Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lessons from a Slumber Party

1) Have one other adult present, not as a guest, but as some one to help!

2) Do not give 10 small children stone bocci balls and then run inside to get the pizza out of the oven. The only instruction given at that moment was "So, you through the balls... Oh! The pizza's ready!" Everyone apparently survived, I hope, but I haven't been back to check for bodies.

3) If hosting a party in the middle of a blooming orchard, ascertain if any guests are allergic to bees before planning the entire party around this one feature.

4) Keep the wind down. Or at least hold the pizza firmly with both hands as you cross the driveway. I don't care if it burns you!

5) Remember, the 5 second rule does not apply to hot pizza in a dirt driveway.

6) Again, arrange for help.

7) Be amazed by your daughter's foresight in inviting her extremely useful babysitter, who steps up to the challenge.

8) If hosting a party outside, keep it close to the "house" and live on the ground floor. I may (or may not) jog with weights these days, but running up and down the stairs 500x loaded down with party gear causes a burn I thought was only reserved for hell.

9) Have a larger house for when the wind won't stop and rain suddenly comes. The forecast said NOTHING about a hurricane!

10) Do enjoy the sweet mudpies!

11) Be sure to watch the play. The parental job offers nothing better than a kid written and directed play, especially when the little brother is cast as a hobbie horse ridin', gun totin' mass murderer.

12) When serving the wee little guests chamomile tea to quiet them for bed, DO NOT under any circumstances, drink the tea yourself.

13) Check out their Native American village in the orchard, complete with a teepee of pruning scraps and a real, authentic "Native American Fence!" Overhear a proclamation that your daughter really wanted a Native American themed birthday party, but that there are so many different types of Native Americans that she thought it would just confuse everyone.

14) I now recommend against taking all the tired little guests to a kids fishing derby the next morning. It was just as bad as I imagined. 2,843 children randomly flinging hooks and worms occasionally into the water (crossing lines) but usually into each other. In the hour we were there, only one person caught a fish. Given the net of tangled lines over the pond, it's a wonder anything got away. Those smart fish wisely hunkered down at the very bottom of the pond, where it was likely quiet and dark and they were likely napping and I likely wanted to join them. The gods were on my side again that day, however marginally; we caught NO FISH! I should make an offering or something.

15) Do not arrange for the grandparents to visit the day after a slumber party. They will not be impressed with your surly, sleepless little darling growling at them from the doorway.

16) Have you considered not hosting a slumber party? Maybe you will next time.

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