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!)

Is This a Playdate Fail by Dad — or Perfectly Reasonable Behavior?

Did this Dad Make a Playdate Faux Pas? Is this a funny blunder or WHAT?  #humor #playdate #dad #baby #embarrassing #funny #kids

So then…I plop on the hotel bed, moving my files over so I can chat with my 9-year-old daughter Chloe back home.

Me: I’m so happy I’m almost done with my business trip! How was your day, honey?

Chloe: Great! After school, I went for a playdate at Maggie’s house!

I furrow my brow. That can’t be right.

Me: You mean Layla’s house?

Chloe: No, Maggie’s house.

Me: You mean Ashley’s house?

Chloe: No, MAGGIE’S house!

Me: You don’t mean the Maggie whose mom just had a BABY?

Chloe: Yes! Today was the first day they brought the baby home and I got to meet her!

Me: You had a playdate at Maggie’s house the SAME DAY HER MOM BROUGHT HOME HER BRAND NEW BABY?

Chloe: Yes! It was great! The baby’s so cute! I got to stay for dinner!

She prattles on and on about the baby –

and of course I make all the appropriate responses to share in her glee.

But the whole time I’m thinking: What the HELL?

When we finish, she puts her dad on the phone.

“Um…did you know you accidentally let Chloe have a playdate at Maggie’s house the same day her mom brought home the new baby?I ask, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Oh, that was no accident,” he says proudly. “Chloe asked if she could go see Maggie’s new sister, so I dropped her right off!”

“Did Maggie’s parents know about it first?” I ask.

“I dunno,” he says. 

“David! Don’t you think the last thing a sleep-deprived, just-endured-childbirth mom wants to see at her house on her first day home is someone else’s kid?”

“Oh come on,” he says. “It’s her 4th baby. She probably didn’t even notice our kid was there.”

Oh my God.

David’s a terrific dad, but sometimes I wonder if he understands basic social graces.

When someone has a new baby, you drop off a casserole.

Or a gift.

NOT your kid.

And CERTAINLY not for dinner!

To be fair, David’s the type who wouldn’t mind at all if the roles were reversed. If HE popped out a baby, he’d probably invite the whole neighborhood over as soon as we pulled in the driveway so he could proudly display his creation: “Tap a keg, grill some burgers, look what I just pushed out of my hoo-ha!” (or he-ha, as the case may be)

He was raised in a free-range neighborhood where kids constantly meandered in and out of each other’s homes, mooching meals whenever they were hungry, and everyone was cool with it.

I was taught that you don’t even call someone’s house before 10 am or after 8 pm – and never during dinner time – MUCH LESS just SHOW UP at their house!

Consequently David’s fine with anyone coming over anytime no matter what’s happening at our house. It’s practically like this:

“We’re having construction done at the house today – but come on over!”
“Sure, the kids all have the flu — but that’s ok — pop on by!”
“Don’t mind the termite fumigation tent – we’ll just barbecue in the backyard!”

OK, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the picture.

And as moms go, Maggie’s mom is very chill.

When my kids take a tumble and bleed – I rush to console them, disinfect the entire limb, bandage it carefully, and mollycoddle the child endlessly, while surreptitiously checking WebMD on my phone to insure no signs of sepsis.

When her kids report scrapes and cuts, Maggie’s mom just says, “You know where the band-aids are.”

And damn, if her kids aren’t much more resilient and independent than mine!

(I’ll be bandaging my kids’ paper cuts when they’re 45 and still living in my basement.)

Maybe it’s the large quantity of kids that makes these moms so chill?

As soon as I return to town, I drop off a beautiful gift, coo over the darling new baby, and make apologies for the awkward timing of the surprise playdate.

Maggie’s mom just smiles and shrugs – no big deal. The new baby in her arms starts to fuss, so she shoots her a look, like “Hey, you know where the boobies are.”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Who’s more observant of social graces – you or your spouse? Any funny examples? Am I crazy to think HE’S crazy for letting her have a playdate on Bring-Home-the-Baby Day?)

SERIOUSLY? Lady, You’re Killin’ Me Here!

YIKES!  Playdate Disaster - My Fault or Hers?  "Seriously, Lady, You're Killin Me Here!"  #funny #playdate #mom #kids #humor #sothenstories.

So then…I toss a couple toys behind the couch and shove the countertop contents into the junk drawer, just as the doorbell rings.

“They’re here! They’re here!” I shout, racing for the door.

But I’m the only one dashing, since my 1st grader Tucker is engrossed in his Legos-Hot Wheels concoction and not nearly as excited about this playdate as I am.

I’m eager to make new friends at his new school, for him AND for me, so I took the plunge and invited Carla and her son Steven over this weekend for lunch and playtime.

I open the door and they spill into the house, Steven running over to Tucker and his toys – Carla trailing me to the kitchen.

We chat amiably while I putter around, taking out dishes, turning on the oven. I love hosting people at my house, but I’m always anxious about what to serve – I’m worried they may not like it or I didn’t cook it long enough.

But I know today will be a homerun because I served this same lunch to my family last week and they loved it!

I place ham and cheese on French bread wedges, then slide them into the oven to get all warm and toasty.

I turn around with a flourish and a smile – only to see Carla’s face fall.

Uh-oh. What’s up?

I’m talking FANCY DELUXE ham (no Oscar Mayer, people!)

and FANCY DELUXE cheese (no Velveeta slices, y’all!)

and FANCY DELUXE French bread (no Wonder bread sandwich slices, friends!)

We’re talking PRIMO sandwich fixin’s! And I’m TOASTING them in the OVEN!

I even have regular mustard for the kids and FANCY DELUXE Grey Poupon for the moms.

GREY.POUPON.PEOPLE!

Carla says, “Uh…we’re Jewish so we don’t eat ham.”

Ack. Blunder #1.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” I blurt.

She blanches.

“Well, no, I mean…I’m not sorry you’re Jewish! I’m sorry I’m serving ham!” I say.

I quickly grab the remaining French bread. “How about just cheese then?” I ask brightly. “Kinda like a grilled cheese sandwich on French bread?”

Carla grimaces. “Well, it’s just that Steven is lactose-intolerant…”

Ack. Blunder #2.

Omigod. Now I’m panicking because my fridge and cupboards are not well-stocked, so I don’t have a lot of choices.

Lightbulb!

I fling open the pantry door and pull out every kid’s favorite: Peanut butter!

Carla’s expression says it all…

I sigh, resigned. “He’s allergic to peanuts, isn’t he?” I ask.

“Yep.”

Ack. Blunder #3.

“Oh, OK, heh, heh,” I say, laughing weakly. “I guess that leaves us with the French bread. So how does he feel about toast?

(If she says he has a gluten-free diet, I will commit hari-kari with this spatula right now.)

She smiles. “Toast is fine.”

I quickly scour the kitchen for side dishes and come up with grapes, baby carrots, and Oreos (which are a HUGE hit, by the way.)

And so, as I serve our first 1st-grade playdate toast, I cycle through these emotions:

1) I am the worst hostess in the world.

2) If her kid has this many dietary restrictions, couldn’t she maybe give me a heads up when accepting a lunch invitation? Come on, Carla, help a sister out! If my kid had these restrictions, I’m so obsessive, I’d probably travel with a constant supply of doctor-approved, rabbi-approved foods in individual hermetically-sealed packages, ready to whip out at a moment’s notice! Or at least I’d mention it when accepting an invitation to a meal!

3) What kind of rookie am I that I don’t have a few alternatives available like turkey or pasta, for Pete’s sake? And would it kill me to ASK guests if they have any dietary needs when I invite them to a meal? Get with the program, Darcy!

But as I watch Tucker and Steven laugh and talk and run and play – I realize what’s really important:

the “Day I Served My Guests Toast” is also the “Day Tucker Made a New Friend at His New School.” And that’s all that matters.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any culinary catastrophes on your playdates? Or food-related faux pas with guests at your parties, BBQs, or dinners? One time I put BBQ sauce on chicken breasts and BAKED them – and they all came out a weird shade of PINK so all my guests skipped that dish on the buffet table! Share any funny moments from your parties or playdates!)