Photo: It was a snow day today. Little boys went out for sledding and fun in the morning to get their ya-yas out. When they got back in, there was the warm bath, the hot chocolate and then it was time to make the fort. They played in the fort for 15 minutes and then there was a fight about flashlights and snowballs. Total waste of mommy energy. Oh well!
It turned out to be the perfect weekend for some cleaning and reorganizing. A layer of living had fallen over the house that needed to be scrubbed, swept, sprayed and polished away. We aren’t heathens by any means, the house wasn’t a disaster, but it wasn’t perfect, either. It wasn’t company ready, you know? And that’s a problem, because we’re hosting a birthday gathering next weekend.
That’s right: Major is turning the big 5 on Friday! I can’t even believe it.
And no, we aren’t having a party. We’re having a small little get together* with three friends on Saturday. (*Supposedly a coastal storm might be coming up the coast Friday into Saturday, and that’s gonna screw everything up.)
Here is the problem with Major’s birthday: he was born during a snow storm and there will probably always be a snow storm on or around his birthday. Here’s the second problem: I freaking hate the suburban birthday thing. Seriously. The suburban birthday party scene is the worst.
First, Major wanted to have his party at this indoor playground two towns over where his friends had a party in the Fall. You start in a room full of slides/tubes/ball pits, then you go to a room full of bouncy-castles and trampolines, then you get cake and pizza. You do this with 15 of your closest friends. Awesome. Base price: $289. BUT you can’t bring any outside food or drinks for your party. Oh no. All in house. Decorated birthday cake? $24. Cheese pizza (1): $12. Pepperoni? 14. Soda for the adults at the party? $12. Juice for the kids? $1.50 each. Balloons? $1.25 for each balloon, upwards of $6 each for each of the goodie bags…
You guys. This is insane. It might actually seem reasonable at first, but then you do the math and it’s like, oh my God!
And that’s for the cheapest party. That’s for 30 minutes in the slide/tube/ball room and 30 minutes in the bouncy castle room, another 30 to scarf down your expensive pizza and cake.
And you gotta give them a deposit and if a snow storm screws everything over you gotta reschedule and reschedule because you’re not getting your money back!
So I was like, bump that. “Oh baby, sorry… they are already hosting birthday parties. How about another place?”
So he asks for the gynmastics joint on the other side of town. Remember a few weeks back when I showed Minor fearlessly jumping into a big, deep pit of foam blocks? That place. They want $300 for 60 minutes of bouncing around and 30 minutes of cake. At least you can bring in your own stuff–whatever you want: pizza, cake… but again, invite 15 of your closest friends, so that stuff adds up.
And let’s get to that, shall we? 15 of your closest friends? Yeah… so most of the other parents who have done this just invite the entire preschool class to come and do the birthday thing. That’s really gracious, I guess, but here’s what happens: parents drop off their kid and then they leave or, they stick their kid with another parent (I’ve seen parents come in with 3 or so kids. However you can pile into a minivan), and then that person just up and leaves, too! So I usually stick around for these things because I end up hanging out with a parent I like but, seriously, I’ve been to a party with 20 kids and only 4 parents staying for the duration. That’s chaos in its purest form, ya’ll. Why are we doing this? Why!?
Major has a core group of maybe 5 kids who he plays with consistently, and that’s fine with me. Choose your friends, choose them well. I’m happy to facilitate hospitality and entertainment for the kids you want to play with. We’ve got a small house but I’m a good cook, a decent baker and there are plenty of toys here. So why not get your favorite buddies together for a playdate with pizza and cake?
So that’s what we’re doing.
And don’t feel too bad for my boy, because he’s still getting plenty of birthday. First of all, guess who is gonna have to parent-help at school on Friday for the big day, providing 30 cupcakes (vanilla cake with blue vanilla frosting, as birthday boy request. “I want blue cake and blue frosting! You can do that, right?” Yes, my love, I can do that. I’ll just be baking all day. Oh, and I’ll need to buy out the whole baking aisle and blue food coloring. No big deal. ) to all the little boys and girls, plus teachers, of course!
Oh, and we’re taking the child to Great Wolf Lodge for one night of fun.
That’s right. For the price of a suburban birthday party for 16 spoiled MetroWest children with all the fixin’s, I can take the whole family for a night at Great Wolf Lodge, getting suite with the bunkbeds and errythang. I get a break*, they get to splash around, we all get a little getaway and Major gets to celebrate his birthday in a grand way. I’m gonna call this Mommy Winning* because I’ve never been to Great Wolf Lodge before and this has a slight potential to suck. Hopefully it won’t, but it might. I’ll let you know!
So just to be clear: A night at Great Wolf, blue cupcakes with your classmates and Mommy at school, and playdate n’ cake with your 3 closest friends (and little brother) over the weekend. I feel like that’s a hell of a lot of birthday, isn’t it? Way more birthday than I get!
He’s really excited, as he should be. Gifts from grandparents are already coming in and I’m sure a few cards will, too. I really must say, the cold-weather birthday is a struggle that I hadn’t expected. So close to Christmas, so far from Spring… I’m excited on Major’s behalf, but then again, I’m rolling my eyes on the inside. I know it’s wrong! Hopefully, though, he’ll like this and we’ll always try to make plans for a special trip/activity around his birthday instead of the big party thing. The big party thing suuuuucks.
I’m terrible. I know it!
Anyway, my easy, productive weekend is over, and all the pressure of another week begins. I hope that you had a few quiet moments this weekend to reflect and recharge, ready to take on the upcoming (really cold!) week. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you, Dear Reader. Let’s get something awesome done together.
Until Wednesday, take care.