Note to readers: I realize we've had a little hiatus here. There has been some upheaval among our collective. Apologies for the lack of content. Today's post is not your typical veterinary whingefest - today, we are discussing the only primate species we cannot legally diagnose or treat. We'll return to more of a veterinary focus shortly thereafter. Thanks for your understanding.
Here at the VBB residential branch we just hosted a small overnight soiree for 4 x 5th grade girls, plus the in-house crew. Preparing for something like this involves a massive effort - after all, when you're having guests, you need to clear a path to the bathroom. But somehow we prepared and were ready and waiting for the guests to arrive at 5 PM on the appointed day.
The clock ticked 5 PM. The doorbell rang. Our first guest! Her mom briefly chatted with Dr. VBB & then made her merry escape, while the girls ran off giggling to start having fun. Over the next hour the other guests trickled in, but before the last one had even arrived, we had our first crisis. "Moooooo-ooooooom!" came the plaintive cry.... "Sarah can't find her glasses!" *sigh*
I tried to pass the buck. "Oh, she probably just forgot to bring them. She couldn't have lost them already. She's only been here for 10 minutes and you've only been in one room of the house. Surely she didn't bring them..." but to no avail. "Look mom!" said my beloved but smarter-than-me offspring, whose nom-de-blog shall henceforth be Rachel (I always liked Jennifer Aniston's hair on Friends!). She shoved her (used, handed down) iPhone 4 into my face to play me a video she'd taken of her friend running up the stairs right after arrival - the glasses clearly visible on her cute little face.
*sigh* Where did I put that bottle of wine I opened when I was making stew earlier?
Meanwhile, we were still waiting on the final guest at 6 PM, but the crowd was getting restless from the smell of the pizza waiting in the oven warmer. "Dr. VBBeeeeeeee! We're STAAAAAARVING!!!!" was their war cry, and the cut up apples and/or salad I offered seemed to be invisible to them. In an effort to forestall a coup d'etat, Mr. VBB & I started slinging pizza. The doorbell rang just as the last slice was placed on the table & thank goodness it was our last guest. Mom was suitably contrite, although she did attempt to blame-shift their tardiness onto the Ikea furniture people who showed up late and took forever. Although unclear on how that interfered with her ability to phone or text or email or even send a carrier pigeon to say she'd be an hour later than she had said she'd be, I smiled & nodded and brought the child in to join her friends.
Now, I've known this girl for seven years. She's been to our house before. I knew she had some issues but I didn't know how much worse they'd gotten over the past year. She's like a young, female, Woody Allen. So, Woodina looks at the pizza in front of her and says "I don't think I feel hungry. My reflux is acting up. I'm going to just sit here for a while." OK then. Everyone else is eating and laughing and Woodina is sitting there looking a little sad. I asked her if I could get her anything or do anything for her -- "No. I'm fine, thank you. But just so you know, I brought some alcohol wipes & bandaids with me, because you never know when you need them." OK then! But in about 5 minutes she wanted to call her mom. She called her mom (who I happened to know was on her way to meet friends for dinner out) and asked to be picked up. Mom said nope, stick it out a while longer. Crying ensued. I intervened by showing her our cat, Wilbur. Woodina loves animals so she cheered up a little bit and returned to the table.
The meal ended, the girls began watching their chosen entertainment - Camp Rock. During the movie Rachel's iPhone (which I had taken away after she'd shown me the video) started to receive texts from her friend Jezebel, who is sitting next to her on the sofa. "No afence, but this is BORING!" "do you like this 4 reel?" "This movie is immachurr." I need to speak to the girls' English teacher, obviously.
I walked over to where the girls were sitting on the sofa (several feet behind Sarah, who was sitting up close to the big screen tv due to having lost her glasses....) & inquired of Jezebel "hey - looks like your phone is distracting you from the movie. Want me to put it over there with Rachel's?" She said "no, I need it here. I am texting. About private things, from my private life." OKaaaaaay. Whatev, as the kids say.
Meanwhile Mr. VBB finally finished making the popcorn I told him to start making what seemed like a million years ago. I poured it into the cute little popcorn boxes I'd bought & started handing them over to the girls. Rachel immediately needed more melted butter. Woodina wasn't sure if she should eat it or not but decided to try it, and then started to worry that she'd made the wrong choice, because it might make her have reflux, and she wanted to discuss it with her mom. Sarah dropped some pieces and couldn't find them on the carpet because she couldn't see. Jezebel said she can't have popcorn because of her braces but she can have pretzels or chips if we have those, and then texted "WTF popcorn" to Rachel's phone. I deleted that text.
The doorbell rang again. Who could that be? Oh. Right. The dogsitter was returning DBB after a hopefully-exhausting day at Dog Camp. There was a joyous kerfuffle as the girls all received slobbery-faced kisses and then DBB retired to her usual retreat under the kitchen table for a nap.
FINALLY the movie was over & it was time for ice cream sundaes and the obligatory happy birthday song. I'm pleased to report that was largely uneventful, although Jezebel thought our flavors (salted caramel, mint chocolate chip, chocolate, and coffee ice creams) were weird and abnormal, while Sarah was just a little bit sad about the salty part of the caramel. Rachel opened her presents and everyone squeed excitedly over them. Well, except for the Rainbow Loom - I think everyone in the room already owned at least one and I know we already had four of them in our house before this new one which we can hopefully regift. Although now I'm wondering - maybe this Loom has been regifted a million times already. Maybe all the moms are just passing it around. Maybe I need to BREAK THE CYCLE! Heh. Anyway. Then they (FINALLY) disappeared into the basement to play with the new toys.
At some point Rachel's little sister Leah came up hysterically crying. Our guests graciously talked her back down and things were quiet for about an hour. Bliss. Woodina did call her mom about every 20-30 minutes because she missed her so very much.... and then eventually at about half past midnight, she couldn't take any more, and demanded to be picked up. Her mom arrived with their dog in tow, and informed us it was just as well Woodina needed to be picked up, because Fuzzyface had been unable to sleep without Woodina to cuddle. Bleary-eyed, I suggested that next time she simply bring Fuzzyface to our house. I may live to regret that one!
I passed out on the sofa at about 2 AM, and woke for the final time (after several interruptions because of the cat being a CBB & jumping on my face) at 6 to peals of laughter emanating from the basement campgrounds. Goody. I have enough time to shower before work! Oh wait. Sarah heard me get up and came upstairs to ask if we'd found her glasses. Cue another full-house search that completely failed to find the glasses, but succeeded at using up every last minute before I had to head to work.
I woke Mr. VBB and put him in charge of breakfast and headed over to VBB central. Today's agenda includes several new puppies and an obstipated cat. I hope no one notices I'm rumpled, crabby, exhausted, and wearing yesterday's clothes.
Late-breaking news: Mr. VBB texted me a cute picture of the mob having breakfast. We'd offered bagels & cream cheese or butter, assorted fruit, two types of cold cereal, milk, orange juice, or oatmeal. Jezebel had, however, requested (and received) a swiss cheese omelet. She did eat the entire thing without complaining, though. Good for her I wasn't in charge of breakfast is all I can say! I can't wait to see her Instagram feed when I check Rachel's phone later. I will totally bust her if she has posted anything negative about this party!