party out of bounds

jools would like to have a cars-themed birthday party this year. (to be more accurate, he wants a “lightning nu-queen party.”) i recently made an inquiry on DC Urban Moms regarding where to hold a birthday party and whether folks had a better idea of fun, car-themed activities. one mom wrote that she has had it with parties and people upping the ante on “events”.

i totally agree with her in the sense that i see little sense in making a birthday party some elaborate experience with a hired entertainer. as one who is party-planning inept, i even found an old birthday party book i cherished as a child and bought it (online — is this a great country or what?) for ideas. and i’m very grateful for the legions of parents out there who are sharing party ideas with me.

to borrow liberally from my posting, i am interested in places **outside** my home to host the party. last year, we had a simple, traditional party in the house. jools and his buddies tore my house apart and left BC crying for days because several of HER toys ended up broken. maybe we could hold it in my backyard, though it’s is a big hill/luge run (which actually might make it interesting if we try to race cars down it, now that i think of it, though i’ll have to have massive first aid supplies on hand if that happens.) in short, though: my house is a disaster, and i don’t feel like putting it together at the moment and then having it torn asunder. i ain’t doin’ it. i just had knee surgery ๐Ÿ™‚ i want the party out of there.

i’m also very grateful that people are sending me ideas for games and such. there are some inexpensive locales (like community centers), and so if we go that route (to get the party out of my house), it’s helpful that people more creative than i’ll ever be can share ideas for simple activities that will be fun for the four-year-old (and under) crew. (i’m definitely enlisting BC to wrangle the kids this year. maybe she can do face painting? a big win-win.)

birthday parties for kids under two are a piece of cake. why people hire entertainment for toddler parties mystifies me when these kids would be entertained playing with a giant cardboard box. i can only guess that there are older children at parties and so the party thrower wants those kids entertained. but i have been to some really over-the-top weddings/bar/bat mitzvahs where the solid gold dancers (as i’ve dubbed them) recruit you to the dance floor, where you have your picture taken and put it keychain frames, where you get glow-in-the-dark necklaces and blinking hats, watching the video montage of the family members play with careful musical editing, etc. etc. ad nauseum. i agree that things have gotten out of hand in partyland. hell, my husband didn’t *have* birthday parties growing up. his mom made his favorite dinner and then cake. the end. and i think my biggest birthday was the time we went to howard johnson’s — i got ice cream with a cookie in it and then my friends and i got to swim in an indoor pool, which was big stuff back then in the 1970s. usually, though, we ate cake and ice cream and ran around the house until we all felt ill. it was great.

the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel: BC, who will turn 9 this year, wants a small sleepover party. two or three friends. that’s it. i can hardly wait ๐Ÿ™‚


2 Responses to “party out of bounds”

  1. dcum reader Says:

    Saw your posting on the DCUM listserv. Have you thought about contacting your fire department? No cars but trucks with flashing lights…Someone told me the volunteer fire dept in Cabin John hosts parties AND guarantees fun with fire trucks. Good for you for not having a to clean your house just so the kids can wreak havoc. Have fun!

  2. what a great idea! thanks very much :)))

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