Don't worry if you can't even handle this. I couldn't either.
Regular readers probably know Audrey well enough by now to guess at how this experience went. She's a monster on wheels. An animal. A tropical storm bent on destruction. Would she behave herself nicely at a classy event full of ladies drinking champagne? Doubtful. Let's just run through how the day played out:
On the way there, I had hoped that Audrey would take a nap, but she had other ideas. Instead, she spent the 40 minute drive removing one of her shoes and then sticking the Velcro of the shoe's strap to the crotch of her tights. This apparently amused her, so she pulled it off and stuck it on again. She did this several times until the crotch of her poor tights was pretty much just a big hole with runs going halfway down one leg. There was nothing I could do to stop her except watch in the rearview mirror and say "no!" in a very stern voice. She responded by repeating "no!" back to me in a tone that sounded a lot like mockery, stopping her behavior for 30 seconds, and then resuming it. The tights were trashed.
Once we arrived at the shower, Audrey and her cousin immediately launched into a fun game called "run and scream" in the hallway of the host's lovely home. They were enjoying every minute of "run and scream" until the shower host came up to them with a special treat: some pieces of gourmet waffle! One for each girl.
The host first offered a waffle to Audrey's cousin, but she was feeling shy so she shook her head "no." The party host then turned to Audrey and offered her a waffle ... and Audrey reached out both hands to grab both pieces of waffle. She then marched into the kitchen with her prizes clutched in her sticky little hands and sat down on the floor directly in the middle of where all the shower guests were socializing. Everyone had to make room for her and be careful not to step on her as she took bites from each piece of waffle, happy as a clam.
Luckily, I didn't have to deal with trying to move her to a better spot, because she only ate about 1/8 of each waffle piece before shouting "ALL DONE" and throwing them both on the ground. She then stood up, headed over to a pile of dog toys, and started playing with those instead.
Just lying on the floor in a nice dress playing with some slobbery dog tennis balls. Typical Sunday.
A bit later, it was time for lunch, so I made Audrey a plate of what I thought would be foods she would enjoy. But she did not eat. She just sat in her high chair in her Sesame Street super-bib, waving around an adult-sized fork and spoon for a while before eventually deciding that she was willing to eat the fresh berries on her plate, but nothing else. And she wasn't going to use her fork to do it.
Once all the berries had been hand-eaten, she realized that she hadn't touched me in at least five minutes, and that was entirely too long. So I had to dodge her bright red syrupy-sweet hands reaching for my arm and scarf like I was Neo dodging bullets in the Matrix.
DO NOT STAIN MY CLOTHING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Once I had her cleaned off, she ate a single bite of brussel sprout and then declared herself finished with lunch and tried to throw her heavy porcelain plate onto the floor. I decided that allowing her to continue sitting at the table was just a bad idea for everyone involved.
I wasn't finished with my meal, though, so I let her out of the high chair to run around for a bit. As all the shower guests were sitting at tables eating, I figured she couldn't get into too much trouble if she wanted to just wander around the house. There were no stairs, and all the doors were closed. She'd probably just go back to playing with dog toys or something.
It was then that she discovered the pile of shower gifts.
And they sang to her, and she could not resist them.
I knew that she had discovered it because she walked up to me holding a baby toy she had fished out of a gift bag. Horrified, I told her to put it back, so she did ... and picked out a different toy instead. The kid was shopping for toys among unopened gifts for a different baby. I need to get a cage to keep her in when we go out, I think.
One large enough for her to turn all the way around in, of course. I'm not cruel.
She then went shopping in the diaper bag of a 5-month-old baby, finding several items she liked and putting them with her stash of dog toys. If you gave her a rattle to shake at home, she'd look at you like you were crazy because duhhh, she doesn't want to play with stupid boring rattles anymore. But when she finds a rattle while digging through someone's bag at a party? Well then it's probably the greatest toy of all time!
My favorite thing about this is that it isn't mine and I'm not supposed to have it!
Once everyone was finished with lunch, it was time for dessert. I got a piece of chocolate mousse cake and sat on a low step so that Audrey could join me and share the cake. I gave her a bite, and she ate half and spread the other half across the entire left side of her face, creating another 'dear God we're all wearing nice clothes' emergency. I guess the part she actually did eat was delicious, though, because she became an absolute monster after that. She barely let me eat any of the cake myself, as she sat there barking at me to give her more and more and more. I'd say that all told, the cake division was 60/40 in Audrey's favor, even though I'm more than six times her size. She literally ate berries and chocolate cake for lunch and nothing else (okay, and one bite of brussel sprout). Sometimes, it's easier to just let it happen than to argue, though. She could have a spinach squeeze pouch later.
For those times when injecting nutrition directly into your child's veins seems impractical.
When the guest of honor sat down to open gifts, Audrey haunted the pile of opened gifts like a stray dog at a barbecue, looking to see if there were any toys she wanted for herself. She brought hairy dog toys up to people and placed them in the laps of their fancy clothing, saying "thank you!" She had a cup of milk and poured some on the floor, then tried to 'clean it up' by spreading it around with her hands. She came up to me and grabbed my hand as I held a mug of coffee, attempting to spill it all over me. It was like everywhere I looked, there she was, doing something naughty.
Eventually, I decided enough was enough and it was time to go. I took off her tights and shoes (WHY DID I NOT DO THIS ON THE RIDE TO THE PARTY) and strapped her into her car seat, collapsing into the drivers' seat in exhausted relief. It was over. We had survived. No permanent damage was done (except to the tights ... but those were cheap).
And of course, Audrey slept the whole way home. Done wore herself out.
Audrey dear, I love you, but MAN you can be a handful sometimes. Whew.
At least you looked really cute in your dress.
Sometimes, that's the best you can do.