“Hi! I’m Ely… the stepmom!”
[insert fake smile]
“Welcome! Oh this must be…
[insert pause while I fake-patiently await oversized raging hormonal pre-teen number 37’s name. Also- what the hell are these kids eating? Are they all on steroids?! They’re giants! 6 foot tall little boys and 12 year old girls on their periods everywhere and are those implants?! Is that even legal?! Nope. They’re huge real boobs holy shit!]
…Oh YES OF COURSE! Johnny! Hey Johnny ready to party?!”
[insert overdramatized enthusiasm and oversized smile]
Johnny and mom #37 are now just blankly and awkwardly staring at me. #37 has officially decided it’s very likely that I smoke crack but she has shit to do and this is her one shot to go solo-shopping and have brunch with the girls so fuck it. She’ll take a risk. Crack or no crack, Johnny stays….
“WELL ALRIGHT then you can leave you bags over here Johnny! There’s the restroom and have fun!”
“…….Alright Mom! He’ll be just fine as long as he can swim!”
[insert fake chuckle]
Mom smiles blankly and says she’ll be back at 6 and never looks back. She repeats the words “shopping” and “mimosas” to herself like a positive morning mantra to get her through the day.
This is what my Saturday a few weekends ago basically consisted of for my stepdaughters 12th birthday “Flamingle” pool bash. But By the 45th fucking parent- I made sure I was too drunk to properly introduce myself and let grandma and dad take over the adulting-fuckeries. I was already at my wit’s end. Like Fuck this. Don’t leave your kid here. It’s not safe. I probably DO smoke crack and maybe the virgin piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris I’m serving your children AREN’T so virgin after all. And broken bones. So. Many. Broken. Bones. Will. Happen.
Forward: I kept the drinks virgin and stayed off the crack but there actually WERE broken bones so keep reading. This gets good.
I’d been planning this pool party for MONTHS. I sorta knew it would end in chaos and mayhem and possibly an entire city burned to ashes as soon as my stepdaughter told me she’d passed out 80 invitations to just classmates. She also made it pretty clear that her party needed to be bigger and better and bad-ass(er?) and hotter and hipper and well- no pressure right? And I know what you’re thinking: The little shit. Don’t let her control you like that. Who’s the adult here? But here’s the thing- she deserved it. And also. I don’t think many people could ever understand what being a step-mom is actually like.
It’s harder than it looks. I was lucky enough that she was only 2-ish years old when she came into my life and so I’ve had all this time to essentially, “win” her love but even then- it’s been hard. She was a tough and insanely advanced 2 year old who wanted nothing to do with me. At 22 and childless, I was a lost domestic duck in the wild and unforgiving jungle of step-parenting.
But I never budged. I never let it get to me. I never complained. I never let her win. She was 2 and it wasn’t her fault things were changing and I was determined to love this child so hard she’d eventually give up and love me back.
Fast forward 10 years and she’s like my little best friend but the work will never end for me because I will forever continue to try to impress her and be the “cool” stepmom on the block. Because I’ve been in her shoes several times and most of all my experiences with stepparents were unfortunate. I won’t be that “less-than” step-parent. I refuse. So if this party was a big deal for her then it was a huge deal for me.
And needless to say, the decor and the details were phenomenal. I stormed through every fucking Target, Dollar Tree and Walmart in Miami and raided Amazon until I owned every possible pineapple and flamingo decoration known to man. Everything was gorgeous. It was every little girl’s dream! Not to mention the 18 foot water slide into the pool, the DJ, and the custom made Tiki-Bar her dad built her from scratch. Don’t roll your eyes. I saw that.
ps- that’s a fully hand painted palm-leaf tier. I know. I know.
56 raging, hormonal, pre-teenagers. That’s how many I was able to count being half-sober. Honestly, I think 15 people in my pool is too much. It’s not that big. But yet, over 50.
That’s how the hospitalizations happened.
Actually. This is how the hospitalizations happened:
50ish out of control carefree kids + 1 not-so-stable inflatable 18 foot slide= 1 dislocated knee/sprained ankle, 1 lower back injury (he turned out ok), and 1 swollen, black and blue face.
How’s that for an equation, eh?!
What’s beyond me is how zero parents stayed at the party and how not one parent hesitated to leave their kid in a stranger’s house under their “care”. I MEAN WE TRIED but do you think any of these rebelling fucking kids were listening to us?! No. The only thing that listened was the drink in my cup. It understood. It. just. Did.
Also. Ask me about how these little girls are so damn uneducated these days that they left my bathroom filled with bloody pads on the floors- open for all to enjoy and smell. Ask me about how they chewed gum and left gum stuck all over our freshly done floors around the pool area. Better yet- ask me about how a little girl and a little boy ended up locked up in the bathroom together. Ask me. I dare you. When confronted- they were all like “oh we were just talking…”
Listen you little slut. Do NOT “just talk” in my bathroom with a boy behind a locked door. I will take responsibility for broken bones. I will fucking not take responsibility for pre-teenage pregnancy. Nope. Not today. Not on my watch. You wanna fiddle with a tiny penis- you do that shit somewhere else.
Despite those few set-backs, and the fact that there were still random kids in my house past 9pm when everyone was supposed to be long gone by 6:30…it was a hit. Actually, the set-backs were not set-backs at all because apparently in the minds of these kids, disaster equals success. The more there is to talk about, the better. Go figure.