My daughter turned six last month. She wanted a party, so I carefully planned out something that I thought would be easy. Last year we held her party at a local kids gym type place. Now that was easy. Hardly any work at all. I could simply snap photos of the party, while two energetic girls entertained the kids and then cleaned up after them when it was done. This year I decided the park would be a nice option. I could supply pizza and cake and let the kids entertain themselves on the playground. Easy enough, right? Let me tell you how this party nearly turned into a disaster….several times.
After some research online, I found that the park pavilion I wanted to rent would cost me a mere $55 for the entire day. What a bargain! I booked it and the planning began. My daughter chose a unicorn theme party. I was going to make this the best damn unicorn party there ever was. And how does one plan the best damn unicorn party? By looking at the REAL best damn unicorn party photos that have been pinned to Pinterest. Some Moms seem to have way too much time (and patience) on their hands! After I saw those photos/pins, I decided that I would just do the best I could.
Unicorn invitations – check. Pin the horn on the unicorn game – check. Unicorn cake toppers – check. Rainbow cake – check. I wanted to have some fun with the goody bags and found some cute unicorn goblets and unicorn pops that would be perfect. Check!
Pinterest did give me this cool idea. Because what party is complete without a fruit rainbow on a stick with a marshmallow cloud on the bottom? How clever I would look, right? I made 40 of these. After the 38th one my husband asked me if the sticks might be a bit hazardous. He’s really great with timing, isn’t he? I made a mental note to make sure the kids ate these while sitting. Surely their parents would advise their children to do the same…
The last, but most important party item? A piñata of course! Every kid loves a piñata and this was the best unicorn piñata I could find. I felt bad about having the kids smash this cute unicorn to smithereens, but the piñata was a must!
Almost Disaster #1: As you can see, I had everything figured out. I checked the weather ten (yes TEN) days before the party. Did you know that April in Florida is supposedly the 2nd driest month of the year? Guess they didn’t mean this year! On the date of the party, weather.com displayed a cloud with a lightning bolt through it. Fantastic. But it was still ten days away. Weather can change. But it didn’t. As we got closer and closer, the lightning cloud was still showing up and the thunderstorm chances crept up to a 70% chance. I needed a backup plan – STAT! I knew I had a good sized pavilion to keep us dry, so I was determined to have the party: rain or shine. I now needed to figure out how to entertain the kids. I created a unicorn ring toss game. So clever. I bought play doh, sidewalk chalk, extra balloons, and planned to bring crayons and paper and whatever else I could think of. I was also panicking slightly. As it turned out, the sun was shining on party day. Crisis averted! Thank goodness.
My husband asked me if he thought parents would stay with their kids or drop them off. Now, this is a fairly large park. I was certain that parents wouldn’t assume I could keep my eyes on all of their kids, right? Apparently some of them did. The first two parents to arrive asked if I minded if they went to run errands. With their child standing there, eagerly waiting to join the party, I was left saying “um….sure?” Thankfully, this didn’t turn into a disaster.
Almost Disaster #2: So games were played and kids were fed and everyone seemed to be having a good time. The rainbow fruit sticks were a hit, but I was pretty busy telling a few of the kids to sit down instead of running around with them. I feared the bamboo sticks would pierce some kid’s eyeball. My husband simply looked at me with a “Didn’t I tell you?” look on his face. Sigh. Yes, you did. No more rainbow fruit sticks!
Almost Disaster #3: A few kids showed up with scooters. Hey, great idea! They were having so much fun scooting around the pavilion. You know what’s not fun? Watching the kid on a scooter with a unicorn pop in his mouth. Yes, my sweet daughter handed out the goody bags early. Note to self: explain to her what “parting gift” means!
Almost Disaster #4: The piñata was also a big hit (no pun intended). It was also a giant panic attack waiting to happen. Man, those kids can really swing a stick! I put my Mom in charge of the camera while I held back the kids who were excitedly creeping closer and closer to the pinata and the swinging stick. There may have been a few near misses to my own head. Fortunately, they were all misses! Boy was I glad when that thing finally fell to the ground and was emptied out!
Almost Disaster #5: After a fun filled, two hour party, the guests started to leave and I started cleaning up. Next thing I know, a woman arrives, hastily telling us we had to leave because she had the park reserved for a large party. Huh? Didn’t I technically have the park for the day? She showed us her official reservation sheet. I had no offical reservation sheet like this… Then I realized my mistake. Yes, I reserved the wrong park. A slight park name confusion on my part. Whoops! How did I luck out that my party ended before this woman arrived? It must have been the magic of the unicorn!
We got our stuff packed in my car and waited for the last parent to show up and pick up her child (late). I then vowed to never have another party with so many sticks. On the way home I asked my daughter if she had fun. She said “Yes, this was the best birthday party ever!” That statement made all of it worth it. I thanked my lucky stars that everything worked out – almost – as I had planned.