14 January 2008

even better than mere survival

Not only did we survive the birthday party, we actually had a really fun time. All of us. Five 5 and 6-year-olds in one room (plus one 2.5-year-old who wishes he was six), crammed full of sugar, do not necessarily destroy one's sanity and will to live, as I had feared. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that three of the other kids' parents stayed for the party, perhaps I was more prepared after my harrowing birthday party experience last year, perhaps the children have actually grown up and matured a little bit. Whatever the reason, we had an awesome birthday party.

But would you like to know the real key to keeping kindergarteners (and a toddler) busy and happy?


Balloons! Simple, right? If you don't mind a little good-natured shouting and running, balloons are the best birthday party game I've ever seen. Here I had planned all kinds of fun games and activities, and it turns out all we needed were fifteen or twenty balloons. Also a good idea -- a big box to put the balloons in. This way the children have a goal: either get all the balloons and hide them in a box, or, once the grown-ups have imprisoned the balloons in the box, you can liberate those balloons and beat the other children with them. Fun for all!

And of course, I can't write a birthday party post without mentioning the cake, because if you've ever read this blog, you are aware that I am a fan of cakes, both baking and eating them. It was a vegan (to accomodate one of the party guests) vanilla (to accomodate James' predictable, unchanging preference) cake with vanilla icing, and James requested a big cake with the Transformers symbol on it -- the Autobot symbol, to be precise, if you care about such things. I never used to care about such things, but as the mother of a six-year-old boy, I now have no choice but to know these things whether I care or not.

Here is the cake, a product of intense labor from both Greg and me (I baked, Greg designed, and we both very carefully, delicately, decorated).

So. I was pleasantly surprised by all of this birthday party stuff this year. Here's hoping it gets better and better every year.


Jessica said...

Cool cake! Thanks for the birthday wishes, by the way!

Emily said...

Oh! I love the transformer cake. My nephew would love that!

m said...

happy belated birthday to james! it sounds like a great party :)