Monday, October 8, 2012

Ditch the Sugarplum Fairy and the Pony, But Bring The Butcher Knife, or Tips On How To Throw A Successful Kid Birthday Party Without Losing Your Mind, by Allison

So recently M the six year old stylist became M the seven year old stylist, and her birthday party was the most lovely, peaceful, non-horror-show event, Matt and I were looking at each other like, when does the bloodshed start? (Spoiler!! No blood! Not even a scratch! Or an evil clown! Or animals! Or other mayhem!)
Just a few little girls getting their nails painted and then cupcakes.

I am guessing this is not earth-shattering news to the rest of the world, because normal people do not go off the rails with kids parties like I used to, before I was soundly defeated by my own idiocy.

But just in case I am not the only one who is LUNATIC child birthday party planner before I learned my lesson (Note: It took me approximately fifteen of my various daughters' various birthday parties before this lesson sunk in, you'd think I'd figure out after the INDOOR PONY and the BAD CLOWN and the BALLERINA SHOW and all, but I am getting ahead of myself)
I am generously sharing the following advice:

Allison's Tips On How To Celebrate Your Child's Birthday Without Being Crazy Person:

1. When organizing your first child's first birthday, pay attention to what season it is. For example, if it is still winter, an outdoor petting zoo might not work out very well. Especially if it is sleeting.

2. If it is sleeting during the supposed outdoor petting zoo for your one year old who does not know a thing about what is going on as she is one year old
(Note: No parent ever ever will believe you if you tell them this information, that their one year old has no clue whatall is going on. I certainly ignored sage advice from just about everyone because V was genius savant miracle child who surely would appreciate and remember the petting zoo and all details of this giant party),
do NOT bring the petting zoo inside.

(Note: I realize this is the part where you say, Allison is a total liar and cannot even tell believable lies. But everything in this whole Tips For Parties list is true. I am not exaggerating, I wish I were, but alas, I was actually lunatic enough to do all the things I say I did, and more that I do not wish to recall)

3. If the petting zoo lady says, "No, it is sleeting, I am not bringing the pony and iguana and ducks and snake and such", do NOT beg and bribe her to bring them anyway as not to disappoint your one year old who has no idea any of this is happening.

4. If the petting zoo lady shows up with the animals you begged her to bring, DO NOT bring the animals in the house.

Who would do that?

A pony?
For real?

(Spoiler!!! I totally did that.)

Ducks in a barrel? An iguana on a leash?
All in my house, for the enjoyment of my daughter who is still a baby and her baby friends who have no idea what is happening? NOT a good idea.
But, Silver Lining: All adults in attendance got a laugh and/or a "Whew, thank the heavens I am not married to her" out of it. Well, all adults except for Matt.

Pony. I have pictures.

5. Learn your lesson after Ponygate 2002. Do NOT pretend none of that happened and throw another giant party for your next one year old, this time taking weather into account but not thinking about how it would totally be horrible if you hired a BAD CLOWN to come to your house and scare the babies AND the parents.

6. If you must hire a bad clown because your daughter's first word is allegedly "balloon" (Note: This is what I remember. Or chose to believe she was saying. E says it is totally not true and her first word was "mine." Subnote: She is close, that was her second, and third, and fourth, etc. word and still is a favorite) do NOT choose a clown who goes by the name Loony.

He will NOT be Loony.

He will be very subpar Rodney Dangerfield type jokester who traps parents in room telling them vaudeville style, super-un-funny "My wife is so ugly" jokes while the one year old babies try not to die from biting or ingesting balloon animals that were not even that impressive.

Is double negative.

7. When your preschool daughter takes ballet and likes The Nutcracker, do not go insane.

 Do NOT hire the actual Sugarplum Fairy to do her solo dance in your HOUSE for forty-seven young children.
 (Note: There are a lot of poor choices in the above sentence. Pick your favorite)

8. Do NOT host forty-seven children in your house.
Your daughter does not even know that many people.
What are you doing?
You think that many kids are going to sit and watch ballet in your dining room?

(Spoiler!!! They will not. They will, however, totally lick the giant ballerina cake because you are idiot who puts it at child-lick level. Do NOT do that. They will lick it, I promise. Put the cake up high.)

9. When hosting Cinderella party, make sure the glass slippers you buy online to go on the cupcakes are NOT made of actual glass that can maim or kill children.
 (Note: I realized they were glass when I cut myself on them, and ordered plastic ones on rush order because I had it in my head there would be glass slippers on the cupcakes, so it had to happen, because a two year old will totally traumatized otherwise, right?)

10. Do NOT think you are being clever by limiting the party size to the age of the child, because your eight year old will somehow make the party be 12 girls, and then you have to invite a friend for the younger sister who does sleepovers, and also other kids are there somehow.
They multiply.

11. Do NOT think Clever Sleepover Party Activity Scavenger Hunt based upon your genius "Nancy Drew: Get A Clue" theme will entertain eight, or fifteen, little girls for more than five minutes.

No matter how detailed and creative you get with the scavenger hunt and gold dubloons and clues and whether you hire a lady in England to make purses out of recycled old Nancy Drew books and put compasses and notebooks and clues in them, this genius, well-thought-out activity lasts exactly five minutes.

12. And they SO will not watch the Nancy Drew movie afterwards. They will instead dance on top of the dining room table.

13. And they TOTALLY are not sleeping, at ALL.
In fact, when you lie down at 2 am in futile attempt to NOT go insane, one little girl will perch on you and video you on her iPhone.

14. And as cherry on that party's nightmare sundae, get this:  Little girls flushing entire roll of toilet paper in upstairs guest bath is not going to go well for you. It will in fact lead to flooding through the kitchen light fixture downstairs.


The girls will be very impressed and tell their parents and teachers and the WORLD that our party had toilet water pouring through the ceiling. (Note: All of the kids will remember this for eternity and bring it up at swim meet or school forevermore)

15. Pinatas are EVIL.

I have done extensive case study, otherwise known as gone to a majillion kids' parties as well as hosted a whole bunch, and kids love pinatas.

You know who does NOT love pinatas?


Here is why: Every third one is made of cement.

You cannot break it, at ALL, without James Bond Villain Laser.

Even if you opt for the easy "pull these strings and the old gross candy falls out" kind, every third one will not release aforementioned old gross candy.

It will cause maniac, starving baby-bird imitator children to go wild trying to obtain candy, and they will TOTALLY tell their parents when Matt has to get a butcher knife and cut open the pinata and then run outside really fast chased by pack of candy seeking children.

(And Note: Do NOT go with the candy offered with the pinata.
 It will be old and gross and out of some weird person's basement or very yuk factory somewhere bad.
Get your own candy.
As added bonus of stuffing the pinata yourself, you will be able to kind of tell if it is an Evil Pinata or not, and procure the butcher knife or laser or whatever you need to break the stupid thing so kids who have already eaten cake can have bags of candy)

16. When friends stage intervention called "Allison, outsource the party, why do you keep having them at your house, you are lunatic" and you listen to them and have party at bouncy party place,  Take note:
 It IS possible to deflate a giant bouncy slide at a giant bouncy party place.

They say it is not possible, but it is. And it is stunning and weird and alarming to see the giant slide start to implode upon itself.

Even more alarming: The completely stoned teenager dudes who are party coordinators do NOT know what to do when giant bouncy slide implodes.
They say "whoa" and "dude" and "man" a lot, but they do not save the day.

Instead, kids are shuttled into party room otherwise known as, room with nothing fun in it, good luck entertaining them after they eat pizza for two minutes and then give you wide-eyed, "this is a party, make it fun" faces.

17. I cannot believe I can easily, without having to think back at all, recall that many stupid things I did for kids' birthday parties. And that is tip of iceberg, not even going into the Madeline one involving a complicated game where different prizes were clipped to "Madeline's" dog's leash based upon insane code words used to cue Matt in basement what gender or age the kid with the leash was so he could clip on appropriate prize. I have to stop, before I completely bum my own self out by my idiotic behavior.

18. Remember all of the above tips, and do NOT do any of the stupid things I did, or things similar to that. No matter how cute the invitation is or how much fun you have writing clever verse for invitation, you do not want to go down the above roads. Bad roads.

Lesson For Today:
Allison is ridiculous, don't do anything she ever did at all, except the recent small, lovely manicure and cupcake for reasonable amount of children party.  And if you cannot stop yourself and you go off the rails like me, Warning:
Photographs are evidence of your lunatic behavior, and people have long memories of things like "The Time Allison Brought All The Animals In The House" or "Remember V's Dad With The Butcher Knife?"

I am like Karate Kid person, the teacher one, not the amazingly unaged Ralph Macchio or Will Smith's son.  Do as I say, not as I did.