This weekend, my son is having his sixth birthday party. This is one of the first years where he is AWARE that it’s his birthday so the countdown has been crazy since school started. “Daddy, you know how long until my birthday? September, October, November, then DE-CEM-BER.”
The list of what-I-wants is longer than ever. (Pokemon cards, books, video games, DVDs, etc.) This is also compounded by the fact that Christmas is only weeks away. We try not to cheat him out of birthday gifts because of this, so I’m about to go broke. You all read the papers, so this year party planning had to take the economy into account.
Every year we’ve escalated his party, inviting more and more people. Last year we actually had half of his class from school over and our basement was a mad house. My wife orchestrated all of the games but, being almost 8 months pregnant, she just doesn’t have the energy this year. And the last time I managed a room full of more than three kids was in 1997 as a first grade teacher. I quit after one year, so that should tell you where my head is at on kiddy crowd control.
We were going to save ourselves the headache of doing a house party by going to one of those theme places that host your party for you and do all the clean up. We’ve been to a lot of parties at Chuck E. Cheese and neither of us could handle the stress of that many kids running around, and Justin isn’t much of a Build-A-Bear kid, so these spots out on the Island seemed like a fair compromise. The set-ups were pretty fly, with Knights and Princess themes, or Nintendo Wii parties, but when we saw the cost per kid the dollars didn’t make sense. Even if we kept his school friends out, we have friends with too many dang children! We are looking at 15-18 kids easy within our really close friends and family. After crunching the numbers, we had to go back to plan A and keep it in the house. Since his actual birthday was Wednesday, we bought two dozen cupcakes to give out to his friends at school. Problem solved.
Tonight we’re heading to BJ’s/Costco to get a sheet cake and put our own Pokemon decorations on it. I bought copies of Kung Fu Panda and Wall-E for the kids to watch on the big screen in the basement, and there is already a Wii for them to play games on. I have a “JUSTIN” playlist on my iPod of songs he likes and instrumentals (damn you, cursing rappers!) to keep the party going.
I just keep telling myself to make it from 3pm to 6pm on Saturday and it will be all right.
Wish me luck. Pictures next week!