The ignored, underappreciated middle hooligan turned five last week. This is the people-pleasing, helpful-around-the-house, smart-enough-to-get-into-kindergarten-a-year-early kid. Naturally, I felt I should overcompensate for never throwing a real kid party for him. He wanted to go to some pizza/games/bounce house type place, but I cleverly psyched him into a DIY at home party. OK, not really because all the psychology I know just doesn’t work on this kid. He does what he wants after long and careful consideration. And he’s usually pretty on the mark. Anyway, he decided a Cars 2 theme would suffice and we could invite his whole class…22 of them. 9 showed up, and ours made it an even dozen. Thankfully, it was a gorgeous autumn day here in Wisconsin, so we could play outside.
In my big timeline for the party, I had planned to start off with coloring these nifty Cars puzzles and having a little snack while waiting for everyone to arrive. Instead, the kids got in the house, saw the backyard playgym, and bolted out the back door to play. Which was fine. Although not my plan.
Fortunately, my husband is more than willing to be in charge of games, after missing more birthdays than he’s attended, thanks to Uncle Sam. I was a little worried when, 2 days before the party, I was blanking on games fitting the theme. Party mojo kicked in, though, after a hard cider, and I came up with a few that I thought were darned clever. We played Backwards Driving through cones using a mirror to back (Mater is the best backwards driver in the world, in case you didn’t know). Then the Rescue Obstacle Relay Course…bounce to the playgym, climb the rock wall, rescue a car, slide down, and bounce back to the firepit. There was no fire in it…we are responsible adults occasionally! Last but not least, Red Light, Green Light. In the meantime, I had cooked up some tasty kid treats for lunch.
Inside, the kids played Pin the “Dad Gum!” on Mater on this poster. I printed it from the internet, and I’m pretty sure broke no copyright laws, After, they got some snacks and sat in the living room to watch “Mater the Greater,” which is a collection of shorts involving, you guessed it, Mater. Basically, this fine piece of animated art was robbed on Oscar night. Watch it if you don’t believe me.
After snacks, we headed back outside to break the pinata. Really, I don’t get why kids are always so excited over a pinata. Especially when the party favors I made are so indescribably much cooler. Everyone except my oldest got to swing at the pinata before it broke, but he was happy to wait until after and really destroy it. THe little one dropped her bag o’loot, and all the kids who have whiny little siblings immediately grabbed all the good stuff. She put on quite the dramatic display, however, and all the kids without younger siblings shared their stuff with her. So it all worked out fine. And we got a funny photo to show her friends when she’s a teenager.
The cake was anti-climatic after all her drama. It was a cupcake cake I bought rather than making. Pure laziness, really. I did get chocolate, which I don’t like and the birthday boy does, so I felt pretty virtuous about not consuming all the leftovers. One guest even said it was the best birthday party EVER. And a five-year-old would know. As my grandma used to say, “We put the big pot in the little one!” That’s no mean feat.