Of course, on Sunday night when I broke the news to him, that there would be no friends, but it would be me and Daddy and his sisters, and didn't that sound fun, and he could have a train cake and WHOOOOOPEEEEE - he made this face:
His dreams - shattered. The big, huge tears of bitter sadness and disappointment started to roll down his face. "Why, Mama, why? Why no frienz for Carter?" I caved. (I can't take the bitter tears of disappointment.) On Monday morning I started calling around to see if any of the moms in the neighborhood had any interest in getting rid of their 2-3 year old sons for an hour or so, and the response we got mostly was along the lines of "You want my three year old? To come over on short notice? And I will then possibly be alone in my house for an hour? Hmmmm, let me think about it, why - YES! OF COURSE! DO YOU WANT HIM TO COME OVER RIGHT NOW? AND STAY ALL DAY?" And so we had a guest list.
An hour before the party I realized, well, we should probably have something for them to do, because there was a limit to how long they would be entertained by Wicket the wonder puppy and the aforementioned nerf balls. We didn't want to run back to the store, so my husband and I came up with a few artfully handcrafted diversions. For example, this pinata:
Party planning tip:
How to make a pinata, if you are extremely lazy:
- Get a paper bag
- Cut out a picture of something
- Glue it on the front
- Get a piece of yarn
- Tell your kid it's a pinata
Entertainment for the party under control, we strung up some crepe paper and called it good. When the kids all arrived, we had them play go fish over the stairwell, using a metal rod with a piece of yarn attached, and a paperclip dangling from the end. I attached tootsie rolls to the paper clip each time. Each time when they pulled it up, they were amazed because, HEY LOOK, A TOOTSIE ROLL, as though it had not just happened 10 previous times. When they tired of this, we moved on to the next candy oriented event, the pinata.
It was windy outside and we had nothing to hang the pinata from, so my husband offered to stand there and hold it while the kids took whacks at it with a metal stick. I thought that was fairly brave, considering what crappy aim these kids all had. (He's a stud, what can I say?) It took them three tries each to break open the paper bag. My daughter was openly mocking them for lack of upper body strength, and we had to make her stand in the corner. The pinata was also full of tootsie rolls and once again they were AMAZED and SURPRISED and DELIGHTED by the appearance of the candy. Two year olds really aren't that bright, quite frankly.
Next we had cake and ice cream. These kids were on a sugar HIGH. Between the steady flow of tootsie rolls, the frosting and the ice cream, they were all positively whacked out on sugar. This was RIGHT before dinner. Their parents, I'm sure, thought fondly of me that night as their kids all crashed back down to earth.
On the phone I must have said 14 times, PLEASE don't worry about a present, I know this is short notice, you're doing me a favor just by letting them come, it's just ice cream and cake, not a real party, please, please, please don't bring a present. Every single kid brought a present. Of course, you know if it had been the other way around, I would have been the loser who took the mom at her word and sent my kid with no gift.
Carter opened the presents and they all played for a bit, then it was over. Carter said it was "AWESOME." That's all that matters. I would post a bunch of sentimental stuff here about what an amazing, lovable kid he is, but I will just sum it up like this in a way that all mothers can appreciate: HE IS NOW FULLY POTTY TRAINED. (Sniff.)
Happy Birthday, Carter - we love you, little guy...