Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Having A Party

If there was a t-shirt that read "I survived my son's birthday party," I would own it.
It all started when C requested a piñata for his birthday. He didn't actually ask for a full-fledged party. I suppose if Ken and I had been willing to take turns hitting the thing ourselves we could have avoided the festivities all together. It seemed unfair, however, to punish a kid by withholding a party of his peers just because of his parents' hang ups.
C asked for either an elephant-shaped piñata or a star. So off I schlepped to Party America in Hyannis. I had the twins with me, one in the back pack and one in the Baby Bjorn. We were quite the show. Party America claimed to have over 130 piñata styles, and doubtless they did but what they failed to mention was that 95% of them were character driven: Disney Princesses, Cars, Winnie-the-Pooh (who's going to hit Winnie-the-Pooh with a stick?), and Spiderman.
That brought me to my next problem. I forgot to ask C whether he wanted the beat-the-heck-out-of-it-with-a-stick type of piñata, or the pull-the-individual-ribbons-till-the-loot-falls-out style. There were neither elephants nor stars. The store did have some cute doggie-shaped piñatas but none with ribbons. I couldn't see him beating the crap out of a cute puppy - at least it wasn't something I wanted to see.
After much (way too much) consideration, I went with a plain old number six. I figured he, and I, would be okay with seeing it smacked to smithereens.
That done, I moved on to the equally stressful task of filling the piñata which left me standing catatonic in the candy aisle of Shaws Supermarket picking up and putting down endless variety-pack bags of candy. Should I go with the the bag that contained the Sweet Tarts or the one that contained Smarties? Finally I choose a bag of something that looked like Juicy Fruits and a bag of the only thing that was even remotely healthy: Raisinets. When I got home with it C looked everything over and said disapprovingly, "at Sam's party the piñata had gum in it."
We went with an Olympic theme and planned many appropriate games such as the Olympic Paper Airplane Toss (which was by far the most well-received event), relay races, tug of war, and the Olympic Eat-A-Doughnut-Off-A-String Event. This theme also afforded limitless opportunities to go around the house saying things like, "put your Olympic shoes on the stairs," "where's the Olympic watering can?" and "do you have to use the Olympic potty?" And though that lightened my mood leading up to the big event, I had more anxiety over hosting the party than I had over having to deliver a baby six years ago.
At one point during the party I asked another mother to count the kids to make sure I had enough Olympic booty bags for the Olympic Pin˜ata Bashing Event. She tallied them up (no easy task as they were all moving targets) and announced there were 16. "Are you sure?" I said, "it feels more like 50."

song: Having A Party • artist: Sam Cooke

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