I have been looking through old albums and watching the old videos, concentrating primarily on birthday parties (The two pie fights always stopped me dead in my tracks). I have a few of my own personal favorites among all your parties over the years, but I am also curious about yours.
When you were very young, all your parties were at home, and the biggest extravagance was Jamie’s fifth birthday, when I hired Jocko the Clown to come to the house. She did magic tricks, made animal balloons, and painted your faces. We played Pin the Nose on the Clown and I made you a clown cake.
When she was three, we played Musical Chairs on the deck. With three years olds, I recommend always having enough chairs for each child. At that age, no one gets the part about removing chairs. We played Pin-the-Tail on the Donkey and then returned to the deck to go fishing. I had purchased plastic fish, and then hot-glued magnets on the back so the little fisher people could catch their fish with a magnet at the end of a string.
As the only summer baby, Jamie had several pool parties. On her sixth birthday, we had the water-balloon thingy with the timer. Everyone stood around in a circle passing it on from one person to the next, each kid hoping it would burst on them. That was the party with the indestructible piñata. I watched the video as each child tried to destroy the hanging candy holder , first using a baseball bat, but with no success. Whack, whack, whack and the bag remained intact! Then I moved the piñata to the ground for a second attempt, and still it held together despite the mighty bam, bam, bams of each kid. Finally, I gave up and cut it open, releasing all the candy for the anxious kiddies. to grab. I stepped on one little girl as I attempted to get away.
Kelly had two unforgettable parties: the chef party and the tea party. The chef party was for her seventh birthday. I made smock-like aprons for each of her friends, and then made “gingerbread houses” from graham crackers and icing for each party-goer to decorate. Having a birthday so close to Christmas resulted in the appearance of Santa on a fire engine at a few parties. That year was one, so when we heard the roar of the siren, all the kids bolted from the house to see Santa and receive some candy.
During the tea party for her eighth birthday, each girl came dressed in their fanciest outfits, and Dad and I dressed as a maid and a butler. I was Morticia and Dad was Gomez. He was in a tux, and I was in a black maid’s uniform with a cute little cap. I made that doll cake and served the girls on my best china. Each girl was given a straw hat to decorate with paints, and feathers, and sequins. Fortunately, the girls were all very well-behaved and calm, so all my china survived the party.
Casey, when you were four, you wanted a Barney-themed party, so I made the cake and got the matching paper products. We played the preschool version of “Spin the Bottle.” When the bottle stopped spinning, whoever it pointed to picked out an outfit from the bag and put it on. It may have been a shower cap, a fuzzy pair of slippers, a firefighter’s hat, or a boa. Then we went out in the front yard to hunt for peanuts. Whoever found the peanut with the blue dot was the winner. That year it was Christopher.
When you were six, true to your personality then, you wanted a “Movie Star” party. Everyone dressed in what a six-year old envisioned was movie star apparel, and each celebrity was given sunglasses. The cake was decorated like the marquis at a movie theater. Kelly set up shop in the foyer and did each girl’s nails. Casey, of course, wore her boa. Another fun time was had by all.
Eliminating any parties that you had when you got older and we left the home parties behind, what were your most memorable birthday parties?