To start off, let me remind you that I am a very protective mother. I’ve said it before, but it is in my DNA, as my own mother is an early-model helicopter parent.
Anyway, we recently attended a very fun birthday party — well, our kids had fun. All four of them (!) were invited. Craig had somewhere he needed to be, so I got to bring them. The party was held in this big indoor-game place. It’s pretty much kid heaven and ranks only a few rungs below Disneyland for my kids. They were THRILLED to be able to go to this party. The thought of attending with four kids, though, made me a little nervous. Okay, a lot nervous. Here’s the deal:
The party was NOT private, so there were tons of other little kids (not so scary) and grownups (scary) that I did not know in the same venue. It was CROWDED.
A couple of things made me feel a little safer, though. First, the whole place is in one large room. It’s laid out in such a way that I SHOULD be able to see everything going on. Right?
Second, the entrance is very heavily monitored. When you come in with your kids, you are all given matching stamps so that any adult can only leave with the kids that they came in with. This made me feel better about allowing James and Luke to wander within the confines of the party room.
Also, I did know a good amount of people at the party; and they were completely helpful about keeping an eye on my big kids and lending a hand when needed. (And they were probably laughing about how overprotective I can be!)
It was a good thing, as it turned out that my 2-year-old, Ben, took almost all of my attention. Although I knew that he was safe, he needed intervention to prevent him from eating pizza off other people’s plates and stealing random cupcakes off of tables. He also had fun interrupting video games and hiding other kids’ shoes. I just felt lucky at that point that my fourth kid (2-month-old Lucy) is not yet mobile. She spent the duration of the party in a sling on me, so I knew for absolute certain that she was both totally safe and not bugging anybody.
James and Luke were, despite my misgivings, given free reign of the whole party room. I told them to stay together and that they were “buddies,” and that worked for about half an hour until I found them at opposite ends of the venue each engrossed in a game and not thinking a bit about their missing brother. It was at this point that I sort of “gave up.” I watched the other moms with much cooler heads prevailing, letting their kids enjoy the facility. Their kids looked happy and perfectly safe. So I gave in and only intermittently checked up on mine.
Turns out, they had a GREAT time! Checking on the two big kids now and then did take some effort, especially when I was trying to bring along a totally compliant 2-month-old and a totally NON-compliant 2-YEAR-old. At one point, I was unable to find James; I just couldn’t see him from where I was on the back wall. The funny thing was, I had his continuous glucose monitor in my hand, and I remember thinking, first, “Well, he HAS to be here because I’ve got this reading from one minute ago telling me his blood sugar.” And my second thought was, “I don’t know where he is, but his blood sugar looks great!” Such is the life of a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.