Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Am Bad At Kids' Birthday Parties

A couple of months ago, I threw a party for Mini's 4th birthday. I did everything wrong. The good news is, no matter how big a disaster it was from my perspective, she loved it.  She had so much fun, in fact, that recently she's been saying things like: "I need a NEW birfday. Not in November cause dat's too long away. I need da new one to be in 14 days. Thank you."
So that's great, right? But when I tried to describe the party to my friends, they accused me of making it up. But I promise you, it all happened. 

The week before the party:
  • The Cap'n I looked at the calendar and realized that we'd waited too long to plan a party. So if it was going to happen, it was going to have to take place in 6 days. 
  • I called every place that could possibly host a child's birthday party. Nothing was available at such late notice. One place asked me if I was kidding. The guy at the bowling alley actually laughed a me.
  • I realized that the party would have to take place at our house. I may have then pooped myself.
  • Called the terrifying yet incredibly cheap Bouncy House of Horror place and rented a princess bouncy castle. Did I want to pay an extra $100 and have it delivered and set up? Of course not. I would do it myself and save the money.
  • I sent out an evite to Mini's entire preschool class and 3 other best buddies. I fully expected that no one would be able to come on such short notice. 
  • All of them RSVP'ed yes. I pooped myself again as I realized that meant that fifteen 4 year olds + their parents + their siblings would be showing up my house.
  • Looked at the house and the yard with critical eye. I began weeping. 
Three days before the party:
  • Good news: the weather was supposed to be nice for the day of the party!
  • Also! We had a special guest star! John Ross would be able to come. This was a big deal because John Ross is the person that Mini likes best in the world. He is the 13 year old son of my awesome friends. (They're so awesome, let's just call them The Awesomes. To this day I don't know why they hang out with me.) 
  • At the beginning of last summer, John Ross made the mistake of being nice to Mini at the pool. She consequently fell in love with him, claimed him as her own, and mercilessly bossed him around for the next two months. And because he is a really good sport, he let her. I had to rescue him many, many times from her pudgy clutches, but he was always incredibly cool about it. 
  • So the Awesomes were coming and everyone was thrilled, because John Ross' little sister was coming too and she could hang out with Thumbelina and help with the little kids, and Mrs. Awesome could help me, and it was all going to work out! Yay!
  • Then Mini told me she didn't want a cake. She wanted cake pops. 
Two days before Mini's party:
  • Spent hours on the internet and Pinterest trying to figure out how to make cake pops. 
  • Went shopping at Party City and Walmart for supplies. Spent far too much money.
  • Came home and made the world's most terrifying and barely edible cake pops. Burned self in the process. Gave up on cake pops at 11pm and drank boxed wine while contemplating Plan B.

The day before Mini's party: 
  • Cleaned inside of the house like a crazed motherfunker. 
  • Raked the yard and spread mulch like a rabid beaver.
  • Got food, snacks and drinks all ready.
  • Told Cap'n Coupon it was his job to find 36 cake pops in time for the party. 
  • Forgot everything I told myself about not making a kid's party a big deal and acted like a total B. 
The day of Mini's party:
  • Came downstairs and made coffee. Wondered why the milk didn't seem cold. Took a look at the fridge and realized that someone must have left the door open all night and that all the food and drinks inside were spoiled and had to be thrown out. 
  • Pooped myself for the third time in a week.
  • Explained to my husband what I had done to the fridge. Watched as he pointed and laughed at me. Then watched as he calculated the replacement cost of all the food I had just thrown out. Not smiling now.
  • He left with 2 kids to buy cake pops.
  • I left with another kid to pick up the bouncy house. To my surprise and dismay, Ricky at the Bouncy House place had been replaced with someone (DISAPPOINTINGLY) normal and non-scary. The place itself was still nightmare-worthy, however. So at least there was that.
  • Arrived home to set up bouncy house. 
  • It took more than an hour. The Cap'n and I both injured ourselves. The injuries were painful. We also both got completely filthy.
  • Noticed 7 year old son Hawk was acting really weird.
  • Looked at the clock. Realized that I could either clean myself or my house but not both. Opt to clean myself as it's a nice day and conceivably I could just beg people not to come inside.
  • Took 5 minute prison shower. Put on my only clean clothes. 
  • Party to start in 10 minutes. The only thing ready was the bouncy house. Due to the issue with the fridge, I realized I had nothing to serve our guests except warm juice boxes, cake pops and a bag of pretzels.
  • Began frantic last minute cleaning. Sprayed down kitchen and bathroom surfaces with bleach spray so that our home would at least smell clean. Scrubbed with paper towels.
  • Kids were joyfully bouncing in the bouncy house like crazed weasels. Realized belatedly that having a party was probably not even necessary. Doorbell rings. It's on.
The Party Itself:
  • Go to answer the door when my husband says: "STOP. Go upstairs right now and change your shirt." I look at him like he's crazy and start to argue. He shoves me up the stairs and tells me to go look in the mirror. 
  • I stared in horror at two large, bleached out spots on my black shirt. The spots are the size of apples and are on the tips of each boob. Apparently, when I was cleaning with bleach spray, my boobs rubbed against the counter and I didn't notice. OH DEAR GOD.
  • I have only one other clean shirt and the only reason it's clean is because I never wear it. It's too tight. And if I bend over for any reason, it shows that awful gap of skin between my jeans and - gasp - my underpants. That's why I never wear it. It looks perfectly appropriate for a fetish themed restaurant called "Post-Maternal Hooters". 
  • I swallow back the fear and just put it on.
  • All the parents are being really nice and they don't seem to be aware that this birthday party is a gigantic cluster. 
  • John Ross comes and Mini throws herself into his arms and then makes him bounce with her. She is delighted.
  • I keep having to dive into the bouncy house to rescue kids. Every time I do, I feel a breeze blow up my bare back because of my stupid, too-small shirt. I just pretend that no one can see my underpants.
  • Wait. Where's Hawk?
  • I find him asleep on the sofa. I kiss his head. OH CRAP. He has just spiked a 103.5 fever. 
  • All of a sudden, everyone begins swarming up to the house. I guess it's time for cake pops! Better just let the boy sleep. Ohcrapohcrapohcrap.
  • Everyone is so nice about my cake pops. Even though several of the moms seem to be under the impression that Mini made them. I did not correct them.
  • OH MY GOD. The pinata. I did not even want a pinata but the Cap'n insisted on it. So I was like: "FINE. Then you're in charge of it. You take the pinata and I'll take, oh... everything else." I step back and let him do his thing.
  • After ten minutes of ineffective swatting, John Ross' little sister steps up to bat. Despite her tiny, adorableness she is a super strong competitive swimmer and her swing connects directly with the Capn's elbow with a loud THUNK. I can HEAR the sound of the stick making contact above the kids screaming, the grown-ups chatting, the dog barking and the air compressor for the bouncy house which is maybe the loudest thing ever. 
  • Silently thank God it was him and not me to get hit because I would've screamed out the F word in front the entire preschool class, their parents, and the whole neighborhood. He appears to be fine.
  • Suddenly, the party is over. Everyone leaves. 
This was the point at which we all collapsed. Except for Hawk who was still passed out from what we later found out was a severe case of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Mini, who had received a large pile of amazing presents, was enthralled with an individually wrapped package of tissues which she carried every where and refused to share with anyone. It's been two and a half months and we're still not done with the thank you cards.

Overall, it was exactly what you would expect from a birthday party thrown at my house.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2013

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