May 5, 2009

The Unbirthday Party

In January Nathaniel turned 7. His birthday is 2 days before Allen's. Also, it is in the middle of winter. His birthday parties have always been grandparents and other family members eating cake and bringing gifts. This year he wanted to have a "real" birthday party with kids his age and party games.

There were two catches. He didn't want or need anything as far as gifts went. Despite our attempts in the past to ask people to come have a party with us and NOT bring gifts, we still find we are left with a pile of presents that we have no room for. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. That truly isn't it.

Our kids have been raised without television and advertising and take little interest in the trendy toys from year to year. No matter what is brought to them the only toys they really play with are the Thomas Trains Nathaniel has had since he was two and a good box of crayons and a coloring book. During the summer they like to play in the sandbox, build forts and ride bikes. Nothing necessary for that.

Furthermore, our main living area consists of 1800 square feet. That doesn't give much room for excess. So everything not being used on a daily basis gets donated or given away. I hate to see our friends and family spend money on stuff just so we can give it away. Especially, in these uncertain financial times.

And the fact of the matter is all he really wanted was to have his friends in to play. Something, we don't do very often. So we scheduled a party and attempted to not let people know it was his birthday so they wouldn't feel obligated to bring gifts.

Catch number two is that we had to cancel it repeatedly. First, a stomach bug. Then the flu. Then a cold. We finally gave up on the whole deal when March rolled around, my sister arrived and we were getting ready to go out of town. Our return would be followed by Easter festivities and Whoa! now it was the middle of April and Aedan's birthday was right around the corner.

So the week before last was planned an "unbirthday party" for both boys. What that boils down to was 14 kids between 3 and 9ish, 24 hot dogs, 2 quarts of apple juice, 4bags of potato chips and 48 cupcakes. They played party games planned and led by the older girls and ate themselves silly. Everyone had a blast.

Since then, several amusing events from that night keep floating around in my head.

When the kids were playing games it seems one little boy, whom I will call "A" and one of my sons whom I will call Samuel, were having a debate over who should go first. Finally, in a valiant gesture of good manners boy "A" told Samuel that he could have the first turn. My Samuel, apparently knowing nothing about manners, piped up with a happy grin and said, "OK". Boy "A" then let out a distressed exclamation and said, "You're supposed to let the guests go first!"

So then Samuel, came upstairs and brought his little scooter with him and started riding through our little kitchen and living room area. With all the obligatory grandparents, this meant a lot of toes were being run over. I asked him why he didn't go downstairs to ride his bike and he said, "I think I need a little Mama time."

And then one of our little friends, Girl "B" was playing with Samuel's Baby Einstein dragon puppet. She was making dragon type noises and saying she was going to eat him. Samuel got it in his mind that this was the epitome of evil and apparently took the puppet away. He came to me after the deed was done and said, "Mama, that girl was playing bad games with my puppet so I put it on top of the armoire." Sure enough, somehow this 3 1/2 foot kid, who can't reach to wash his own hands, had found a way to put the puppet on top of the six foot armoire. It is all about motivation, eh?

Later, while I was entertaining the grandparents and seeing the little guests off, my brother and another single friend of ours were in the kitchen cleaning up. Here they were, two young, attractive fellows, still in their dress clothes from work, at a kids party, of their own accord putting away leftovers and washing dishes. I am still shaking my head trying to understand why exactly they are still single.

After everyone had left I was tucking the boys in bed. I asked them did they have a good time and what did they like best. They each did indeed enjoy their party and named off some things that particularly stuck out at them. Then Aedan made an observation. "We are always last." I asked him what he meant. He said something to the idea of this. "Well, our last name starts with "W" so everyone goes before us if we go by name. And, Than and I are the youngest so everyone goes before us if we go by age. And, we are short so everyone goes before us if we go by size.

Well, his last name may leave something to be desired. And his height genes may not be the best. But Aedan sure makes up for it in his astute philosophical skills, eh?

Just for kicks here is a picture of our little friend, Josie. I think it is HILARIOUS. I don't know what she was trying to do with that hot dog but she meant business!


  1. Can I just say, I love your kids - and I've only met 5/7th's of them! You're a great Mama. :)

  2. Haha, the boy "A" sounds alot like the little boy who lives here! :)