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Last Friday Night

My friend ( I will call her Martha) hosted a backyard birthday party for her daughter Friday night.  This particular friend is very good at party-planning and menu-planning, but also thinks that she is Martha Stewart and tends to take things too far.  For example, if the kids say they feel like having mac and cheese, instead of making it from the box like the rest of America, she whips up a four-cheese gourmet dish.  If the kids want chicken nuggets, then she cuts up chicken, breads it and fries it up while the rest of us take frozen nuggets and heat them up.  If the kids want ice cream – in the fall she has been known to puree pumpkin and mix it with cream and sugar for a homemade gelato!!!!! Ok – do you see how exhausting this is? 

I was actually a little jealous of the party at home, that I would never be able to pull off and that my kids never seem interested in.  They always want to go somewhere that is filled with the stomach bug and inflatable devices that costs $500.00.

“You can totally do a costume party for Michael in October in the yard!! It would be so fun  – you can do games! And you can have a fog machine! And you can do a scavenger hunt and hide bloody hands in the bushes!!”  (Sidenote: – This sentence is word-for-word what she said. She is always super positive and optimistic and thinks everything is always going to be super awesome and fun!!  She is very convincing.)

I was totally excited – I had learned a lot about children’s birthday parties since Michael got invited to 45 parties since the start of kindergarten and I would be thrilled if I could manage to do one at home. 

When we arrived the yard basically looked like Candyland. Martha thought it would be cute and nice to set up a long table for 26 children filled with decorative gumball machines and huge glass vases filled with lollipops and pixie sticks.  That’s right – you heard correctly – the APPETIZERS for 26 kids – were gumballs, lollipops and PIXIE STICKS.  It looked gorgeous – but possibly problematic. 

This is my friend greeting us in her backyard at the start of the party!

Martha seemed to have things under control, organizing potato sack races and some game involving foam noodles, so my husband stayed with the kids at the party while I ran some errands and came back about a half hour later.  Apparently, during this time the raw sugar consumption coupled with the fact that this generation of children doesn’t know how to play in a yard, ended up as a recipe for disaster.  When I came back, the children had the noodles and were running around hitting each other in the face with them.  Buckets of sand that were set up for another game were being tipped over and kids were taking shovels filled with sand and throwing them into the air and at each other.  Potato sacks and the “tug of war” rope were thrown in the bushes along with eggs that had been set aside for a “spoon races.”  

This was how the table looked at the start of the party before I left to run errands.

Pink sugar was everywhere on the previously beautiful tablescape – and my son ran up to me when I got there with what seemed to be a large baseball in his mouth. 

“Spit that out.” I said with my hand under his chin.

A humongous blue gumball came out of his mouth.  Apparently the gumball machine as centerpiece had backfired.

This was what the party looked like when I got back from running my errands.


Martha was in the center of the madness with a look of exasperation – I stared at her in horror.

“Well I’m glad I was here to witness this – so I don’t make the same mistake with Michael’s party.” I said.

“They just chewed me up and spit me out,” she said. “I guess we should serve the food.”

Ah – the food. Off we went to serve sliders and tater tots with an olive and pickle antipasti.  (That’s normal – right?) We actually went up and down the table with little ramekins of mustard and ketchup asking the wretched beasts if they wanted a condiment with their slider, instead of the crazy idea of putting condiments in squeeze bottles where they belong and letting the 7 year olds!!! fend for themselves.

Up and down the table this is what could be heard….

“I hate burgers.”

“I hate buns, I don’t eat bread – I want mine with no bread.”

“I hate pickles.”

“I need more pickles.”

and my personal favorite….”I am not eating that I am a vegetarian.”

To which Martha responded – “Ok I will make you a grilled cheese.”

To which the little vegetarian responded, “I hate grilled cheese.”

To which Martha responded – “Ok I will make some pizza on the grill.”

When Martha did this – the vegetarian refused to eat it!!!!  Instead she dipped her PIXIE STICK in her KETCHUP and ate that instead.

After dinner – and another failed attempt at a yard game, Martha decided to move on to the Barbie cake.  After singing and elbowing obnoxious children out-of-the-way that were trying to blow out the candles – Martha tried to cut the cake on the table.  A swarm of crack-addicted pixie-stick eaters hovered around – requesting pieces of Barbie’s anatomy that they wanted to eat.

“We have to cut this cake away from the table – these kids are animals,” I said.  At that moment my son came over and plopped his entire elbow right into the cake.

We were in the home stretch – 20 minutes more of insane running around the yard and beating each other with noodles and Martha passed out the party favors which included more CANDY and the hit of the party….Whoopie Cushions.

At this point in the event all 26 children literally – went and sat down to test out this newfangled device.  Squeals of laughter ensued and lots of hideous noises –  it was the highlight of the night!!!

For all of her efforts – all these insane children wanted was a really loud “fart” noise!!!!  I am not going forward with the “Bloody Hand in the Bush” party – I am thinking more of inviting a bunch of kids over and we will just eat pixie sticks and sit on whoopie cushions for 2 hours.  It should be a hit!!




32 responses »

  1. holy crap I’m traumatized by just reading about this party. Congrats for surviving. Suddenly the hour and a half it took to clean up my son’s playroom after his birthday party last weekend doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
    Nice to ‘meet’ you fellow lady blogger.

  2. Perhaps the Bloody Hand Party may be a hit if you give the children jello shots of benadryl disguised as bloody eyeballs as they arrive!!! It will be sooooo fun and I will help!!
    Love, your friend Martha
    PS LOVE the blog..very funny!

  3. OMG. It sounds like a Desperate Housewives episode! Hilarious. Those germ-infested jumpy places are lookin’ a whole lot better after this post!

  4. Let Michael and his friends wreck Chuck E Cheese for his birthday party just don’t forget to bring plastic ramekins for that special touch!
    Don’t buy pixie sticks – my son convinced my daughter that they smelled great. I have to admit, I still think whoopie cushions are hysterical.

  5. WOW!!! To me, childrens’ birthday parties are hell on earth. Every time my son comes home with a birthday party invite it makes me wonder what I could have possibly done so wrong in my life that karma would reward me this way but this? This is just ridiculous. All I can say is that I’m glad it wasn’t me.

  6. I wish I had that kind of energy or frankly talent. I tried once to make homemade chicken nuggets and believe me it did not turn out well.

    I’m not looking forward to birthday parties. My son’s turning 5 in March so I think its going to start soon.

  7. I’m dreading kiddie birthday parties now that Kate is in kindy. I can barely handle to few we have with friends of ours, but to get invites and survive parties of kids we don’t know? No way!

  8. Well I have to say my friends and I had equally no imagination when it came to birthday parties THANK GOD dull but always fun to be around all our friends great story….

  9. Whatever the theme of your party is, serve turkey. You’re welcome.

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  15. And that is why I don’t host children’s parties. My kids don’t miss them cause they have never had them, and the only connection my son has to parties are the ones he has at school, the mini class party during snacktime. I don’t have to be involved. Whew! 🙂

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