Manipulating the birthday curse.

Poor Bee, girl of the perpetual birthday curse. It seems like no matter when we hold the party or who we invite, it always ends up being my girls and John and Corrie’s munchkins. Which is great that the people Bee cares about most are always there, but every year she ends up crying because all of her friends from school didn’t show up. She notices that her sisters’ friends show up to her party and doesn’t understand why her friends flake out.

So! This year, in order to try to trick the birthday curse (and to make my baby feel better), I decided to throw Bee an extra birthday party earlier in the year. I figured that if we held it during the school year, perhaps more of her classmates would come. And not only did we stage the party earlier, but I decided to do something I’ve never done before: book a party outside the house. I’ve always only had parties in the backyard or sleepovers or family parties at the house. I couldn’t afford to have a party at Chuck E. Cheese or a bounce-house place or any of the other party destinations. They were far too expensive. But then Gracie’s friend had a party at a bouncehouse place near the house and his mom told me what she paid – and it was pretty reasonable. When you figured in what I would normally spend on snacks, sodas, capri suns, adult beverages, cleaning supplies, party decorations and everything else that goes into a party at home, I really wouldn’t be spending more than $50 more for a party at the bouncehouse place. And I would get out of cleaning the house before and after the chaos.

Oh, and did I mention that bouncehouses are Bee’s very favoritest thing in the whole wide world right now?

Yeah, I booked the party. I figured even if no one showed up (besides J. and N.), Bee would still have an awesome time. And the good night’s sleep from three hours of bouncing wouldn’t hurt either! The girls didn’t disappoint:

Bounce

There must have been more than 50 giant inflatable bouncey things (technical term) in the three different play areas. They must have been kid-approved because I think the only time I saw Bee, Gracie or any of their friends was when they surfaced for water, or when the kids were summoned by our party leader to switch play areas.

And yes, some of Bee’s friends did show up this year…only mostly because I tricked the party-gods. Two of the girls who showed up were Gracie’s BFFs who have been at every single one of her parties since she was itty bitty. Bee hangs out with them at daycare, but I’ve staunchly maintained that they are Gracie’s friends; it’s great that my girls are so close, but I want them to be able to have their own little domain where they can learn who they are, separate from each other. But, I did have to admit, that since Gracie has been in the After-School program this year, she only hangs out with her daycare friends on Fridays now. Bee, meanwhile, has made that leap this year into true Big Kid territory – consequently, she’s the one who’s been hanging out with Big A. and Little A. at daycare, much more than Gracie has. So I let her invite them and, because they are good people, of course they came. Of the twelve (!) other girls Bee invited from her class, only one showed up, but if I had to pick one, little R. is who I would have picked. She’s the most precocious, bossy bit of goods you can imagine, and whip smart. Every time I meet her, all I can think of is Junie B. Jones come to life. Seeing Bee-girl’s face light up when R. showed up was worth every single penny I paid for that party.

After the girls had exhausted themselves, the group was marched into the lobby for a dance with the dinosaur mascotpersonthing. Then we were ushered into a party room for cake and presents. I could get used to having someone do all the work for me so all I have to do is take pictures. And sing happy birthday!

Cake

Songs were sung, cake was consumed, and presents were opened. Then we snapped a gazillion pictures with Bee and all of her friends in the giant inflatable chair. An entire. building. filled with inflatable bounce houses and what do the kids love the most? That silly chair. Sigh. Some of the pics did come out kinda cute, though!

Chair

[Can I just say for a moment how much that picture kills me? That’s Bee and N., our two pipsqueaks, our two babies of the family. (Or families, whatevs.) Can you see how tall they’ve grown? I mean, their legs are long and skinny and…just…WHO SAID YOU COULD GROW UP?! When did you stop being 3 and 5 years old, the way I always think of you two mischief-makers?]

After the party was over and friends had all been collected, the four of the original kiddos all took a turn on the bungee trampoline. Bee had so much fun on the one at Mayfest that I had to add it to our bounce experience. Sadly, this one didn’t rocket the girls into the clouds high enough to allow for flips and splits and all other gymnastics that the Mayfest one did, but I’m pretty sure they had a good time.

Jump

A successful party, a day dubbed the best! one! ever! by two little girls, a good night’s sleep, and – best of all – knowing the birthday party thing (other than the family party) is over for another year? Truly priceless.

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2 Responses to “Manipulating the birthday curse.”

  1. storytimewithbuffy Says:

    That’s really sweet that you worked so hard to break the birthday curse. I always had the same problem of people not showing up to my parties because my birthday is around Easter break. And then there was the curse that lasted from between the ages of 16 – 30 when someone (family member/friend/whatever) would do something to mess it up.

    I hope her birthday curse is broken forever!

  2. Kathy Says:

    What an awesome party!! Until my kids were older I always had paties outside the home – sometimes I saved for 6 months to be able to do that. So worth the money if you ask me. Happy to hear some friends showed up this time. May the curse be long gone!

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