I'm a big proponent of birthday parties in kindergarten--the kids are all new to the idea of school, and I like to see how they function as a group, and what their personalities are. Except that we have just moved schools, and so this was more like a modge podge of friends from our old school, mixed with a few friends from our new school, mixed with a cousin and a friend of the family that we've known since birth. And also, this theory *probably* works better with girls, because the boys just scream and run wild, and so I learned that six-year-old boys are CRAZY, but I guess it doesn't take a birthday party to know that.
But I just sort of decided not to freak out over this one. No hand sewn table cloths depicting the universe (to scale, of course). No home baked goodie bags. No Star Wars-themed t-shirts made with freezer paper stencils. Nothing hanging from the ceiling, nothing draped with tulle and illuminated with Christmas lights. I call this real growth--the ability to know and recognize that if I spend any more money at Hobby Lobby, or stash another box of party theme items in the basement, Mike will have himself an aneurysm.
The weather here in suburbia has been INCREDIBLE lately. And as we live one block from a great park, my idea was to have the kids over here, to play at the park some, to play at our house some, and to eat cake at some point. I may not be an expert at six-year-old boys, but I do know that boredom = anarchy, and so I had always planned the day with lots of variation. Variety is like an organic ADHD drug, fyi. I had visions of playing soccer with the boys, and being the COOLEST MOM EVER, who stole the ball away from the little tykes, only to *accidentally* trip and miss the goal at the last moment. Is this how you win the hearts of six-year-old boys? I don't know, because I am practically a troll without the power to amaze you with shrinky dinks or tye dye.
Except that the universe is a bitch--and just so we're clear, I'm talking about that karma mumbo-jumbo, and not the God of the universe (I am a Christian under the best of circumstances, and a pagan in regard to weather and sporting events). And the day before Little J's party it rained buckets, only to stop 20 minutes before the festivities began. At that point, the grass would have been too wet for my fake soccer dive, the sandbox would have been a nightmare, and going outdoors was out of the question--and yet it was warm and sunny enough to be perfect otherwise. Yep, that universe is a big, fat bitch.
Around Friday at noon, I started to think about *planning* something for the six-year-old boys who were clearly going to eat the plaster walls, if I didn't *distract* them. Pinterest, you were NO help, as creating my own "Death Star Pinata" was out of the question, from a time (and mental capability) standpoint. I did transform 10 light sabers out of pool noodles, but this is more like giving weapons to the restless natives, than creating an activity that takes their focus away from killing our hamsters. I might have to start a new board entitled "Things that simulate a death cage match, for boys". Lawn darts will be included, for sure.
Mike made it clear that there were to be NO craft activities at the party, which blows, because making storm troopers out of recycled materials is like the ONLY way I know how to impress people. Instead, I fixated upon creating "Yoda Soda" (not my recipe)--which is rather simple, but COMPLEX and theological, if you decide to substitute ice cream for sherbet. The switcharoo went off without a hitch, the planet didn't implode, the ice cream didn't create a nuclear reaction and it was...FINE. However, we are all now aware that in the absence of decoupage, or a paper lantern sky-scape, or fabric buntings strewn throughout the house--well, I will overthink a soda/ice cream mixture, because crazy needs an outlet, people.
Also. I researched a few party games to keep this party moving; for starters, I cut up the letters to the word "BIRTHDAY", folded them and shoved them into 50 party balloons (that I then proceeded to inflate myself. Yay, ME!). We split the kids into two teams, and they had to pop the balloons and spell birthday to win. Great fun, with all of their lord-of-the-flies energy channeled to the balloons--BRILLIANT.
Between party games, the boys grabbed their pool-noodle-light-sabers and beat the crap out of each other. No one fell down the stairs during a heated battle for the fate of the universe, as I envisioned when I saw 10 boys pummeling each other to the death.
Party Game #2, was heavily debated by Mike and I--with Mike being a proponent of just letting them smack the shit out of each other until just one party goer survived, and was thus crowned the Ultimate Birthday Fighting Champion. I held firm, though! And managed to sit all 10 boys down for an EXCITING game of "Who can build the tallest structure out of mini marshmallows and toothpicks". Contrary to the testosterone that tells you something/someone has to bleed out for it to be fun, the boys actually got into this--because I f--ing rock at making education FUN. I know what you're thinking, and YES, it is entirely possible that I am a Jedi (which basically means that I stocked the prize box with silly string).
There was cake, and YODA SODA and more flogging with the pool noodles; and then there was our final game...a Jedi scavenger hunt,which the boys all played together. It was all easy stuff, hidden in beds, or on our porch swing, or written in invisible marker on our toilet seat and illuminated by a black light. Suck it universe, and plans for a soccer game, and having to be as athletic as a six-year-old--I WIN this one. Ultimately, the hunt led them to a box full of Fun Dip guarded by a plush Darth Vader, which means that I sent them home to have a manic sugar episode, and armed them with a weapon constructed of foam (which coincidentally, could probably topple a television with enough effort).
I freaking killed it. And by that, I mean, I simulated war without any actual fatalities or blood stains.