Happy Birthday, Toran!

Though I’ve barely recovered from Birthday Bowlingpalooza 2010, a whole year has passed since the day the professor and I thought it would be ‘fun’ to take six Kindergarten-aged boys…bowling.

How to top that experience, but to take 8 first graders….bowling.

Thus we gathered on Saturday. At the world’s hardest-to-find bowling alley. For the purpose of supervising little people handling pin-demolishing implements. Having now survived two Birthday Bowlingpaloozas, I feel somewhat qualified to share these handy tips; for those wishing to start their own fantastical bowling traditions.

1. Know where you’re going. This may seem like an obvious tip to 99.9% of the party-planning population. And yet…we Johnsons were three minutes late to our own party because we had trouble finding the bowling alley.

2. Break up the boy-testosterone. This year, the Gort invited four female classmates, and even though we had more kids than last year, the bowling itself was much smoother. The only people who pinched their fingers were these two:

Last year, every single party guest succumbed to some sort of bowling ball injury. Sure, the difference might be that the boys were a year older. And we had an entire mini-alley to ourselves, instead of a lane or two. But I’m attributing the no-injury phenomenon to the girls’ presence. In fact, as the lone female in a household of males, I know this to be true.

3. Have a party favor slash loot bag. Even if it means taking your three boy-children shopping on a Friday afternoon for the contents. (Quelle horreur, indeed.) Because children start thinking about the loot bag before they even get to the party. And once they get to the party, their little eyes are scanning the room repeatedly for signs of a loot bag. And if they don’t see one, they’re going to ask you (at point blank range) ‘are we getting loot bags.’ So, just have one. Even if you have to endure considerable personal harm from walking around Michael’s at 3.30pm. On a Friday. With your own flesh and blood. (Alternatively, prepare your favor bags in advance, if you’re that kind of a person.)

4. Charge your camera battery. Even if you think ‘oh, the battery should be fine’, charge it anyway. Because you might take 200 blurry pictures of people bowling, and then, when the cake comes out….the battery is thoroughly depleted. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

5. Don’t entrust the cake-making to an outside source. No matter how convenient. Sure, you might look at the professor at 11pm on Friday and say ‘good thing we ordered the cake, because otherwise we’d be making a cake right now’ and ‘I’m so glad we did that’ and he’d agree. And you’d swallow your objections to store-bought cake and scary colored fake frosting, and mother’s guilt over a non home-made cake….because it is awfully convenient.

And then, while the party guests are waiting for the ‘cake and candles’ portion of the event, you’ll take a look at the Safeway cake. Realize (1) it’s not the kind of cake you actually ordered. Unless one person’s ‘robot’ is another person’s ‘mysterious white tracks’; (2) the frosted sides of said cake are collapsing and (3) the message reads ‘Happy Birthday Toran’.

An unfortunate side-effect of having a party for first graders, is that they can read. Hence the guest of honor will look at the cake for ‘Toran’ and say, immediately, ‘that’s not even my name.’

And you might have visions of a child lying on the floor howling about a terrible cake. And the professor will do his best to turn a T into a G-ish. (With less than stellar results.) And in the end you’ll stand in the kitchen at 11pm on a Sunday.

Making homemade cupcakes for Toran’s actual birthday.

12 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Toran!

  1. I am DYING looking at that cake. That is something to seriously laugh about – as always, you crack me up. I really tried to see a robot, but just couldn’t… Happy celebrating 🙂

  2. Maybe Toran was a kid who really liked grey blobs that shoot out spider webs and he had a party down the hall and was screaming about his horrible robot cake…

  3. wow…that cake is awful! I was crazy enough to invite 12 4th-grade boys to Spencer’s party…at our house…in November.

  4. Talking to Goran yesterday you would have never guessed that there were problems Saturday. It sounded like he had a great party and loved the gifts. However, I know he will like the homemade cupcakes much more. 🙂 It was fun to “see” you all yesterday.

  5. Oh my goodness! I can’t say anything else but thank goodness you have such a good attitude about it post debacle.

    1. If that’s supposed to be a robot, I completely agree with Diana about cakewrecks.

      I was guessing really bad Spiderman cake sans figures. The side icing seems to be trying to duck the camera.

      We split the difference and let someone else make the cake & give it basic frosting, then we do the embellishment ourselves:

      paper decorations: http://babytoolkit.blogspot.com/2010/09/super-mario-on-icing-our-3d-2d-32-bit.html

      marshmallow (easy) fondant: http://babytoolkit.blogspot.com/2008/09/not-quite-homemade-custom-decorating.html

      So far, we’ve managed to spell our kids’ names properly every time.

  6. I totally agree with Diana…..now that you are off your sugar-free ‘lifestyle’, think of all the free bakery treats you could get!

  7. Ladies (and gent)..’twas a disaster, no doubt about it. But as one friend pointed out, kids really don’t care (well, they sort of care when it’s not their name). They eat two bites of frosting, half a bite of actual cake and then they’re done. I did send it to cakewrecks, Diana, so I’ll see if they use it. And I did send a note to the ‘party planners’. When we left the party planner said ‘do you want your cake,’ because we’d only consumed about an eighth of it. And I said, ‘no, thanks.’

  8. I am still laughing! I invited 12, yes 12 five and six year old BOYS to Nelson’s party thinking that not all of them would be able to make it… Uhhhhh… all the RSVPs are YES!!! It’s a Lego party. Hoping and praying that the weather is good so they can run outside 🙂

    Start praying for me now!


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