Sunday, October 21, 2012

"War is Hell:" A Boys' Birthday Party

Andrew's family party at home on his birthday with his requested "pumpkin shaped cake"

Andrew was a bit spoiled this year on his birthday. He has been having a hard time with our current arrangement of me and Will departing for Baltimore every morning and not returning until bedtime each night. His birthday fell on a Thursday, and I felt bad having him just eat dinner with our (wonderful and heaven-sent) babysitter and not having cake until 7:30 when we all returned. I called my parents, who intervened and took him to Chucky Cheese. My sisters and all their kids joined them. Will was desperate to be in on it, too, so in defiance of all good sense, we drove all the way out there after "feeding camp," not arriving until close to 7. I ended up regretting this decision. Suffice it to say that the only way I could ensure the physical safety of the boys from each other (and possibly from me) on the drive home was to get out my laptop and let them watch a movie as we drove. When we got home, we had cake and opened presents. It was a loooooong night. He received legos and weapons.

Fast forward to the friends' party on Saturday. I am so glad that we held this years' joint Andrew-Will birthday party at a locale outside my house, since Brigham ended up going out of town this weekend.

This year we held it at a laser tag place. I chose the one way out in Sterling because it was closer to most of the kids from Andrew's school, but in the end only two of them came. Darn Chinese school on Saturday (and skating lessons?). Fortunately there is no Hindi school, so Andrew's best friend from Kindergarten was able to make it. They were so happy to see each other. The kid he is hugging is not that kid, though. And that little boy ended up crying in pain in the corner for a few minutes after this exchange. Poor thing.

The whole thing was sort of a rush because another party was using the room right after us, but kids don't notice anything and I didn't care so long as I wasn't called upon to be cleaning it up and moving it along. You can see the worker in the background getting things done. We had the arena all to ourselves and the kids ranged around like little gangs, failing to make a lot of hits, but more importantly, failing to recognize that.

Andrew and Will decorated the blank Costco sheet cake I'm so glad I bought with their toy soldiers, tanks and helicopter (that I boiled). They wanted me to inscribe the Happy Birthday in red frosting (we didnt have blue) and since I am an idiot I did. I knew it might look kind of like bloodshed, but I was not taking into account how awful and shaky my frosting writing is. It looked like a poster for a movie about the carnage of war.

We had a theme going and didn't even mean to.

The kids all seemed to have a wonderful time, the other parents who stayed were so gracious and helpful (taking photos for me, watching kids, and carrying things out to my car afterwards. It was so nice to not feel stressed like I usually do about these things. It was what it was and it wasn't hitch-free but it was perfect. It seems like everything I do these days "takes a village." Oh well, I'm over pride and martyrdom and self-reliance. Some other season of life!

I only put four candles on Will's side of the cake and six on Andrew's. They were laughing about it and it took me a moment to figure out what was so funny with turning four and six. Its strange to have a seven year old, and that little Will is FIVE (that seems impossible), but I guess I am too tired right now to wear myself out further with my typical melancholy and sentimentality. It was a good, fun party and I'm glad its over.


Sarah said...

I'm glad you're letting the village help out. I wish I could be among them.
Sounds like the perfect birthday party to me. And I love the cake. The boys (and you!) did an excellent job keeping that theme going. :)
Can't wait to see you in a month. We'll have to chat soon and sort out the details. I'm hoping you'll let me contribute as much as possible to the dinner. I'm trying to figure out what to do with our week out there...Williamsburg maybe? Maybe you'd have some better ideas.

Ashley said...

What is this business about you having to spend every day in Baltimore? That is just brutal. I'm so sorry, and I hope it is paying off, and that it doesn't last much longer!

Congrats on two birthdays well-celebrated. So funny that we both ended up at Chuck E. Cheese's this year. Your pumpkin cake looks incredible, and I am impressed that you boiled the toys before you stuck them in the costco cake. I had a few extra minutes before our party so I rinsed Darth Vader's feet before I stuck him in, and I felt like a hero for it.

You are a good woman for embracing the whole War aspect of raising boys. And most importantly you look darling in these pics.

brooke said...

You do look so cute in the pics...which is really the most important part right? Looks like he had a great birthday!

Tara, Doug, Isaac, and Lucy said...

I want to hear about feeding camp in Baltimore too. Holy Cow.