Balloons, cupcakes, candles — oh my! Streamers, presents, games — oh my!
Ten three year-olds/four year-olds/five year-olds — oh mercy!
I’m here to say that the better half and I hosted our monkey’s fifth birthday party at our house for three hours this past weekend and survived. Barely.
For some reason when I let the monkey put together her list of who to invite, I wasn’t thinking of having nine other children my daughter’s age running amok inside my home.
She started with eight kids. Four couldn’t come, so then for some reason we invited five more. Apparently I forgot how to count and suddenly there were nine kids that weren’t mine and one that was.
It was our first big birthday party with friends. The past four birthdays we’ve just had a small family party and invited one or two people extra.
This year for her big No. 5, we celebrated with a family party the day before her birthday, then just the three of us on her birthday, and then a birthday party with her friends the following Sunday.
I should have planned to take the next week off for recovery time.
I was nervous about the birthday party with friends. We’ve had play dates before, and before Christmas we had her little group of five preschool friends over to decorate cookies and all of that went well. So I really thought 10 kids would be, well, not that bad. But then again...
And don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that bad. I tried to keep things simple. They all arrived and they played. We had pizza and fruit for lunch. My wonderful niece painted faces and we had a game and a craft.
After all that, we barely had time for cupcakes and presents.
I was worried we wouldn’t have enough to do, but it did take a while to wrangle all of them up for each activity.
We suddenly had kids everywhere — in the monkey’s room, in the bathroom, in our room, in the kitchen, in the basement, in the laundry room, in the office, under the stairs. It’s amazing all the places they found to be. I actually thought they would stay upstairs and play in the living room.
They were all very good kids, but there was an incident we had to help somebody wipe, we had a lineup at the bathroom, somebody didn’t like this and another person took too much of that.
And then there was the one that turned the monkey’s bean bag chair upside down, un-zipped it and started emptying it.
And the birthday girl decided to take a major fit and needed a time out at her birthday party.
When they left, the better half and I sat (and I use the term "sat" loosely, we were more sprawled) on the couch for a good hour and then started to clean up. It honestly felt and looked like we just had a three-hour preschool tornado.
My monkey, though, said we put on the "best party ever" and all the kids said they had "so much fun!" when they were headed out the door.
I’m relieved it seemed to go well and also relieved she only has birthdays once a year. It might take me that long to psych myself up for the next one!
Kyla Henderson is a local freelance journalist, business owner and mommy. Her column runs every week in the Community News.