I am not taking Paolo to the park anymore for the rest of the summer. We walked into another birthday party on Saturday that I had not planned to attend. Who does this twice? Seriously.
As we were leaving the playground, a little girl carrying a plastic Party City bag came crying down the sidewalk chasing after her mother who had walked too far ahead for the girl's comfort. Paolo ran right over to the girl, which surprised the hell out of me. He's compassionate, but that was way out of character. The girl stopped crying immediately when she saw him and said, "Hi, Paolo. Look what I've got for my party." No. Way. Not. Again. My body slumped as Paolo cheerily called back to me, "It's Jillian, Mama. It's Jillian from my class!" Well, of course it is. I have her party invitation on our goddamn refrigerator so I won't inadvertently find myself in this exact situation. Just kill me. Before Jillian's mother, who was hurrying back to her no-longer-crying daughter, could get close enough for a conversation, I flashed her a quick smile and herded Paolo out of the park. In other words, I ran like a chicken and never looked back.
I'm sure it won't be awkward at all when I run into Jillian and her mother at Madelyn's birthday party next weekend. She'll be all, "What, my little girl's party wasn't good enough for you?" And I'll just be honest: "Well, maybe if you would have hired some ponies like Madelyn's mom..."