Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday: Home Style

January can be a rough month for children's birthday parties when one doesn't have the luxury of shuttling a crowd of children jacked up on sugar into the backyard.

And unless you want to rent a room at the park district building (of which there are none here), or shed out the bucks for Pump It Up (of which, I've not found here), or go bowling, active options for hyper children are minimal.

Harper's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd birthdays were all in our home. Our condo, to be exact. And we packed the joint with at least 20 people. Her 4th was just 12 days after Zane was born. Due to post-partum difficulties, we had it at the bowling alley. The 5th was a blow out at a gymnastics center. The 6th found us back home again. The 7th, back at the bowling alley, and the 8th, at home.

A good mix.

For Zane? Each party has been at home.

This year was no exception.

If you know my children, you know that Zane is, well, the quieter of the two. He prefers smaller numbers (not that the parties are quiet - but compared to Harper, his parties don't come near her decibel level).

The key to having a party at home?

KISS. (Acronym, people. Google it.)

Zane loves pizza, so, we had the boys make their own upon arriving. While they were baking, we played a game in the living room. Moving on, they returned to the kitchen to paint wooden door hangers for their bedrooms. Pizza time! Followed by cake time! Followed by pinata time! Presents!

And . . . scene.

1.5 hours.

If it sounds like I just moved from one activity to another without much delay, you're absolutely right. Sure, it was only 5 boys, but I didn't want to risk any down time for racing, wrestling, and the prospect of tears being shed.

The adults munched on goat cheese and spinach pizza and Darth Vader-Ade (which was surprisingly good) while the kids ate their creations. And the cake? Oh yes, with the exception of one year, George always makes the cakes.

This year, he experimented with fondant and mixed Nutella into the batter.

Oh yeah, it was good.

The only snag was when I accidentally kissed my son.

Now, in his defense, we had ample conversations about this and had come to the agreement that I would NOT kiss him in front of his friends, and he would NOT kiss me. Hugging, however, was permissible. But kissing? Not so much. Well, my head wasn't in the game and I was so very tempted by his yummy sweet self that I just let one slide. Right after we sung Happy Birthday.

And then a cry went out from all the land . . .

"Mom! You kissed me! We talked about that!"

He covered his face with his hands and shook his head.

Major faux pas.

I was forgiven, and when it came time for bed, he clung to me and George with such love. And yes, there were kisses.

It was nice to celebrate Zane's momentous event in our home. And to share our home with his little buddies.

And Harper?

No way - we're hauling her and her friends to the tennis court for her birthday in a few weeks.

I won't put the neighbors through that sort of earthquake. I like them.


Margot said...

I just got home from dropping my kids at school after having them home for THREE WEEKS. On the ride back I began to panic about the DOUBLE January bday party, 3rd grade boys & 5th grade girls, that I promised my Dec/Feb bday kids.


I'd like to say that your success calmed me down, but...I'm still panicked. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun--very efficient, well-planned, well-executed fun!

Cuppa Jo said...

Margot, I'd panic.

No, really, you'll be fine. Not that you are stupid, but, keep it simple . . . stupid.

Do you have a theme. I can help you brainstorm. It's one of my spiritual gifts.

Anitra, I'm flattered. That means a lot coming from the likes of YOU!

Becca said...

Sounds like a fun time! My mom always kept our birthday parties busy as well!