Yesterday a seven year old’s birthday party made me cry, and it wasn’t even my seven year old. My daughter Prima tearfully explained to me that every girl in her class, except her, had been invited to the party of a classmate (hereafter referred to as “Birthday Girl”). Apparently, the Birthday Girl had shown Prima the large pile of invitations for all the other little girls, before she handed them out.
I am not a Helicopter Mummy. I don’t hover around my children anxiously trying to protect them from emotional and physical harm. Not me. No, I’m not a Helicopter Mummy. I’m a goddamn Stealth Bomber Mummy meets Special Prosecutor Mummy.
Firstly, I called my mummy friends from Prima’s class to collect evidence. Seven year old girls are unreliable witnesses and whilst their mummies are more credible, the hearsay rule rendered most of their testimony inadmissible.
I needed to know whether or not Prima was the only girl who hadn’t been invited because this would affect my response to her. I knew I had to explain to Prima that she won’t get invited to every party in life but I was hoping that in this instance she was not being deliberately excluded.
So I proceeded with a pre-emptive strike. I called Birthday Girl’s mummy. Yes, I called Birthday Girl’s mummy, and, feigning nonchalance, I told her very politely that I was not calling to ask for an invitation, I was merely inquiring whether Prima was the only girl who was not invited to the party or could it be that the party was smaller and involved only some of the girls?
It was a leading question, I know, but the mother sounded panicky and I hadn’t even morphed into Crazy Mummy yet. Turns out that all the girls in the class had been invited except Prima.
Later, as I kissed the tears from Prima’s eyelashes, I talked her through my Key Messages Matrix for this situation (I draft KMMs for many difficult situations. They’re not necessarily very good, but they help me manage my stress and remember what I wanted to say (I suffer from temporary amnesia under pressure). I would really welcome editorial assistance as I am probably going to need this KMM again).