Wow, today ended up being great! I mean, sure, I'm tired - getting up at 5am'll do that to you - but other than my nervous breakdown, the day went without a hitch, and I think people had a good time!
I have to admit I'd been nervous this week, because NO ONE rsvp'd until Thursday, and I had images of no one but Husband's grown-up friends showing up for Mags' soiree, and her imagined crushed and disappointed little face had me all worked up. But nearly everyone who was invited showed up, and suddenly, it was on!
The house got cleaned, groceries and balloons purchased. Cupcakes were made and cooling by the time folks arrived. And arrive they did, at almost the exact time we told folks to show up (none of this fashionably late -- these are toddlers with nap schedules to keep!) And yeah, it rained, so we were all inside, but it all went fine. I put on my extrovert hat and chatted with everyone, and got some names and numbers for playgroups and child care swapping!! Whoo hoo! The kids ranged in age from about 18 months - 7 years, and they all co-existed really well. In fact, at one point, a few 3 year old ganged up on said 7 year old and were pummeling him with balloons (until one of them popped on a pointy birthday hat. The balloon, not the 3 year old.) Mostly they tore through the toys and Play Doh, which was just what I had planned.
People grazed and had lunch-type things, and after everyone got a layer of 'real' food in their tummies, we started to break out the cupcakes. The kids were all sitting at the table in their chairs, spines erect with anticipation and pointy party hats drunkenly pointing at all angles, and actually started to sing to the birthday girl all alone and without any prompting. It was painfully cute. We got the candle lit and then we all sang to her, and when the time came, most of the kids tried to help blow out the candle. I think Mags could still claim credit for blowing it out, though.
Then came big fun (and we'll see how many parents still speak to me after this...) We let the kids frost and put sprinkles on their own individual cupcakes. Everybody got one special star-shaped cupcake and a knife, and was told to go to town. I was pretty impressed; it was not the carnage I had imagined. I figured they'd slather on all the colors and use fistfuls of sprinkles, but I think most of them were so in awe they were fairly careful about the whole thing. Granted, there were plenty of mothers hovering around to prevent any real damage, but they were pretty contained.
Everyone washed up, and presents were opened. Mags got some really nice gifts, even if they weren't things *I'd* actually buy her. Like the princess kit? Ooooh. Yeahhhh. Granted, very generous. Very purple. Complete with high heel shoes. Ooooooh. Yeah. You can see I'm struggling with this one here. And of course, when I tried to 'misplace' the shoes after everyone left, that went over like a ton of bricks. I'm trying to remind myself that its normal for kids to swing hard into stereotypical roles around this age, and that when I was a kid, I wore my mom's shoes, and really, is this so different from that? Uglier, yes, but different? Mags shuffles around in them with full concentration so she doesn't fall over. New rule in our house: no special shoes on the stairs. The gender role might not kill her, but the fall would.
I prayed this would be followed with a tool belt or somesuch, but alas, no. She did, however score some My Little Ponies, a bubble bucket, several good books, and from us, a t-ball batting stand and some Dora roller skates. Young Mr. Kim made her a really cool diorama in a cardboard box - decorated it himself! - within which he'd placed a miniature dollhouse, some furniture, and a toy family, which was very well received. All of it was well received, in fact, and boy, you should have seen the manners blossoming today! All the kids were really well behaved and polite, and most of it was unprompted. It was super cute to watch. My god, they're little people!
Most kids were sad to leave, and could only be coaxed out the door with promises to return another time. Everybody got to take home a balloon in the color of their choice, and I recycled all of our plastic easter eggs as gifts for kids to take home. Everybody got stickers, a small super ball and - my favorite - a chunk of either clear or purple quartz inside. There was one little boy in particular who just about had an accident in his pants when he saw the rock -- apparently he really likes shiny rocks. My heart just about exploded.
And it was all over in time for everyone's naps!
Mags is passed out upstairs, tiara in one hand, wand in the other, shoes next to the bed ("No shoes on the bed, Mama!") Husband is passed out next to her, snoring away. It was, as they say, a very good day.
(p.s. I'm still trying to figure out how to format these entries and move the pictures around. I'm not drunk or otherwise inebriated. Really.)