Biggest Birthday Bash

C's third birthday party

Island Boy has not been to many parties thus far.  We had a party celebrating his adoption in NY State.  He had a 4th birthday party with friends who came over to swim.  He went to his friend and neighbor’s 3rd birthday party at a local park.

IB received a party invitation back in November for a girl in his class.  This was a classmate that he had mentioned to us on numerous occasions.  “I love her.”  He could not attend this party as it took place over the weekend of the NYC Marathon.  Running Girl’s races always take priority.

A few weeks ago, he received another birthday party invitation.  We had not heard IB speak of this friend, but when he heard about the invitation he was stoked.  “Bowling?  I go bowling for S’s party.”

IB had never been bowling.  We aren’t bowlers.  The Major and I have taken the older two bowling, although I can’t really remember when.  I know there are photos of the event.  Subway Dude may have celebrated his 8th birthday at a bowling alley.  Again, there are pictures to document the moment.

We RSVP’d that IB would attend the party.  By the way, I am all for RSVPing via text.  Kudos to S’s Mom on that one.  S was apparently excited that IB was attending the party.

The day of the party arrived and wouldn’t you know that The Major had ski plans with a buddy.  Fine.  I figured I would stand tall and take IB to the party on my own.

For those of you who know us, TM is clearly the extrovert of the two of us.  He would have been meeting and greeting like there was no tomorrow.  He already knows some of the Pre-K parents by sight.  I, on the other hand, know no one.  I try to get in and get out as fast as I can.

I will admit that this Pre-K situation is a little tricky.  The school is located in an area that is not part of our elementary school.  Most likely, IB’s classmates will go to a different school than he does for K-5.  I could be wrong, but that’s my guess.  For me, this bears the question, do I go way out of my way to meet a lot of parents that I won’t be seeing for another 6 years?

I went to the party with the mission of meeting new people and trying to forge some friendships for IB’s sake.  Alas, the title if the post is “BIGGEST Birthday Bash”.

We came into the bowling alley, passing by a video arcade.  IB has never seen one of these:  lights flashing, kids running amok, music playing.  I dragged him past as we looked for the party.

There the gang was, all the way at the end of the alley.  We walked down and met S’s mom.  There were rows and rows of name tags for the kids.  There was a present table that rivaled any wedding gift table I’ve ever seen.

I’m going to pretty much skip over the gory details of the party.  I found out today that there were 31 children at the party.  S took the gifts home and it took her 2 hours to open them all.

From what I could tell there were two lanes open for bowling.  One had a line of kids waiting their turn to pitch the ball down the alley.  The other lane was a free for all of kids battling it out over the balls coming out of the ball return.  (I had to look up “ball return” because I didn’t know what it was called.)

IB spent the entire time in the arcade.  I was not about to fight him.  I had no desire to force him to either stand in line behind something like 15 kids or to send him in to fight over the balls.

The only rule I had was that he couldn’t play with the two games that had guns.  I even had to stand in front of one of the games at one point.  No one was playing it, but it was running a little commercial about how to play the game.  It was a game with guns, so it should be no surprise that it had some graphic material in it.

IB:  I like guns.

RG:  I don’t like guns.

IB:  I like guns.

RG:  I don’t like guns and I’m going to win.

IB:  Papa let me play guns.

RG:  Um, I don’t think that’s true.  And Papa’s not here, so no guns.

I was able to catch up with a friend in Boston.  We had a nice chat on the phone.  I hope she wasn’t too distracted by those charming bells and whistles of the arcade.

The lesson I learned is that IB is not ready for big parties yet.  Maybe it’s me.  I’m not up for big parties.  I won’t even add the word “yet” to that sentence.  I think we’ll stick to low-keyed parties at friend’s houses.

–Running Girl


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Melania on January 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Where is the SUPER DUPER like button for this post!? Remember when birthday parties were for cousins, aunts, uncles and maybe a friend or two. I’m so tired of all the keeping up with the Joneses garbage of throwing extravagant parties and the like. Jackson’s party this year consisted of me, his aunt, two friends and a friend’s mom. It was delightful.

    Although, he did ask if he could have a gymnastics party next year! They have a party for 10 at the local gym. Includes and hour of play in an obstacle course style gym, playing on the ropes, jumping in the foam pit and some other fun apparatus activities. I’m still thinking about it. …
    Happy Low Key partying! XO Melania


  2. Posted by Cecily on January 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Bravo! Probably one of my favorite posts yet. We’re not big party people either and frankly those out of control parties are one of the things I dread most about the upcoming years. I love a simple backyard/park/at home party with only people you actually know (and like). We’ve been to a couple of those big toddler bashes so far and little C wasn’t all that into it. My (selfish) hope is that this is something she DOESN’T grow out of.


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