Saturday, March 2, 2013

One Birthday Party Down, Four to Go

This is an odd year, where everyone turns an odd age.  I decided a while back that on even years we would just have family parties, and on odd years they could have a friend party. Wow, the chaos! After we got through the first one, I already want to renege my part of the bargain. But I can do it. (I am partly consoled because the next birthday is Pearl and she isn't having a friend party. I am not a bad mom. She wouldn't even remember it.)

Ivory requested a late night pajama party, and almost all her friends could come. We started with one of the kids favorite games: The Dice-Dancing game, made up almost five years ago. It was inspired by a number game at my neighborhood skate center growing up.

It was about this time that Tyler donned earplugs and kept them in the rest of the evening. Poor guy. That many children can be extremely loud!!!!

We played another game after. There are plenty of versions, one commonly using a thimble full of water. We like to use a spray bottle at our house. But since the kids were younger we opted to spray people on the hand instead of the face. And I think it led to much less crying. Here is Ivory thinking of her category.

Here is proof that Ivory invited boys to her party.

(And oddly, one of the only tantrums was from one of the boys who flopped on the floor and cried when things didn't go his way. Maybe he was trying to fit in with all the girls.)

Then we painted. Nothing says 'party' like allowing kids to make a mess. It looked so pretty beforehand.

I just cut letters out of contact paper, and stuck them on watercolor paper.

The kids did a great job, and painted in many different styles.

The contact paper peeled off like a dream after. I didn't get any pictures that evening, but here are our family's letters.

After painting, Ivory opened gifts while I finished up the cake. This picture cracks me up, because this is how all kids parties seem to go. They all want to be as close as possible to the person opening the presents. I promise Ivory is in there somewhere.

(Too bad we don't continue this tradition....can't you picture a baby shower with everyone huddled around the new mom?)

I had maybe planned to do a more elaborate cake, but in the end, I wasn't feeling it. So, I made Wacky Cake, which is super delicious, but not very pretty. The melted candy bars on top make up for the fact that it is in a bread pan. (I promise.)

And then we watched a movie and I made caramel popcorn and prayed that some children could just sit down for an hour. (They couldn't.) But all things considered, we will call the party a success.

The only downer was at the end when one of the children was very hyper and rambunctious. I asked her several times to calm down and she was struggling keeping her hands to herself. (Not surprising since it was past their bed time and they were full of cake and popcorn.) But Ivory turned and told this child that she didn't even want to invite her to the party.

I was so disappointed in Ivory. It was the truth. Ivory did not have this child on her original list, but I had intervened because this child had previously invited Ivory to her birthday. Maybe I should learn not to meddle. This doesn't excuse Ivory's rude comment, and I spoke to her sternly multiple times. I think the problem originally stemmed from Ivory not being very discreet in handing out the invitations at school. I'm sure there were hurt feelings there as well. But it is unrealistic for us to invite a whole classroom of children to our house. (Plus, Tyler's head would have exploded.)

I wonder if you have found good methods of passing out birthday invitations, or helping children feel included. Obviously, Ivory brought a treat to her class to share with everyone on her actual birthday, but that doesn't make up for not going to a party. I have talked with my own children telling them not to feel bad if they aren't invited to a party, because people cannot invite everyone. And perhaps it is a part of life that everyone needs to experience. (Minus the rude comments of course.)

It has been on my mind a lot because I don't want my girls to be the 'mean girls'. (You know what I am talking about.) I hope I can raise them better than that.  


Kim said...

I know that sometimes the teacher can put the birthday invitations in the kids' homework folders or backpacks without them knowing. That way it is easier to do without hurting feelings or leaving kids out. My kids' school won't allow party invitations to be passed out at school for that very reason but my son's first grade teacher will put them in the kids' Friday Folder if the parents ask. My son has gotten a couple of birthday party invitations this way that he had no clue about till he opened his folder at home. Just a suggestion but you might ask their teachers about it.

meganmushrat said...

Well, I am certainly not the person to ask about this. The only birthday party I can remember having was the one where I invited my entire class and only one person showed up. I'm not real keen on birthday parties, and I actually don't remember you girls having many either. Tim arranges his own birthday parties! However, since he has so few friends, my only duty is to make sure we have snacks and goodies on hand - and maybe a pizza they can heat up in the middle of the night.

¡Vieve! said...

I always wanted to have birthday parties around that age, but at the tail end of many kids, I never got to. I'm so glad you give your kids parties, and I'm sad that Ivory said that! Hopefully things improve.