While it was great to have everyone be able to celebrate Evan's birthday, I didn't imagine it would take quite as many parties as it did (King's Dominion, our house, daycare, Grandma & Pop-pop's house, and finally, the park). Today was the grand finale, a party with Evan's daycare friends which we combined with another girl's party at a local park. I think we had 16 kids, plus a couple of siblings, and at least 1 parent for every kid. Honestly, it was about the same size crowd as if we had the 'family and friends' party at our own house, except we had a huge playground to spread everyone out on. A definite plus.
And now I must complain. I learned some valuable lessons in the co-party area, enough to know that I most likely will never do this again unless it is with a close friend who is a) as anal retentive as I am and will most likely need to be as involved in every detail as I am or b) someone who is laid back enough to trust me and let me handle everything and essentially do what I tell them to. Sorry friends, that's how it is, if you're not one of those types, then just know that we will never co-host a party.
So my co-party parent was somewhat of the "you take care of it and I'll pay you for half" mentality, which I thought was great. Except she said she'd get balloons and showed up with a bunch of girl-colored balloons. And showed up FIFTEEN minutes before party time (she was supposed to be there an hour before) with the balloons in a huge knot after letting them hang out of her convertible on the drive over and asked me to untangle them (I did not). And then realized she forgot a candle and left her child with me so she could run back to Giant and buy one. And started spreading pink tablecloths over the picnic tables despite the fact I had already laid down extremely neutral white ones (we compromised on the half of the table that her kid's cake was on). And invited half a dozen family members (plus kids) without mentioning this fact, knowing that I was doing all the shopping.
Okay, I feel better. I had to laugh when she called me (after I was already at the park) and asked me if I had bought drinks. Duh. When I say I'll take care of the food and drinks, don't you think I bought drinks? She then questioned if I had bought enough...and to be fair, she doesn't know me that well nor has she ever been to a party at my house where she would have clearly known that, if anything, I am always over-prepared. I explained I had 30 juice boxes, a 24 pack of water, 3 2-liter bottles of sodas, all cold, plus a bag of ice and she still showed up with more soda and water (warm). I'm pretty sure she took it all home, unopened, seeing as how I came home with a handful of drinks myself.
Okay, I'm really done now.
The party in the park was an AWESOME idea and Mother Nature served up a perfect day for it. I had games in my back pocket, but never even thought about breaking them out because the kids were so happy to chase each other around, took a break for cake, and then chased some more. Parents were nice, kids were adorable (hugs and kisses all over the place), food was tasty, cake looked great (Disney 'Cars') and in general a good time was had by all--in my opinion, anyway :-)
But next year, I think I'll do the party by myself ;-)
Evan and Eric, enjoying the day
The 4 year old!
Evan and one of his many women trying to hug...they took out a pile of presents in the process. I'm not sure who was laughing harder, them or the parents!