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Monday, August 01, 2011

Max's Sixth Birthday Party (or how a backyard party gave me post-traumatic stress disorder)

Yesterday was Max's 6th birthday party. I would share photos, but I did not take any, as I was in defcon 5 defense mode the entire time. I do not know how a simple party went so wrong, but it went so, so wrong, and I felt like such an utter failure.

The theme of the party was "water party," and I really thought I had everything thought out. I used this party plan from the AMAZING ladies at One Charming Party (NONE of the disasters were their fault - I can't recommend their party plans highly enough) but, in hindsight, I think I was smoking crack when I was planning things.

First of all, if you look at the party plan, you will see that the children are in a large yard. My yard is approximately 10x10. You will also see that the children are not all boys. I had almost all boys. The kids in the party plan? Cute little preschoolers. My party? Testosterone-ravaged 1st graders who were hellbent on destruction.

I decided to combat the small yard problem by extending the party under my deck. In theory, this is a brilliant idea, because it almost doubles the available space. What I did NOT realize was that there was a dead, rotting squirrel in our pile of fireplace logs, putting out the stench to end all stenches. By the time we realized that the strange (and by strange I mean putrid) smell was coming from the logs, we had a full yard of people and were stuck. We spotted the dead squirrel's tail almost immediately, and had a brief conversation about the viability of extricating it without causing a commotion, but quickly realized that it would be impossible. And, so, we dealt with the smell and prayed that the tail would not be noticed by one of the manic six-year-olds (it wasn't, and that was one of the only things that went well).

I don't know that I have the fortitude to go over everything that went wrong yesterday (time outs, head locks, punching, kicking, screaming, crying), but it was just mortifying. There are many things that I am good at in this world. The cake, for example, was both attractive and delicious. However, I think I can now safely say that I am a really, really horrendous organizer of children's parties, and will certainly be outsourcing that task in the future.

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