

Someone asks me where the ice chest is, so I hustle over and start handling other party duties.

The doorbell rings and the Sports Coaches enter. Tucker’s so excited! These Coaches run the after-school sports programs in our district – and you can hire them to run different playground games. The Coaches set out cones, flags, and various-sized balls on the sport court. The kids are hopping around, eager to start playing.

I glance in Karen’s direction to see if she’s going to grill me on liability insurance waivers in case the kids are injured while playing Capture the Flag.

Thankfully, she’s engaged elsewhere – she’s skulking around the perimeter of the yard, no doubt hunting for other hazards – poisonous mushrooms or a perhaps a rusty nail.

Meanwhile, Tucker’s grinning from ear to ear, running around the backyard with his classmates and the Coaches. We’re cheering and laughing as the kids play the games. It’s a gorgeous crisp sunny day and I’m really happy everything is going smoothly.

I slip into the house to set out the lasagna, pizza, salad, and the rest of lunch, along with some cookies in case someone prefers those to birthday cake.

Just as I set the cookies on the dining table and I’m about to relax, Karen is at my elbow saying, “Is everything here nut-free? Some people have severe allergies, you know.”

OMIGOD! She’s like the Harbinger of Doom! Honestly!

I ask through clenched teeth, “Karen, is your child allergic to nuts?”

“No,” she says, “but other people might be. Some people can die from eating nuts.” She says helpfully.

“OK, well, all the parents are here, so if one of them has a kid with a FATAL nut allergy, then they probably would have mentioned it by now,” I say, with just a teeny bit of exasperation seeping into my voice.

I am trying so hard to remain friendly and cheerful – but I swear to God, every time I turn around today, she’s like the frikkin’ Grim Reaper telling me how everyone at my party is going to die!! I’ve never been so stressed at a party in my life.

She cocks her head, shrugs, and says smugly, “Well, you never knooow…”

I stare at her. I march over to the patio, with her trailing quickly behind me.

I loudly ask the parents, “DOES ANYONE HERE HAVE AN ALLERGY TO NUTS?”

People look at me and shake their heads.

I say, “DOES ANYONE HERE DISLIKE NUTS?”

Now they look bewildered, but they still shake their heads.

I say, “WELL, THE COOKIES HAVE NUTS. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!”

And you know what else has nuts? This party. And Nut Numero Uno is Karen.

And the only person in danger of meeting her maker at this party is Karen.

Because if she says one more thing to me about drowning, fatal allergies, being paralyzed, or head injuries – or starts yakking about asbestos, choking, rusty nails, snakes, or enemy insurgents suddenly appearing in my backyard to mow people down with AK-47s, I swear to God, I will kill her.  (In the pool. While wearing a helmet. And eating nuts.)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Know any parents like Karen? How would you have handled her? Any party guests who drove you crazy? Share your tales of parties, infuriating parents, or bizarre guests!)

How would YOU handle a mom like this at your kid's party? #funny SoThenStories.com

Now THAT’S a Weird Christmas Tradition!

Larceny at the Christmas Party
So then…she offers me a tray of hors d’oeuvres – little warm puff pastries of cheesy-mushroom goodness. I pop a puff and say, “Wow – what a great Christmas party, Angie. Your home is so beautifully decorated — and the food is delicious!”

It’s a genuine “grown-up” holiday party with Christmas carols playing in the background while we enjoy a dinner buffet, eggnog, and decorated Christmas cookies.

(I’m in my 20’s — so most of the parties I attend are just booze-soaked excuses for people to hook up – the biggest nod to the Christmas spirit might be stacking the red Solo cups next to the green Heineken bottles.)

Angie smiles and says, “Thank you. I’m so glad you guys could make it! I’ve heard a lot about you from Matt.”

She points to her husband Matt who’s at the bar with my boyfriend, so we wave.

Then Carla and Ed, the couple who drove with us to the party, join us in the living room.

Angie juggles her tray to give them a one-armed hug since they’ve known each other from back in New York.

Carla says, “Angie, the decorations are great! And this tree is amazing!”

We turn to gaze at the beautiful Christmas ornaments tucked into the branches amongst the twinkly lights. It really is gorgeous.

We all chat a bit, then Angie says she needs to return to the kitchen for more appetizers.

As soon as her back is turned, Ed plucks a snowman ornament from the tree and slips it in his pocket!

Just then Angie turns back around to ask if we want more wine. I’m so surprised, I can’t speak but Ed casually says, “No thanks, we’re good.”

When Angie turns her back again, Ed pulls out the snowman and tosses it to Carla who scoops it up and slips it into her purse!

I look to the left and look to the right – but the other partygoers haven’t seen the ornament hurtling through the air, so they just keep right on talking, laughing, and drinking.

I don’t know Carla and Ed very well, but I’m the only witness, so I feel compelled to hiss, “What the hell?”

Ed says nonchalantly, “Oh, it’s a tradition.”

Carla nods.

I say, “What’s a tradition? Stealing an ornament is a tradition?”

Carla says, “Yeah. We do it at every Christmas party we attend.”

I furrow my brow. “Are you serious? You steal ornaments at every Christmas party you attend?”

Ed says, “Just one ornament.”

Carla shoots Ed a look like I’m the crazy one. “Yeah, just one ornament per party. Jeesh, Darcy.”

I sputter, “But, but, but…isn’t that wrong?”

My Catholic school-trained brain is about to overload. A) This is stealing. And B) This is stealing a decoration celebrating Jesus’ birthday! And C) THIS IS STEALING!

Carla waves her hand dismissively. “Oh, they’ll never miss it. Look how many ornaments they have! It’s just one little one.”

Oh My God, I’m pretty sure this is the same rationalization for heinous crimes perpetrated against humanity the world over.

“But what if it’s a special one – or they realize it’s missing?” I ask.

Ed says, “By the time people put their decorations away, they can’t remember every ornament.”

Carla concurs. “And besides, we never take a special one – like something personalized – like Baby’s First Christmas with the date on it — or like a touristy one from a vacation spot or something.”

Ed chimes in, “And we don’t take ones that look antique. We just take normal stuff like elves, Santas, angels, candy canes, penguins—”

Carla laughs, “Penguins! Oh my God, we have tons of penguins!”

Ed nods, sips his beer, and chuckles – “Tons of penguins!”

“What do you do with the ornaments?” I ask.

“Oh, we take them home and put them on our tree. We have quite a collection. Some really cool stuff. We’ve been doing this for years,” he says.

“Yeah,” says Carla, looking at Ed fondly. “Ever since we started dating.”

He smiles back at her. In their minds, this is simply a sweet little holiday tradition that they share.

To me, it borders on sacrilege! Their Christmas tree is laden with the profit of their sins! They’ve plundered the goodwill of their friends and neighbors to beautify their own home!

I ask, “But what happens when some of those people come to your house for a Christmas party? Won’t they see their ornaments on your tree and recognize them?!”

They look at me with bewilderment.

“Oh, we’d never have a party at our house,” says Carla.

“Yeah,” says Ed. “Someone might steal something.”

— Darcy Perdu



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(Unlike Carla and Ed’s sacrilegious thievery — MY holiday traditions include cookies and milk for Santa who writes only in BLOCK letters and opening one gift on Christmas Eve. What are some of YOUR Christmas traditions or funny holiday memories? Ever witnessed any larceny or questionable behavior around the holidays?  Share them in the Comments Section!)
Larceny at the Christmas Party P