Sunday, July 25, 2010

Andeng, Lolly, and the first theme party

There is always a first time … especially for the young. There can still be a first time, once in a great while, for the old.

Three year old Andeng was about to attend her first theme party which will happen that Saturday at Outback Steakhouse at cousin Seth Matthew's first birthday. Her grandmom – also known as Lolly -- is to attend it with her, plus sundry titos and titas. It must also be the first theme children’s party for Lolly who can't remember ever being invited to any in her time as mom to young kids.

Andeng’s mom and dad had earlier excused themselves from the party, having committed to another gathering elsewhere in the mom’s side of the family. They had reasonably given in, though, to Lolly’s importuning it was only fair Andeng should attend the theme party on the dad’s (also Lolly’s) side of the family. Which translated to: Lolly had to do the shopping for the prescribed western-themed attire.

She thought it was no big deal.

A day before the party, soon after lunch, Andeng showed up all dressed up and eager as a beagle to start the shopping expedition. A bit too early, however, for Lolly who was still by her pc trying to finish the day’s quota of stories for the online magazine channel she was handling. "Sandali, ha," she scowled at the girl who stood there waiting. "Ayaw you tube," she kept repeating, oblivious to her grand mom's protestation she wasn't watching any video but working. As the little girl started tugging at the pocket of Lolly’s duster with one hand and making threatening gestures toward the pc’s power button with the other, Lolly had to get up before she could click “publish” to the last of her postings. As she dressed hurriedly, pushed by the toddler’s impatient eye, she grudgingly admitted THAT -- and countless precedents of THAT the last two years since Andeng had learned to walk and talk -- was how the youngster learned "kulit" works.

At Mega Mall, the place Lolly chose to shop because she was sure “they got it all,” she found to her dismay they didn’t, no, not quite, missing out on the ONE SET OF ITEMS they went there for. -- cowboy costumes for three-year year old girls.

Or maybe the problem was Lolly had very specific ideas of what a western-themed attire should be. Tassled denim shorts, striped bright-colored shirt, and chaleco, also tassled, the color of the bottoms. And please, not to forget a wide brimmed hat to literally top off the set. Plus a final touch -- a kerchief tied around the neck, ala Marlboro County.

With the toddler trailing her, Lolly shuttled from one sub-section of the children’s section to another. She browsed at the character shop, the toddlers’ nook, the accessories store. There was nothing that fitted her stone-cast vision of a three-year-old cowgirl. They half-ran to the children's boutique outside and still another .. still tough luck.

At first, the Lolly blamed the store. Mega mall ba ito? You got it all ba ito? Tse, cowboy costume lang -- wala pa! Soon, when she felt her 60-year-old legs cramping, she had begun shifting the blame to the people through whose bright idea the difficult theme was conceived – who else but niece Maila and husband Cyric, the birthday boy’s mom and dad.

By the time Tito Best Friend (aka Arman) got to them from an hour of trying to get a parking space and finally succeeding, Andeng was fretful, frustrated, and tired; Lolly fit to be tied and ranting over “mga kaek-ekang pa costume-costume na yan.”

The Tito appraised the situation, looked around for a few seconds, then pointed at a tiny mannequin: “ why not a denim jumper?” Lolly was only too happy to blink and bend and set aside her tassled version of a western costume. After a flurry of choosing and fitting sizes on a very compliant subject, they finally checked out at the counter a blue Dora dress jumper. No tassles, no chaleco, no hat – for none could be found in the store that purports to have it all. Sige na, pwede na, uwi na tayo -- this from the still grumbling Lolly who had by then verbally lifted "ka-ek-ekan" to the level of “kaaertehan” and from thence to "kalintikan."

Lolly's spirits dipped when Andeng's dad took one look at what she bought and asked: "Akala ko ba western attire?' That night, after resting awhile, she took another shopping trip, this time to nearby Ever-Gotesco, otherwise known as the small, community mall, where they're not supposed to "got it all for you." While Lolly bought neckerchiefs (one last dogged attempt to conjure her original stereotype cowboy image) at the department store, the other Tito best friend (Allan) looked around the thrift shops and found cowboy hats at bargain prices. Although the hat was adult-sized, they thought – somewhat dubiously -- they could stuff it with tissue paper or soft cloth to fit a three-year-old head.

Everyone let out a squeal of delight when, coming home, they put the hat on the eager girl who had just wakened (the reason why she had to stay home for that second trip), and saw that when pin-tucked, it didn’t look over-sized at all.

Andeng allowed herself to go through an impromptu dress rehearsal – putting on jumper, shirt, kerchief, and hat as Allan ran for the digicam.

As Tito clicked and the cow girl posed gamely, Mommy and Daddy clapped their “wows.” Even baby Pidong gurgled approval.

And the Lolly? She was smiling, thinking costume parties such great fun.

(Happy birthday uli, SETH MATTHEW, pogi little prince of the OK Corral. We had a galloping good time at your party. Even had fun heigh-ing and ho-ing in costume hunting, despite what this ma-ek-ek na blog piece seems to convey. )

1 comment:

Gina said...

hihihi, 'kalintikan' na costume party yan, mukhang ang saya! Saya rin ang lolly ah. Of course, talaga namang super cute si cowgirl Andeng.

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