This weekend we celebrated my first foster child's birthday with her and her family at Chuck E Cheese. Ironically, Sabrina's birthday is the same exact day as my newly adopted daughter's birthday. Anyway, leading up to Sabrina's birthday her mom texted me to say "hi". She mentioned Sabrina's b-day and I asked if she needed any help planning it. Now, when I offer to help, I am basically offering to pay for most if not all of it because Sabrina's mom never has any money. She immediately took me up on my offer and also stated "I'm not getting any help from anyone down here".
Now, I could go on and on about mom's entitled attitude, but lets just say, last year an aunt of mom's planned Sabrina's WHOLE party and took care of everything and it was very nice. I am sure mom didn't have to do anything besides show up. That is her idea of help. According to mom, Sabrina wanted a party at a park and likes Winnie the pooh, Scooby Doo, and butterflies.
Ok, I can work with that.
So, I found a park right by their house, they are an hour away from me, and told mom about it. I always try to let her feel like she is in charge so I told her and left it. Basically over the next few weeks everything changed every day and in the end the aunt told mom that she either needed to have it at a bounce house or Chuck E Cheese. Ok, whatever, so mom called Chuck E Cheese and then called me. Mom doesn't have the money for Chuck E Cheese, obviously. Chuck E Cheese books parties per kid so I asked mom how many kids. She said Sabrina plus two more and then my kids (6). I told her that I would be happy to pay for my kids plus the three she mentioned and if she ended up inviting more she could just pay for those.
So, I booked the party and mom was happy with that.
The week before the party Sabrina's mom's aunt called her. She told her that having a party where there is no food for the adults is rude (I agree) and that I should not be paying for the party. This aunt controls all of Sabrina's grandma's money. Sabrina and mom live with grandma, thus, she controls a lot of what goes on in their home. She took my phone number from mom and called me. She was lovely to me on the phone and thanked me for planning the party and told me that "I control grandma's money because it is just better that way and she has money set aside we can use for this so we will give you a check to reimburse you for the party." I told her it was unnecessary, but that was fine if that's is what they wanted to do.
The night before the part Sabrina's mom texts me and asks if Chuck E Cheese provides plates for the cake. Her ONE job was to buy a cake which she said she could get with her food stamps. I told her yes, they provide the plates. She asked if they provided goody bags for the kids. At this point I figured out that the aunt had called her and told her a list of things SHE needed to take care of. I told her, no, they did not. She said ok.
The morning of the party we all left early to get there so I could talk to the staff and make sure everything was all set. Upon arriving immediately they handed me a sticker with my name on it listed as the parent of the birthday child.
I asked them to make a new one with mom's name on it and threw the one with my name on it away. We got there a half hour early. We bought tokens for our kids and let them play while I talked to the hostess. Mom had said they would come early, but they came right around the time the party was to start which was fine. My kids were off playing so I quickly explained everything to mom, after hugging Sabrina, and then confirmed the pizza order with the hostess (for the kids, no adult food).
Mom, grandma, Sabrina and mom's brother all came in together. I gave Sabrina her cup of coins and she went off to play. It wasn't until she and the uncle came to tell mom that they were out of tokens that I realized the uncle was using all of Sabrina's tokens. *sigh*. I dug tokens out of two of my kids' cups and handed them to Sabrina. I think at some point grandma ponied up $10 to buy more token...after the uncle used up the 25 extra tokens we got for booking online. Grandma and uncle went around playing games and they did given there tickets to Sabrina.
The cake mom picked up was...disappointing, but oh well. It was pre made from the store, which is fine, but it was probably the ugliest cheapest cake she could have bought. One really weird thing that happened was after the hostess cut the cake and served it to everyone grandma came up to me and told me the hostess had "butchered" the cake. I looked at the cake and it looked exactly like it would have if I cut it us. Weird. Some people just make up stuff to complain about I guess.
One of the kids that was supposed to come didn't, so besides my kids only one child came. That was kinda sad. Luckily I have so many it looked like a good size party. The mom of the child that did come was a little different. I saw her talking to the hostess so I pulled the hostess aside to ask what was going on. She said that the mom had said her child didn't get any pizza which made no sense. My husband and I had ordered a pizza so I told her we would just given them some of ours. It took me a minute to realize what happened. Mom and uncle had eaten the kids' pizza before making sure all the kids had pizza. *sigh*
Besides that everything went well. She got some very nice presents from all of the guests. She looked like she had a lot of fun when everyone sang and the hostess made sure to make her feel special. It was nice to see her have a nice birthday party. The party consisted of my family, Sabrina, grandma, mom, uncle, one friend and their parent and two adult relatives. They were the aunt and uncle who did come and wrote me a check to pay me back for the party. They both thanked me again for everything I did and told me if I wouldn't have helped there wouldn't have been a birthday party.
There was a part in the party when mom was talking to me about the aunt who called me. She did not come to the party, it was another aunt who came and wrote me a check, and she told me the one who called me had called her earlier that week and chewed her out for what was going on and her lack of throwing her own child a party. She started to tear up as she said "no one helps me" which was sad, but I have to say, EVERYONE helps them. Seriously, last year they did everything for the party. EVEN having Sabrina writing thank u notes,was something the aunt did. And this year I did everything. It is sad, her version of help is people doing everything for her. I think she would like to do more, but not enough to get a job or something.
As usual, it was great to see Sabrina and sad to see how the adults in her life act, but I will continue to try to be there for her. I want to be there for her when she is old enough to start making her own decisions so that if she needs help someone will be there.