We began on the wrong foot by arriving late, because P thought dinner began at 7:30 p.m., so we were half an our late. When we arrived the only two chairs available were on a table that happened to have three grandparent couples. They were itching to get their hands on Baby S and P and I were initially uncomfortable because we know how skittish she is about strangers. The lady to my right right away asked to hold her and I smiled apologetically and stated that Baby S is slow to warm up to people. I also had made a last minute decision to bring Funky Dog with us and it turned out to be a blessing because Baby S was clutching him tightly. She was obviously overwhelmed by the crowd (about 50 people) but as expected she kept close to us and said hi to EVERYONE. Even our server got several his and she was oh so taken with our little girl.
I was not too sure about attending because although I adore my baby girl, I attended the party last year and there was only one child, eleven months old, and it was not well received. The poor little guy is as active as Baby S and ended up spilling his father's water all over the table (some landed on me, but I am so over kiddie mishaps, it just does not bother me). However, P informed me that his employers requested that we bring Baby S. P works for a family owned business, and the couple's five children all work in various capacities at the lab. So I decided to suck it up and planned on making a hasty exit if her Taz Devil/Linda Blair's Exorcist self made a guest appearance. Hah! Baby S was awesome and now has a lot of grandparents as part of her fan club.
I did not realize that the gentleman sitting to P's left was the owner of the lab (I did recognize his wife and that should have clued me in) and I'm glad because I'm incredibly socially inept and I'm sure had I realized this the evening would not have ended well. The owner, Jim, really took a liking to Baby S and spent his time trying to coax her onto his lap. As a veteran grandpa, he took his time, talking and playing with Baby S. I told Baby S that he was safe and that it was OK to talk and play with him. Then out of the blue, Baby S walked over to him, he picked her up and she allowed him to hold her. P and I were stunned. Now why does she not listen to me when I say no?
I must disclose that this breakthrough occurred during the White Elephant gift part of the evening. You know, everyone takes a number, picks a gift from the tree, then others are allowed to steal your gift. Of course, the tackier the gift the better. We brought a replica of the leg lamp from A Christmas Story (P LOVES that movie and I HATE it), and it was a hit. Jim first got the lamp, it was stolen and he got an iPod. Well, Baby S went for the iPod and he just let her have it. Instant love connection for Baby S. Then after his iPod was stolen, he got an atrocious Halloween wooden doll. Our table mates were afraid that it would scare Baby S and asked him to put it away, but before he could, Baby S walked over to him, did the sign for up, then made baby noises and smiled at the ugly doll. She even pointed to Jim's nose, yikes, she willingly touched him!
Then Jim's 17-year old son, Andrew (a really nice young man), was on the prowl for a gift to steal. Baby S was on P's lap laughing along with everyone, when Andrew scooped her up, stated "I'm taking this one," and walked away with Baby S, to some serious loud laughter from the crowd. UGH, we quickly noticed Baby S's discomfort, and P quickly retrieved her (while smiling) as Baby S was reaching out to him, and reassured her that it was OK. Before P sat down Baby S was reaching out to me. I held her and reassured her that it was a game and that Andrew was safe. Poor baby, she just held me so tight. I went to the restroom and upon my return, Andrew was with P and Baby S making amends. We reiterated that Andrew was safe and Baby S held his hand and played with him while on the safety of Baba's lap. We did pay for this later at home as she would freak whenever I was out of her sight. Overall, we think that she did a great job in a situation that is not kid friendly. The banquet room did not even have high chairs and our two weeks in China feeding Baby S while on the Ergo came in very handy. She did not get a single morsel of food on her pretty dress, but I managed to ruin my blouse with raspberry sauce.
By the end of the evening, Sandy (the wife of P's coworker) could not stand it anymore and just asked to please hold Baby S. We tried it, and Baby S was able to remain in her arms for a few minutes. But Jim was her overall favorite much to Sandy's chagrin. Way to go Baby S, suck up to the owner. :) Oh, I stole Barbara's Nutcracker for Baby S and she loved the ugly thing. It is now sitting on the fireplace mantel for Baby S's viewing pleasure.
This morning we finally mailed Christmas presents. P made two trips to the post office because we needed to get the two most important ones out early (Abuela/Abuelo & Grandpa), due to the distance involved. While P stood in a hellacious line, I got the remainder ready. P returned to the post office without complaining and everyone should have their gifts before Christmas. I am SO glad to have that out of the way. We can now concentrate on J and Baby S. I have yet to do any wrapping for them and Baby S has a a lot of gifts from Christmas past.
All the pictures posted are from my phone, as I just got around to transferring them to my desktop.
Baby S finally allowed me to dress her in the pretty sailor jacket that her Nana sent. How did I manage to get in on her without the screeching, like you are pouring acid on my skin? I first said the magic words, "Want to go bye-bye with Mama?" And when Baby S hears those words, she immediately squeals, applauds and does her happy dance, and obviously her brain does not register as quickly during this time. I took advantage of the lapse and got her bundled up. Anyone that knows me realizes that the matching hair bow and sippy cup are a mere coincidence because I am incapable of coordinating an outfit.
Because my mother complains that she never sees me in pictures on the blog and because P says that Baby S is going to wonder who the heck raised her (that was mean). I do exist, but I am the behind the scenes type.
Her wheels are always turning, trying to find the stunt that will raise her Mama's heart rate. Upon seeing this picture, her Auntie C suggested a tracking device on her ankle. We believe it is allowed because Auntie C works protecting children (and was responsible for Mama's detour into said field), so if she suggested it... ;)