Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What A Swell Party It Was

Okay, I gotta admit, despite all my grousing about the preparations and cost, the kids' party was a rousing success.

They simply loved having a birthday party.

You could see the excitement on their faces when we got to Child's Play, the indoor playspace we'd rented for the party. Once inside, they ran gloriously amuck, initially having the place to themselves, then looking surprised yet happy when familiar faces began to arrive.

Thing 2 could not get her fill of the inflatable jump-a-line bouncy house, even if she did have a minor meltdown when she accidentally got stomped. Daddy got her over this trauma quickly, and she was soon back in the bouncy action.

Thing 1 demanded Late Blooming Mom's company climbing through the human habit-trail, though I balked at going down the yellow tube slide (which he later declared scary).

Both kids availed themselves of the face-painting, Thing 2 becoming a "snow princess" (in honor of the Dora The Explorer special in which a snow princess is featured), Thing 1 getting Big Bird and Elmo painted on his hands.

Thing 2 gloried in the dress-up area with other girls, while Thing 1 could be seen contentedly playing at the train table alongside other Thomas aficionados.

When all the kids were assembled at the table, donning birthday hats and using noise-makers to blow curled paper tubes in each other's faces, the birthday twins were seated front and center. For the first time, they were conscious enough to register that they were the momentary center of attention. Though she's usually shy when in front of any kind of an audience, and he is normally oblivious, this time, they seemed to bask in being fully focused on by everyone in the room.

When it came time for the birthday song and presentation of the Baskin Robbins ice cream cake -- Ariel The Little Mermaid-themed for her, Lightning McQueen-CARS-themed for him -- they were positively beaming. Thing 1 literally nuzzled my face as the birthday song was sung. We blew out the candles together, captured on video by one of the moms of a preschool classmate. The mom, a professional photographer, handed the camera back to me and admitted, "Even I got a little teary-eyed when he nuzzled you." And another mom, pregnant with her own Thing 2, remarked, "It's so sweet that you have the two."

I couldn't agree more.

The kids, finally old enough to fully appreciate having a birthday party, were well worth the effort. Their peers had a blast, and the parents -- who had coffee, bagels, and even a couple of couches to lounge on while there kids needed only occasional supervision -- seemed grateful for a morning of relative peace.

I still may wimp out and opt for the less expensive, easier option next year -- that "free on your birthday" Disneyland visit -- but for what it's worth, this was a party worth throwing.


Bill Madison said...

Yeah, if you had to do this every day, it wouldn't be special. But this is one day a year, and the only time they'll ever have this birthday. Even if you do wind up at Disneyland next year, you're gonna remember this one.

Here's wishing both Things a magic year!

latebloomingmom said...

Thanks for the Birthday Wishes, Bill -- Late Blooming Mom on behalf of Thing 1 and Thing 2