When Natalie said she wanted to have a sleepover for her birthday I was like AWW, YEAH BUDDY. A few seven-year-olds is much harmless than twenty of them ganging up on me. I could handle twenty six-year-old boys; I would just throw them in the backyard with some hot dogs and water guns and let them go to town, only to reappear when they run out of ketchup or good-naturedly break an arm while deck diving . Twenty seven-year-old GIRLS is like Baby Melrose Place and I don't take no baby drama from no baby mamas. And by "baby mama" I mean a little girl, not like the way men mean it when they are talking about who they haven't been paying child support to.
My goal as sleepover hostess, particularly on the day my jet-lagged husband returns from China, is to wear out the girls. Wear them out so well that they fall face-first into a pile of birthday cake. The number one task is to take them to the swimming pool so the first half of the evening is filled with the smell of chlorine and pizza, rather than nail polish and nail polish remover.
We came home and ate cake, mostly so Matt would have enough of a sugar boost to get him through until bedtime. I love serving children socially irresponsible slices of cake.
I was seriously trying to divide up the whole cake between nine kids but we still had half of it left when I was done cutting it. Nobody leaves my house hungry, without cavities, or type 2 diabetes.
And because I felt guilty that I didn't give them enough cake, we hung a pinata. Filled with ridiculous amounts of candy. And none of it sugar-free because there are parents out there who will tell you that Splenda gives you cancer. But really none of it sugar-free because if you eat more than two pieces, you will get the runs.
At Daniel's party, we used a baseball bat for the pinata. Four kids hit it before it was compromised. For Nat's party, we used a broom handle. Each kid got four turns before Matt started punching it. Probably because it reminded him of China.
Nothing says "Happy 7th Birthday" like your dad beating the crap out of a candy-filled butterfly. Like anything could possibly be more evil than that.
The girls then did girly stuff like catch bugs until the sun went down. And then they kept doing it after the sun went down. And I was totally like, sweet! No one is spilling nail polish on my carpet!
And when they had exhausted the firefly population of Greater-Raleigh, they moved on to frogs. In sandwich baggies. To make the frogs feel like they were in their natural environment.
No animals were harmed in the making of this birthday party.
Once all the wildlife was released back into a world without Ball jars and Ziplocs, the kids decorated pillowcases. I'm sure many a budding artist was let loose on the world with nothing but a sugar-buzz and a Sharpie. And that's why a visit to my house should really help you earn credits toward your degree program.
After that, it was time for gifts.
Daniel and Eve abstained from the ceremony, knowing that they have to live with Natalie everyday and would see her on her real birthday and there is no reason they needed to celebrate twice, unless by twice you mean eat candy twice. Then Eve will sneak upstairs and put some stuffed animals that Natalie already owns into a used gift bag. Happy birthday, sis!
My lids were getting pretty heavy and Matt was already asleep. I gave Natalie the remotes and the movies before calling it quits. I don't think I could outlast a group of seven-year-old sugared-up girls even if I were in the body of a seven-year-old sugared-up girl. Daniel and Eve had their own slumber party upstairs with Gumby. Little know fact: Gumby's voice travels farther than you would expect. At midnight, you start to sympathize with the Blockheads.
I'm pretty sure the girls didn't stay up too late, but I'm basing this assumption on absolutely nothing. So basically whatever I say can't be proven or disproven (did I just make that word up?) so it's essentially fact. I awoke to Spongebob Squarepants at max volume, which surprisingly does not diminish how absolutely fabulous that show is. I really only get mad when I wake up to something like Gumby at full volume. Or minimum volume.
We hadn't hit the chocolate part of the food pyramid* yet, so I broke out the chocolate donuts and the chocolate milk.
And the wet naps.
And then, as a favor to the other parents, we went to the pool again to wear out the kids for the next night. Certainly not to wash off the chocolate. But if you happen to jump into the pool covered in chocolate and you exit the pool not covered in chocolate, then that counts as a bath and you should pat yourself on the back for the whole two birds one stone thing. BUT WHY DO YOU WANT TO KILL BIRDS, ANYWAY??? Weirdo. Just keep your kids clean and let's forget you ever thought about harming one of God's beautiful creatures. Unless you are talking about the bunny rabbits that are eating up my garden, in which case I will hand you as many stones as you need.
On Nat's real birthday, Eve and I met her at school for lunch. Seven years ago, I gave birth to an old man who wanted nothing more than deviled eggs and black licorice. And that's what I gave my little old man for lunch.
That night, we went out to Mellow Mushroom. Which seems to be what we do on her birthday.
HAPR B DAY. Happy B Day, Nat! May your seventh year be more HAPR than your sixth.
When we got home, Nat was quick to open her presents before Eve could ruin any more surprises for her. If you have a "secret" that you wouldn't mind getting out, please tell it to Eve- what you got someone for their birthday, Russian intel, neighborhood gossip. My girl has a future with TMZ.
But while Eve could tell Natalie every single present that was wrapped up, she couldn't tell her how awesome my card was. Because I know better than to tell Eve anything.
I spend way too much money on cards that light up and sing. They make me happy like nacho cheese, but not as fat. Therefore, buying cards that light up and sing means you are actually losing weight.
Natalie immediately wanted to play the new video game she got, which is one of those games with LOTS of back-story and LOTS of words. And I, being Mom of the Year, read everything the characters said to each other for the first twenty minutes. And then I read myself to sleep.
Matt and I woke up at 9:45 to a pitch black house with the exception of the glowing television and the zombies staring at it. Which meant that we ate birthday apple pie at 10 pm. On a school night. Because we're the epitome of good judgment.
That was almost three weeks ago. We haven't gotten them to bed on time since. I blame that video game for trying to make us read so much.