Party and Stuff @ 10:30 am
Mason's birthday (observed) party went extremely well, just as naomikritzer and others predicted. The water ballons, kiddie wading pool, and cake were pretty much all any of them needed, though we did have several other games -- hot potato (which many of them had never actually played) and "duck, duck, gray duck" (known to the rest of the world as "duck, duck, goose.")
For some reason, the kids of the Twin Cities do not play "duck, duck, goose." It's "duck, duck, gray duck" for them, and has been for several generations. If anyone out there knows why this regionalization of the game started, I'd love to know the answer. Shawn, who is a native Minnesotan, btw, also thinks all y'all are weird, too. She grew up in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, playing "duck, duck, goose." The difference completely FOWLED (joke!) me up, because the kids wouldn't get up when I yelled "goose!" Eventually, I had to start making fun of myself by naming all sorts of other animals and water fowl. This cracked the kids up (hey, five is an easy crowd for jokes.)
Shawn is still a bit traumatized from the party because it was fairly disorderly. No agendas were followed. Games were picked up and haphazardly abandoned. We ended up having to stomp the fish pinata to death -- a good solution, except I didn't notice that Henry wasn't ready and he had a few tears because he didn't get to be involved. Generally, though the pinata was the only thing that caused any trauma. (Mason had a few tears too because the other kids took more than one swing at the thing and he was freaked that he wouldn't be the one to burst it -- thus the clever plan of having EVERYONE jump on it.)
Only one of the three girls invited showed. I wasn't terribly surprised, however, because both of the no-shows were girls that take the bus home and I wasn't able to talk directly to their parents. Plus, Mason's sense of who his "friends" are is rather baffling to a rational adult. He likes Tina to the point of fighting with another kid, Liam, over who gets to sit next to her, but he also, as far as I know, has never ACTUALLY spoken to her. Similarly, when I asked him about Choley, the other girl he invited, he said he loved her because her hair was so pretty. Again, probably not the closest friendship on record.
But, the important people came, in my opinion. His best friend Jairus, along with Henry, Dalton, and Ava. And, frankly, that was plenty enough kids for our backyard. I had a lot of und making sidewalk chalk art to direct people to the backyard. The theme was fish/pool, and I will say if there was an award for being most "on theme" for five year old parties, we'd definatly place in the top ten. We had a fish pinata. Fish on the cake. Fish on the goodie bags. Fish/beach items in the goodie bags. Fish signs pointing to the bathroom. Fish/sea animals on the table. Nemo/fish party hats, plates, and napkins.
Despite the chaos (which really was minimal -- Shawn just doesn't have a lot of experience with kid chaos), I think a great deal of fun was had by all. I was particularly pleased, too, that Ava's folks hung around afterwards and chatted with us. We've been cultivating them as friends because they're... well, you know how you can just tell you're going to get along with someone? They're those people.
Shawn and I were talking afterwards and we figured we provided the parents with an extra bonus. Because we knew kids would be getting wet, we asked in the invite that they bring clothes to change into... which meant that parents got free snooping time in our house when they went into help their kid into and/or out of wet clothes. (Everyone took advantage of it, too, which cracked me up.) At first Shawn was sort of disappointed that all the parents stayed (since there were so few coming, we offered parents drop-off opportunities) -- though I told her they would. As I said the night before, "Would YOU leave your kid alone at the house of THE LESBIANS??" She said, "Of course!" But admitted she understood what I meant. I told her that there would probably be a certain amount of that kind of curiosity. She forgets, but for some people they don't know that they know GLBT people and so we're kind of it for some... and they're curious. It's not a bad kind of curosity, it just is. (Will their house be filled with naked pictures of women??!! Will there be other LESBIANS and their kids there??? Sex toys lying about!??)
I'm sure our complete normalacy disappointed some, although there is one naked picture in the TV room I aways forget about.
Anyway, it was much fun. Next time I'm planning on stressing a lot less. I mean, we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day, either. It was probably in the low 80s, low humidity, and sunny. Lovely.
In other news, I realized I'm not sleeping terribly well because I haven't been writing regularly. Too many video games and blogging, and not enough fiction writing. I go on about it in slightly greater length at Wyrdsmiths: "Write! It's good for You!"
Anyway, I hope you all are well.