And then, as the last lick of frosting is swirled on, the sprinkles sprinkled, she looks again and thinks, eeewwww. I just took a perfectly nice cake, and covered it in congealed fat and sugar. Gross.
(forcible eviction of the nutrition police from neural pleasure centers)*********************************
Delighted by an anti-craft ringleader, the boys formed a pack, rampaging through the place. Would it be too sissy to break out the vacuum cleaner? wondered the Man. Glitter, markers, paper, beads, broken drums, cushions, and Rubix cubes littered the floor, while I grinned at the kid wrestling futilely with a newly childlocked cabinet. Take that, you whippersnapper. The kid growled, and set up a screeching contest.
In a corner, two children sat, one carefully designing a drum for her brother. The other drew a picture of a castle, beset by dragons. When the pack roared in, artists looked stricken. I shrugged and grabbed a memory of my first grade teacher, a terrifying woman with no sense of humor. Grinning fiercely, Mrs J swept the pack through the hall, while the artists breathed a sigh of relief.
We regrouped briefly, placating the mob with cake and fruit, until one of the artists turned traitor. With twenty minutes to go, the artists helped the pack make war banners, build roadblocks, and assemble a strategic plan of attack while the adults huddled in the kitchen, wondering. One kindly soul decided to offer fair warning to the enemy, like so:
Now, I admitted, I understand why people shell out for birthday parties run by someone else. Somewhere else. With a small bottle of scotch tucked in their bag.
Cripes. But: happy birthday, Eldest, regardless: if a 7th birthday comes with a roar of Independence, well, I can respect that. Just do me a favor and get rid of the caltrops before I have to vacuum, okay?