The Manimal had a birthday on Sunday.The previous two weeks were spent talking about the party. I would say things like “How’s my big almost-six-year-old doing?” To which he would reply “Don’t call me that. Call me what I am. I’m only five.”
On Saturday I said “Oh, wow, Manimal. You’re 5 years and 364 days old today! You’re almost SIX!”
“No, Mommy. I’m still just five.”
Always the black and white thinker, that one.
After MUCH discussion of party location, we ended up at that childhood birthday party Mecca, Chuck E. Cheese. Honestly, I was less than excited, but looking at all of the options, CEC had the best price for a party of 15 kids.
And when I say “best”, I mean, the one least likely to overdraw Mommy & Daddy’s checking account.
You see, I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to birthday parties. I have a hard time swallowing $15/kid if they’re not gonna include food, birthday cake, balloons, or a bottle of wine for Mom.
The last time I did a birthday party at CEC was when The Tweenager was six. It was, well, kind of meh. The Rat has really stepped up his birthday party game in the last six years. The Manimal and 14 of his closest friends (well, 12 of his closest friends, along with a big brother and one of HIS closest friends) had a blast.
They give each birthday kid an inflatable crown with tokens in it. The Manimal grabbed it as soon as he arrived and only took it off when they had to put the safety goggles on so he could do the Ticket Blaster.
He also got a Birthday BATALLION, which, to the rest of us is known as a “medallion”. They had a little crowning/conferring ceremony for the four birthday parties. It was really cute, although a bit disconcerting to see The Rat roaming to congratulate each child.
The best part of the party was loading all of the gifts into the car and heading home, knowing I wasn’t going to have to clean up after 15 kids.
And now he is six.