Let me start by saying I like kids. I do. But I prefer adults. I love my kids, and I love many of their friends. Kids like me. I'm always getting "Hello Mrs. TwoGirlsForMama" and hugs from the girls who know me. The thing is, in a group setting kids stress me out. Kids in groups are loud, hyper, chaotic and loud. Did I mention loud? They never stop moving. Or talking.
As a family we are required to do 39 volunteer hours at my girl's school so I volunteer for adult things. (My husband helps out too.) This year, for example, I am the Crab Feed Volunteer Manager, School Board Member/Chairperson of the PR/Marketing Committee, 4th grade Parent Club (aka PTA) Snack Mom and the Box Tops Coordinator. Do you see the pattern?
I do not volunteer in the classroom, I resist (but do get guilted by my children once in awhile) chaperoning on field trips. I don't help with the Halloween day games in the school gym, nor do I help at the school book fairs or Christmas Boutiques. I avoid groups of kids when I can.
This avoidance means I dread my kids birthday's. Why? Because they want a party with their friends. That means lots of little children. I'm usually okay when it's another child's party. I just stand back and let the birthday child's mom run around like a chicken with her head cut off. Although truth be told, those moms are always cool and collected which annoys me a little. If the party is only 2 hours I'm great. Pool parties I do not like. They give me an eye twitch as I watch children just barely slam their heads into the side of the pool as they jump off crooked or barely land on another kid. I usually have to leave early on those parties.
But, being a mother, a good mother, means sacrificing (lets be honest) EVERYTHING, which means I have to throw my kids a birthday party and have other children in attendance.
Many times I've arranged birthday parties at local places like Pump It Up, bowling, ice skating, Little Gym, and a couple others. The idea here is the space is large, usually a teenager or other adult is paid to do some of the organizing of the children and the mess is left there.
This year, however, I decided I'd throw the party at my house. I'm a glutton for punishment apparently. I limited the guest list to only half the girls in her class, would only do 1 craft, and my husband would set up the Wii and dancing in the garage so the grown-ups could drink mimosas and enjoy each other's company. Great plan right?!
How could this plan fail? Well, let me tell you.
First, I am not a crafty person. There are mom's who like paint, glitter, glue, scissors in small children's hands...that's not me. So finding a craft I could do took time. I settled on a purse project. Wal*Mart sold a 3-pack skirt purse in pink, blue and green. The packaging demonstrated bling via iron on decor. I didn't want ten 7 & 8 year olds around an iron. Hello! So I went with puffy fabric paints and fabric markers. Good idea right? Wrong.
First, after I got home I read the directions on the puffy paint. Dries in 4 hours. Hmmmm...my party is only 2 hours. Also, that meant we could only do one side of the purse. No biggy. But, guess what happens when ten 7 & 8 year olds do designs in puffy paint? They GLOB it on. Hearts, smiley faces, circles, all done in HUGE, puffy paint globs. My plan was to hang the completed artwork on a clothes rack with clothes pins. Only my daughter Shawna's decor (she wasn't the only one) was so globby (this is a word right?) the hearts and faces were dripping down the skirt purse. I had to literally put hers flat on the top of the rack so the paint wouldn't run off.
My plan was to remind the children upon their departure, as I handed them their skirt purse, that their skirt purse wasn't completely dry and to hold them flat, face up. Well, one cute child took hers off the rack while I was distracted (surprise there!) and was holding her globby (it's a word I swear) puffy paint side towards her pants. As she's moving she swings it back and forth covering her pants and tall boots with puffy paint. *Gasp*
Shawna's skirt purse dried by Monday. The party was Saturday. There should be a disclaimer that reads Dries in 4 hours if your not 7 & 8 years old.
Next problem. Cake. Apparently a vast number of children don't like chocolate cake. Who knew?! I made my daughter, per her request, a bear cake. The theme was Glitzy Glammer, but she wanted a bear cake. It's 2 round cakes, chocolate chips for hair, butterscotch chips for part of the mouth, cupcakes for ears, candy and marshmallows for eyes, licorice (or gel icing) for eye brows. I have a cake book for dummies. I'm not creative, but I can copy candy cakes. Since it was a brown bear I did chocolate cake and chocolate filling and chocolate icing. Death by chocolate.
One girl is allergic to chocolate - it gives her headaches. The others, well, they just don't like chocolate. They loved my cake design. Mr. Bear looked great. But I had maybe 4 children out of 10 eating cake.
Also? The adults also didn't want cake. Why? Dieting!
The good thing is my daughter LOVED her party. The parents can never tell how stressed or frazzled I really am. Mimosa's helped. It ends and away they go.
Unfortunately for me, my other daughter's birthday is in early March. *shiver*
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