Party, with monsters and books

At 11:45am this morning I realized, reading Jo Spanglemonkey’s blog, that the party invitation I got in the mail that didn’t have a date or time on it was today. And Moomin counts Dragonboy (the party dude) as one of his few intimate friends. OMG! We ate lunch in a flurry and whooshed out of the house, me in a slight ill temper… snarly… But I cheered up fast.

The party was at a gymnastics place in Oakland, in ritzy snazzy Piedmont. Moomin leaped into the action, swinging on the rope swing, climbing around, all ecstatic – not hanging back! I dropped and ran – across the street for a fancy latte and then picked up Jo’s daughter Eliz who was sneering at the little-kid gymnastics fun. We took off for Spectator Books, a small but good used bookstore. I could tell she didn’t want to go to the kids’ section, at least not first. We happily cruised the history, mythology, and archeology shelves. Books on Hannibal… 37 elephants! 90,000 troops! Charlemagne… myths of china, india, cambodia, africa, north america; much interest in Greek Mythology and the Rosetta Stone. Finally she picked a book on the Iceman, a mummified guy from 3000 years ago, found in Switzerland with a birchbark basket, stone dagger, and copper axe. “Cool! Mummified eye sockets!” I asked her about the Odyssey and she smiled all starry-eyed and sighed, “Grey-eyed Athena….” like she was going to faint. We agreed it would be cool to be Odysseus, and that one feels a bit sorry for Telemachus for being a little boring and not getting to be as cool as Odysseus.

Then to Dragonboy’s house to hang out. He and Moomin get along and like the same things: godzilla monsters, dragons, robots, mad scientists, volcanoes, pulp plotlines, dinosaurs, and pretending. They had a blast.

I’m always happy to hang out with Dragonboy’s household, because they’re arty and chaotic and not-normal and deconstructo-gendered in a super comforting way. They’re swirly with fierce energy & concentration, and A. reminds me a little of me with that quality. (When I’m not loafing, which, actually, I also do with fierce energy.) Their young sprog is a leaf in their hurricane. He deals with it well. Their house is full of odd crap, and piles of paper, and projects half-finished, and Materials for Other Projects. Not even counting the basement. People say inappropriate things; people drop in to visit. No one ever shuts up. There are spooky mannequins painted oddly dressed in vintage lace; there are sciency things and sf books. A nice place to be. Their “tigerman” costume, designed, measured, done with paper cutouts and real sewing, made with a mock-up, etc. is a work of art which kept them up all night last night. My burst of dragon-suit construction pales in comparison!

At Dragonboy’s house the grownups were most entertaining. The Weaseltoast family – fun – Dragonboy himself – and Q.’s dad, whose name I’ve completely forgotten, getting on the floor with me and kids to stack up chairs and stools to make forbidding cliffs, volcanoes, and mountain caves for the 15 toy dragons and godzilla monsters that Dragonboy received for his birthday. Maybe some of them weren’t new, but it was near enough. Dragonboy and Moomin are both good at picking up the tone of my narrations. “Robodragon! Come closer and let me tell you! The mad scientist who created us wants to steal our powers!” “Oh my god! We’ve got to stop him! We must go into the caves of doom!” Dragonboy opened all his presents from all 29 children who came to the party. I made paper flowers from bits of tissue paper with 3 year old Q. who was amazingly smart and dextrous despite being so drooly-looking. She can write by copying letters if prompted.

I must go to the store “Boss Robot” next time I need to get Moomin a present.

At some point all the moms sat around the table, talking smack about labor stories. Q’s mom was in labor for a miserable 52 hours, with back labor, a million monitors, then an epidural and some mean nurses. Dragonboy’s mom had a super short home birth rather like mine, but succeeded in getting into her tub for a water birth – where she would scream for 30 seconds during contractions and then fall straight asleep in the water, held up by her partner, for the couple of minutes in between. Ms. Weaseltoast caught one of her babies herself in the hospital and did a great job of it. We boasted, boasted, boasted; we swaggered; and I think if we had a bit more time with a few mojitos to drink then we’d be comparing labia size and how many orgasms we can have in a row. They were that excellent. The older girls hung about, listening madly with a million ears.

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