Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
Part 1: Fifth Birthday Preparation
Behold an empty room. In two days it will be filled with squealing 4- and 5-year-olds crawling through cardboard catacombs. It’ll be exactly like our third birthday party, except easier because this time I’m not attempting to blot out the sun.
Geez, why do we still have those curtains?
I’ve been storing a few of those boxes for two years (flattened ones out-of-view).
This birthday saga began with our daughter drawing up a list of desired attendees.
- 11 friends
- 4 younger siblings likely to tag along
- 11 parents (after elementary school begins parents start doing drop-offs)
Surprise! We can’t handle 26 extra bodies in our home, especially with our 14-month-old son running around trying to do everything he shouldn’t.
So we asked her to narrow the list to 5. She picked the kids she sees most often.
Store-bought invitations strike me as tacky and I didn’t have the time to make some, so we went easy-tacky with phone calls and e-mails.
We resolved to invite the six remaining kids next week for play dates while the cardboard fort is still up.
“Sorry we didn’t invite you to the party. Want to play in our fort?”
Is that kosher? Will parents be offended by an after-party? All the play, but none of the cake?
The Big Day’s agenda:
1. Craft project making construction paper books containing magazine photo clippings.
2. Cake and ice cream. The homemade cake will be shaped like a book.
3. Book exchange. Attendees bring one wrapped used book for my daughter. She is giving each of them a book in return as a party favor.
4. Playtime in the cardboard fort.
I have mixed feelings about doing cake and gifts in the middle of the party instead of at the end, but it allows parents to leave as early as they wish. Two of the kids are a bit squeamish and we don’t know if they’ll like cardboard tunnels.
Someone I talked to about this party said I pamper my kids. Hmmm…
We are spending a lot of time organizing an inexpensive party at home while other parents spend a lot of money exporting their party to a gymnastics place or bounce house-type venue. Is there a difference? Are both signs of pampering?
We figure age 5 is where our daughter will begin remembering pivotol moments for the rest of her life. We’d prefer she remember her parents working hard together on something that is important to her.