I volunteer, a lot. I have talked about how I don't volunteer for much that involves other people's children. (See #2, #3 and #4.) This means I am not the "go to" person to help out at a classroom party for crafts or games. I am happy to serve food or bring whatever, but please don't ask me to be directly involved with kids who are not my own and may not even be friends of my own children. There really are other folks who are much better suited for the job. (I actually had to tell this to the head of our Children's Ministries department at church so she would NOT ask me again to teach Sunday School. Funny thing was, she started laughing and said, "I totally understand!")
The room mom of Sous Chef's class is a very sweet woman and I don't envy that job. I have done it before and it sucks. We have commiserated in the past about what a crappy role that is. She called me last week about the class's Valentine's Day party. I told her I couldn't really be on the list to help because I was grading papers for Big E's teachers and then I would not be able to stay at the party long because I would have to leave to pick up CJ at preschool. Basically, I could only be at the one hour party for about 30 minutes. She told me if I just wanted to stop in and check it out that was fine and she would not put me on the list.
As it turned out, I forgot CJ didn't have school on Friday. (I think maybe Crazy Mama - read about her here and here - convinced them it was too dangerous for her princess to be in school on Friday the 13th and instead took her to their monthly Witch's Meeting.) Anyhoo, I decided to go to the party. There were, not including the room mom, three or four, maybe five, other moms and then a mom and dad there. The mom and dad were sitting with their daughter and conveniently left as things started really winding up. I let the room mom know I could help, so she gave me THE CRAFT. Fuck. It was me and another mom and I needed a quick training session to figure out how to make the damn thing. Then we were off. I eventually look up to see my co-helper is gone and chatting it up with the other moms. One other mom, besides the room mom, was actually doing something. The rest? Chatting, yacking, laughing. Basically, having happy hour in the corner of the room. Oh, they were MORE THAN willing to help their own precious darlings, but I guess the rest of the kids were persona non grata. One little girl at my table didn't listen to my instructions, and, well, quite honestly, it's one thing to have your own kid not pay attention, but when someone else's doesn't pay attention, that is downright irritating. The result, of course, was that she screwed up her craft. It couldn't be fixed and so I said, "I'm sorry, that can't be fixed and we only have enough for one craft per child, so you will have to work around the mistake." I was very nice about this, I promise. Next thing I know, one of the Chatty Mamas, obviously belonging to this little girl, swoops in and tries to fix the problem. "Hey bitch, where were you when I was trying to help eight kids with this? If you had been helping out then instead of ordering your next cocktail, your daughter wouldn't need your "swoop" right now!"
Ok, so not only do I prefer not to be surrounded by 23 children who are not my own, I apparently don't really care for their mothers, either.