October 16, 2017

 

Oort Cloud Oddities: Birthday Worms

 
 
 

She's only three, but I'm already ruining my daughter's social life. Just by being me.

Where I grew up, there wasn't much in the way of preschool, so my parents found a pack of wolves with affordable hourly rates and decent references. I still fondly remember some of the kids I went to wolf daycare with. A hairy boy named JoJo who loved the circus. A kid named Jack who was always playing records for us. A set of twins who were always building elaborate cities out of blocks and talking about how, to be done right, that sort of thing couldn't be done in a day.

Though I learned a lot, there were two things the wolves didn't offer: Cooked meat and birthday parties.

It's not that the wolves didn't celebrate milestones in the process of coming of age. But instead of a specific day on the calendar, they would occasionally pause their activity of gnawing on a caribou carcass or passing out milk and cookies before nap time to look at one or the other of us. "Does JoJo look bigger to you?" they would say to each other.

"Why, yes, I do believe he's big enough to graduate from eating mice to something a little larger, like a lemming." Then there would be a small celebration where JoJo would be presented with his first whole lemming, while the rest of the preschoolers snacked on mice or other live prey of an age-appropriate size. There would be plenty of laughter and games, but none of the elaborate hoopla that makes me so uncomfortable with kid's parties these days.

My daughter Lillian has received six or seven invitations to birthday parties already. I find that remarkable, since she only really knows four kids well enough to remember their names, and two of those have yet to hold their first party.

People we hardly know have invited us to attend huge events that rival the antebellum south or idle British aristocracy for extravagance and pomp. Clowns, pony rides, gift packages, face painting, rhinoplasty, live Neil Diamond performances, the works.

I think it's very kind that the parents staging these events don't want any little children within a seventy-five mile radius to feel left out. I believe I saw one efficiency-minded mother hire a crop duster to blanket a residential area with invitations, just to be sure she didn't miss any kids. I suppose it would be crushing to be the only kid west of the Rockies not invited to little Peyton's 3rd birthday masque.

But back in my day, if everyone was celebrating Romulus and Remus being big enough to eat a whole rabbit by themselves and a kid didn't get a party vole, the wolves would just look at you and say, "God gave you those milk teeth for a reason, kid." We'd take our blankies off into the woods, catch a squirrel, and be back to the party before it was time to play "chase the crows from the carcass".

So I normally weasel out of the party invitations Lillian gets. My peace of mind depends on there being, pound for pound, more tonnage of adults present than children in any given situation and me knowing at least one person present well enough to say the word "hemorrhoid" in front of.

But then we got an invitation from one of Lillian's closest little friends.

I've known this kid since before Lillian could walk or he could be trusted not to go #2 in his pants. We used to dig for worms together at the playground. We adore his entire family. His fifth birthday was not something either Lill or I could bear to miss.

We came up with the perfect gift. Fisherman's Warehouse carries little worm farms that will turn live bait a gorgeously gross green. We wrapped one up with a 12-pack of nightcrawlers. At the pizza party, Lill's little friend opened them and then gave me a look that said, "What's wrong with you, woman?"

"Look," I pointed out to him. "They're... DISGUSTING!!!"

His face suddenly lit up with a smile like a high-intensity halogen spotlight. It made his day. And mine, too -- because when word of the worms gets around, I'm betting the only invitations we get will be from people like the little boy and his mom, who know us -- and love us anyway.

Comments and court orders to stay at least 100 yards from your own child's birthday party to Alex.Queen@gmail.com.

This article first appeared in the Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin.

Article © Alexandra Queen. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-03-20


0 Reader Comments
Add your own comments!
The Piker Press moderates all comments. The commenting policy can be found
here.
Name

Email

Comments




In the same series:

Oort Cloud Oddities: Who wears the dress in this kitchen?
Oort Cloud Oddities: Shoe sizes
Oort Cloud Oddities: A Woman Who Likes Football
Oort Cloud Oddities: Alternative Pest Control
Oort Cloud Oddities: Bathrooms
Oort Cloud Oddities: Art is suffering
Oort Cloud Oddities: James Lick's Monument
Oort Cloud Oddities: Efficiency Kitchen
Oort Cloud Oddities: Bird Flu
Oort Cloud Oddities: Ford
Oort Cloud Oddities: Women's Equality Day
Oort Cloud Oddities: Spring Horoscopes 1
Oort Cloud Oddities: Name Branding
Oort Cloud Oddities: Florida Pizza
Oort Cloud Oddities: Off the Path
Oort Cloud Oddities: Coffee Feng Shui
Oort Cloud Oddities: Family Travels
Oort Cloud Oddities: April 15
Oort Cloud Oddities: Skidmarks and Gay Cowboys
Oort Cloud Oddities: Birthday Worms
Oort Cloud Oddities: Pizza Parent Pain
Oort Cloud Oddities: Sharkey the Impaler
Oort Cloud Oddities: Internet Birthday
Oort Cloud Oddities: Fourmyle and the Hat
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cupid and the Tomkitten
Oort Cloud Oddities: 50 is better
Oort Cloud Oddities: Smarter Clothes
Oort Cloud Oddities: Worm Guy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Scary Workout Videos
Oort Cloud Oddities: 2005 in review
Oort Cloud Oddities: Kentucky Fried Christmas
Oort Cloud Oddities: Gross Gifts
Oort Cloud Oddities: State Slogans
Oort Cloud Oddities: Black Friday
Oort Cloud: Pot and Brain Growth
Oort Cloud Oddities: Naughty Wasp
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cats Hate Winter
Oort Cloud Oddities: Potty Helmet Laws
Oort Cloud Oddities: Foraging
Oort Cloud Oddities: Two-Stroke Engine Man
Oort Cloud Oddities: Corrupting Games
Oort Cloud Oddities: Spinach!!
Oort Cloud Oddities: Talk Like A Pirate Day
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mutant Mice
Oort Cloud Oddities: Beer and Football
Oort Cloud Oddities: Dragonfly Swarm
Oort Cloud Oddities: Miss Plastic Surgery
Oort Cloud Oddities: Hydrophobic Felines
Oort Cloud Oddities: Forum Fonts
Oort Cloud Oddities: Astrological Hair
Oort Cloud Oddities: Martong Theme Restaurant
Oort Cloud Oddities: Axing the TV
Oort Cloud Oddities: Hempopotamus
Oort Cloud Oddities: Growing Pains
Oort Cloud Oddities: British Sporks
Oort Cloud Oddities: Night of the Living 'Do
Oort Cloud Oddities: Stuck in a Tree
Oort Cloud Oddities: Picasso
Oort Cloud Oddities: Finger Food
Oort Cloud Oddities: Safe Surfing
Oort Cloud Oddities: DIY Therapy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Steroids and Baseball
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mrs. Mike
Oort Cloud Oddities: Oscar Birthday
Oort Cloud Oddities: Gift Enema
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cry Room
Oort Cloud Oddities: HMO blues
Oort Cloud Oddities: FishinFoo
Oort Cloud Oddities: Squid Eye
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cantina
Oort Cloud Oddities: Beese
Oort Cloud Oddities: Health Care
Oort Cloud Oddities: Squid-Eye Love
Oort Cloud Oddities:LibraryDay
Oort Cloud Oddities: Yeast
Oort Cloud Oddities: Fantasy Playoffs
Oort Cloud Oddities: 2004 In Review
Oort Cloud Oddities: Kid Rock Dog Farts
Oort Cloud Oddities: Rainy Day Raiders
Oort Cloud Oddities: Birthright Pie
Oort Cloud Oddities: Bruce-Free Thanksgiving
Oort Cloud Oddities: Napoleon
Oort Cloud Oddities: Meaningful Books
Oort Cloud Oddities: Viking Sanchez
Oort Cloud Oddities: Halloween Costumes
Oort Cloud Oddities: Key Ring Synergy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mohawk Mommy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Clerihews
Oort Cloud Oddities: Learning Poetry
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Genesis of Gender
Oort Cloud Oddities: Sightseeing
Oort Cloud Oddities: Movie Merchandise
Oort Cloud Oddities: Lotion
Oort Cloud Oddities: Writers Online
Oort Cloud Oddities: Clothing
Oort Cloud Oddities: Summer Movies
Oort Cloud Oddities: Cheap Summer Travel
Oort Cloud Oddities: Galapagos TV
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Horse Whisperer
Oort Cloud Oddities: Nazgul Gardeners
Oort Cloud Oddities: Peevil Knievel
Oort Cloud Oddities: Body Image
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Pickle Jar
Oort Cloud Oddities: Ground Squirrels
Oort Cloud Oddities: CAPTCHAs
Oort Cloud Oddities: Zombie Infection
Oort Cloud Oddities: Haiku War
Oort Cloud Oddities: 2004 Campaign Advice
Oort Cloud Oddities: Child rearing
Oort Cloud Oddities: Hemingway
Oort Cloud Oddities: Clarence Darrow
Oort Cloud Oddities: The 55 MPH Pig
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Mommy Voice
Oort Cloud Oddities: Extreme Hobbies
Oort Cloud Oddities: Presidential Candidates 2004
Oort Cloud Oddities: Free-verse Neanderthal
Oort Cloud Oddities: Coffee Shop Offices
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mad cow
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Enzo vs. the Metro
Oort Cloud Oddities: Real Estate Crocs
Oort Cloud Oddities: Christmas Gifts
Oort Cloud Oddities: Bodice-Rippers and Football
Oort Cloud Oddities: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Oort Cloud Oddities: Aunt Mary and the Pumpkin Pie
Oort Cloud Oddities: Eat or be eaten
Oort Cloud Oddities: New Year's Resolutions
Oort Cloud Oddities: World Beard and Mustache Championships
Oort Cloud Oddities: Grandpa Queen and the Chicken of Doom
Oort Cloud Oddities: Night of the Satanists
Oort Cloud Oddities: Uncle Buddy
Oort Cloud Oddities: Mes de los Muertos
Oort Cloud Oddities: Weapons of Mouse Destruction
Oort Cloud Oddities: Pride comes before a wet pants leg.
Oort Cloud Oddities: Celebrity Relationships
Oort cloud oddities: The rise and fall of the gastropod Mafia
Oort Cloud Oddities: The Devil's Agent
Oort Cloud Oddities: National Nude Recreation Week 2003

Other articles by Alexandra Queen you might enjoy...

Unfit Mother Goose
Eternal Monday Afternoon
Growing Up Wrong
Isoflavones and Black Cohosh
WikiWikiWebster 07
&#%*in' Harvest
Rain, Rain Go Away.
Riding in Cars with Cherries
Peek of the Week 333
Raccoon Mansion
Blair Witch Snail Swap Project
With No Announcement
Monkey Business
Peek of the Week 285
Heart Brake
Food for Thought
Peek of the Week 244
Red Shirt
My Friend Clucka
Peek of the Week 229
Peek of the Week 224
Random Comic
Lichloved 88
Review: Death Race (2008)
Lichloved 87
Lichloved 85
Lichloved 86 - Bonus!
Lichloved 84
Lichloved 83
Lichloved 80-somethin' Synopsis