Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 Party Time
After months of prep, stress, and work, the party finally came and went. Trash and I knew that the two hours we'd been working for all this time would fly by. And, in fact, it did.
This is not to say that there weren't a few hitches. With thirty-odd kids coming, Trash would not be dissuaded from her insistence that there needed to be one thing to do for every 3-4 kids. At the same time. That comes out to like ten different things she wanted to have going on. I tried to tell her that long lines are the sign of a successful party, but since she refuses to wait in those kind of lines on philosophical grounds I wasn't about to convince her to set one up for people whose ages are in single digits.
But she was able to mastermind ten or so different activities, from the haunted house whose intellectual genesis dated back to June, to a photo scavenger hunt that she came up with that very morning. That left only the issue of how to staff everything, because a few of the adults we'd lined up fell through for various reasons, and there was nothing we could do about it. For instance, when Bitter called that morning and said that maybe she wasn't up for being the centerpiece character of the haunted house due to having Captain Trips, we couldn't really argue the point. I suppose we could have still stationed her there, with her pajamas and a pile of tissues instead of a witch's costume and a cauldron, but it wasn't the adults we were trying to scare.
EyeHeartPizza stepped up to fill that void (and admirably so, by all accounts). But there was at least one other station that got filled when one family showed up, the mom asked Trash if there was anything she could do, and immediately got dragooned into service.
This was a new experience for Trash in more ways than one. Normally she works a party pretty hard, mingling and moving around and making sure everyone's good. She even does this at party's she's not hosting. But not this time. Even though she'd assembled a major work force, the fact that we were short-staffed meant she was pretty much stuck at the entrance to the haunted house, controlling the number and timing of the kids as they went in. So this time she had to wait to ask if everyone was good after the fact. I still don't think she's gotten around to everyone.
But the highlight of the party for her was Chao. He was running both the pin-the-tail-on-the-pumpkin game and the photo scavenger hunt, in costume as a pirate. This consisted of a tricorn hat, an eyepatch, his late girlfriend Gerd's pirate corset, and a pair of cutoff jeans. The jeans worked surprisingly well with the costume, up until the point when EyeHeartPizza, near the end of the party, noticed that his fly was conspicuously down. And he was the best person for this to have happened to, since he just happened to be the one in charge of blindfolding little kids and then spinning them around. Hearing about this after the fact made Trash's night. In fact, she was planning to go around to all the parents and tell them, "Thank you so much for bringing the pirate! He was such a big help. What, you mean you didn't bring him? Hmmm, I wonder who did…"
Trash is aware of a change in her status among the moms of the neighborhood and the school. She always felt like she's kind of viewed as a slacker mom. Now she's suddenly been promoted to "that mom," the one who makes the other moms look bad. She's unaccustomed, but not entirely displeased.
And it won't be a permanent status anyway, because as we told everyone who complimented us on pulling this off, "We are never doing this again." Because we all learned a lot from this experience, and I think the most valuable thing we learned was a new and completely unexpected appreciation for one towering figure in children's birthday parties: a rodent purveyor of pizza whom Chao refers to as Charles Edward Cheese. posted by M. Giant 1:56 PM 1 comments
Major kudos to Trash for achieving that mom status. It sounds as though the party was of sufficient legendary proportions that next year, when you are in Chuck's domain for M.Edium's birthday festivities, people won't think any less of her. They'll just say "remember the party they threw last year? WOW that was something!"