Suck-havior #1: The party was scheduled from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m., which meant that Quinn, in a pre-school 20 minutes away that also lets out at 2:30 p.m., would have to be picked up early. What would non-sucky parents do? First, they would have a rational conversation about this dilemma, and would come to the conclusion that would yield the least amount of trauma for everyone involved. They would not half-heartedly and while simultaneously answering the phone, glancing over someone's homework, and wondering if The Office was going to be a re-run, come to the realization that a conversation was necessary and proceed to blurt out the first vague solution that came to mind (but this is precisely what John and I did). Next, they would pick up the younger child, intelligently, craftily even - because non-sucky parents are usually crafty, and we are not - after lunch but before class nap time. This way, the non-sucky parents' child would not be forced awake out of a deep sleep before being dragged across town to his brother's class party. That child, the one that belongs to the non-sucky parents - he sure is lucky. Quinn really wants to meet that kid, and trade lives with him.
Suck-havior #2: After half-consciously forming our completely off the cuff, non-thought-through decision that John would simply - it would be so simple! - pick Quinn up early and come straight to Bryce's school, there was The Question Of The Costume: should we try to pack the bulky bendy plastic turtle shell and crackly thin mask and stretchy pants and fake muscles into Bryce's tiny little school backpack? Because we sure as hell couldn't, I don't know, SEND THE COSTUME WITH HIM IN A DIFFERENT BAG, could we? No, that is what non-sucky parents would do. What WE did was say, hey, John could just bring the costume with him, along with the groggy and volatile three-year-old! PERFECT. When I got to Bryce's school from work, I couldn't find him. Another mom approached me: "Bryce was crying because he didn't have his costume, so one of the teachers took him up to the library to use one of the school costumes." This paragraph is over, because the point has been made. Thank you, other mom. Thank you, teacher. Thank you, most of all, Bryce's tears over being the only one without a costume and with stupid, late parents. You completed my paragraph for me. Which really, in and of itself, proves some profound level of suckitude, doesn't it? That's great.
Suck-havior #3: Did we bring a costume for Quinn? No we did not. In this case I'm not sure it would have mattered, though, since he was pretty focused on being blatantly miserable and defiant, what with being torn violently from the arms of heavenly, blissful sleep and all. Still, all of the other parents there with younger siblings of Bryce's classmates had had the foresight to bring costumes for the younger ones. Boring old un-costumed Quinn was walking around with a scowl on his face, and a plastic sword in his hand - I would have been worried about that part if he hadn't been half-asleep at the time.
Suck-havior #4: Once Bryce donned his real costume and asked 72 times why we'd been so late (with wide, hurt eyes, since all the other guilt-inducing factors weren't enough), I tried to help him with some of the halloween-centered crafts and activities that the class parents had painstakingly created. I also tried to make up for our suck-haviors by involving Quinn.
Me: Bryce, do you want to add gum drops or M&Ms to your cupcake?
Bryce: Yeah! Both!
Quinn: I DON'T LIKE CANDY.
Me: I know, Quinn. You don't have to eat it, but if you want to decorate a cupcake, you can.
Quinn: I WANT TO SIT DOWN.
Me: Here's a chair. Let me help you.
Quinn: I'M HUNGRY.
Me: Okay, let's go find a snack.
Bryce: Speaking about being hungry, I really need a drink.
Me: There's some water over there--
Quinn: I WANT TO SIT DOWN!
Me: Okay! Come on, let's go get a snack and find a chair next to the food. Here are some chips. You like chips! Do you want some?
Quinn: ARE THERE BEANS TOO?
Me: Sigh. No. There aren't any beans. There are chips and there is dip. There are graham crackers and cookies and candy. I know you don't like the sugary stuff. Would you like some chips?
Bryce (from across room): I'm thirsty!! I need a drink! MOM? Mom! I'm thirsty! Remember?
Me: Quinn, hold on. Bryce, here. I'm physically handing you this water even though it was right where you could see it. Are you good now?
Bryce: Can't talk. I'm making my cupcake.
Me: Here's a chair for you, right next to the chips.
Quinn: I WANT SOME BEANS NOW!
Me: Quinn, there aren't. any. beans.
Quinn (throwing chips): NOOOOOOOOO! I WANT SOME BEANS! RRRIIIGGHTT NNOOWW!!
I will wail and gnash my teeth, for I am fatigued and beanless.
Me: Hey, John?
John (snapping pictures of the class, pretending not to know us): Yeah?
Me (holding two plates and Quinn, precariously perched to keep him from swatting any more food off of said plates): I. Need. Some. Help. Here.
John: Quinn, what is it?
Quinn: I WANT SOME BEANS!
John (confused): Wha...?
Me: He's throwing a fit about everything. He's obsessed with beans. There are no damned beans. But he won't eat the chips without beans, apparently. Oh, and he's hungry and he wants to sit down. Except that he's not. Sitting down. He's standing and screaming about beans.
John (backing away slowly, hoping I won't notice): I think I hear someone calling my name. Yep. Yeah, I do. It's one of the teachers, uh, wanting a picture of something... I'll be back. Sometime. Maybe.
Who signed me up for the suck parents? Thank God I have this chocolate.