This is a Cirque du Soleil clown. Think it'd be a party hit?

This is a Cirque du Soleil clown. Think it’d be a party hit?

“For my birthday I want…”

He’s been planning it since the last Christmas present’s been unwrapped.

I don’t want to plan a birthday party. I’m already the worst mom in the world. We have a wedding to go to on D-Day, his actual
birthday. Who has kid on the day of the Normandy invasion anyway? What kind of a theme party is that? I had little Easter bunnies at my parties. He can’t have a a cake in the shape of a cliff. No way.

But the fact is I have to have a birthday party of some sort. He’s old enough to know kids have parties. I don’t feel I need to keep up with the Jones’.  I don’t know the Jones’ to invite them. I’m slowly getting to know other parents in town, but not enough to call up the ones with my favorite kids and say, “Hey, I’ll spike your coffee for you if you’ll listen to two hours of screaming at my house.”

I’m not having a whole-class party. It’s too much. In my day, I had a cake, we threw balloons around, and we liked it. Modern society’s getting too complex, and while on one hand I’ll preach the gospel of tech in schools, on the other I’ll count the amount of people I want to make promise to come to a kids’ birthday party.

Early on, I realized kids’ birthday parties are the way you get even with people who made you wear dresses to be in their weddings–I don’t do dresses often. My friend once blessed me, “I didn’t invite you so you could have a day of peace.” Beautiful. Best…friend…ever.

Still, I enjoy kid parties to some degree when I can hear myself think–then I can enjoy the other adults. So, that’s the challenge this year. Enough kids so he won’t be suspicious, and enough quiet so parents can smile. Or not–I give them permission to leave and come back. I teach. I can’t be defeated by a half-dozen seven year olds. Not in this lifetime.

So, we’ll be doing Plants vs. Zombies, meaning I have to turn the back yard into some form of home for the undead, and play a few games where kids make a mess. I can do this, even at my age. Plants: I’ll let them weed the garden. Zombies: I’ll teach them how to get that few minutes extra of rest by sleeping in class. That way, by the time they get to my high school zone, my day will be a little quieter.

Seventh party successful. Now, kid, you can work on turning eight.