Mia has been quite the social bumble bee lately, being invited to birthday parties like she's the Homecoming Queen. So the subject of, 'When is it going to be my birthday?!' has been coming up quite a bit. We are going to be out of town on Mia's actual birthday, which is in August. Bram's actual birthday is in three weeks. And, we're leaving town at the end of the month. So I figured: why not be efficient and combine all three of those ocassions into one
So the plan is being put into action as we speak. First obstacle: location. The party cannot be held at our house for two reasons: 1) all the kids we want to invite don't live near here, and 2) there is no way we can squeeze twenty kids plus a few parents into our teeny tiny house. Yes, you read correctly. Twenty kids.
So what do I plan on doing with twenty kids, aged 0-5? I'll just do what I'm good at: being a Mom. For the two whole hours those kids are in my care, I'll be a Mom to every single one of them as if they were my very own. If they fall down and get an owie, I'll kiss it all better. If they start fighting over the last piece of cake, I'll intervene until they share. And when they get picked up by their own parents, I'll feel like the umbilicle has been cut once again - but only for a minute. Then I'll promptly fall onto something soft and take a nap until my name changes to Liz van Winkle.
So if it's space we need, it's space we'll get. We're renting the gym in town for two hours! So now I've got two basic ingredients for the most awesome kids' party ever: a huge empty gym and a whole mess of kids. Do I really need anything else?? As much as I would love these kids to entertain themselves for two hours, chances are that won't happen. So activities are a must. I pull out my copy of 'Feed Me I'm Yours' and glance at the rules of thumb when it comes to throwing a kids' party:
1) Invite as many kids to the party as the number of years your child is turning.
Mia is turning five. Bram is turning three. No matter how many ways I calculate, those numbers don't exactly add up to twenty...
2) Plan more activities than you'll actually need.
That makes sense... Okay, so if an activity takes about fifteen minutes on average, and we've got the gym for two hours, minus the time to have a snack, minus the time the kids will need to go potty, then we'll need...um... 243 activities? Oh, hang on, I just remembered I'm no good at math.
Activity 1: throwing a ball around (until somebody gets hurt) = ten minutes
Activity 2: making music (until I develop a splitting headache) = fifteen minutes
Activity 3: facepainting (until all the paint is gone) = ten minutes
Activity 4: ...um...
Oh, I'll just do another thing I'm good at: improv.
We're not allowed to have food or drinks in the gym, which could be an issue. I'm thinking along the lines of party guests passing out due to dehydration... The idea is for the afternoon to be fun and with as little risk of ending up in the hospital as possible. So drinks are a must. I'll just do yet another thing I'm exceptionally good at: hiding evidence.
But the biggest challenge will be having two groups of kids in two different developmental stages. How does one mesh both groups' interests into one harmonious event? The bigger kids will be in the majority so they will most likely be running the show, but I need to make sure the little ones don't get trampled on, or neglected, or that they go AWOL. I'll just do yet another thing I am unbelievably, incredibly good at: multi-tasking!
At least, I think I'm good at multi-tasking...
I think I know what I'm getting into, and it's all for love! My kids deserve an unforgettable birthday celebration and need the chance to say goodbye to their friends, who they won't see till school starts again next fall! And when it comes to my kids' needs, I am at their service. Unconditionally.
If you never hear from me again after March 26th, you will know why...