Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest Post - Amy's Party Disaster

Gone with the Wind: A Cautionary Tale
You know how, when you have kids you enter this weird time warp where days seem to go by in a strange slow motion, but you turn around twice and all of a sudden the entire week has gone by? Please tell me I’m not the only one this happens to!
About two months ago I had a fun little conversation with myself where I reminded myself my kid’s joint birthday party was six weeks away and I should probably start the planning relatively soon. Well…fast forward about four weeks and there I was scanning the calendar when I swear my heart stopped. How could there only be two weeks until the party? My body tensed and I could feel the undeniable trickle of nervous sweat in my bra. Crap.
Thank God for the internet, right? The first few party ideas that came up in my Google search were a magician (meh), a clown (nope), and a bounce house. The kids had played on a bounce house at a community sponsored carnival last year and they had loved it! I felt as though the skies had opened up and a single ray of golden light was shining down upon me. I booked one immediately.
I asked my kids what they wanted to eat at their party, my little girl (age 3) immediately cried, “princess cake!” while her older brother (age 5) countered with pirate Legos (don’t ask—I have no idea how they could be considered a food either). Pizza it is.
A few factors I hadn’t really considered 1. The set-up of the bounce house, I just assumed my husband would do it, and 2. The cake, my sister-in-law knew how to bake, she would probably have some masterful idea on how to create a Lego/princess conglomerate—or least maybe she would have if I had remembered to ask her. Yep, that’s right, I forgot about the cake. The night before the party I was up to my eyeballs in pizza dough, sauce and toppings when my hubby asked when I was picking the cake up. I think I peed a little.
A midnight run to the store and a desperate call to my sis-in-law later I was now adding a layer of flour to my already pizza covered garb.
Fast forward to party day (5 hours later, eeekk). My kitchen was a disaster, the cake looked like it had been decorated by my three-year-old and the bounce house had been picked up and looked a like a bit more than a one-person set up job.
I think I blacked out the whirlwind haze of cleaning and setup because next thing I know my backyard is full of yelling kids and milling parents. The bounce house was an immediate success. I was finally starting to relax, and that is when it all went to hell.
We live in semi-rural Idaho. Our property is surrounded on all sides by fields and when the wind started to pick up there wasn’t much obstructing it before it hit my house in huge gusts. I was inside prepping candles on my disaster cake when screaming turned into SCREAMING. Looking out my kitchen window it was as if the hand of God had reached down to gently tickle the bounce house sending it slowly flopping end over end trailing stakes and children while parents screeched in sheer terror.
Okay, it really wasn’t that bad. There were a few scraped knees, multiple mad parents and a few follow up emails. One parent decided to take the passive aggressive route and sent me this: Bouncy Castles and Your Childs Safety. I can’t say I blame them; I probably should have done my research. Needless to say there kids won’t be attending any more parties at my house—we’ll have to go with Chucky Cheese next year.
The good news is, after everyone was sufficiently covered in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Band-Aids no one seemed to notice how terrible the cake looked. They were too busy eating as fast as possible so they could flee from the death trap that now lay abandoned in my backyard. 

Author’s bio: Amy Merrill is a part-time writer and full-time mother who is slowly but steadily learning from her mistakes—especially this one—and is constantly reminding herself she isn’t the only parent who makes the occasional (okay, frequent) parenting mistake. 

12 comments:

  1. This post made me laugh out loud. I know it was an awful predicament to be in but I love how Amy wrote about the whole experience with such hilarity! I don't think I'll be having any bouncy castles in my garden anytime soon... or other peoples kids for that matter! Great post :)

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    1. I am not a fan of bounce houses. I feel like you never know what can happen!

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  2. Holy cow! That time warp with kids is real life! This post was hilarious! Good you can look back and laugh!

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  3. I hate it when I wait too late to plan a party, but I've been lucky so far.

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    1. I am such a planner. I have all of Connor's party planned and it's not until the 25th.

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  4. hilarious. motherhood sounds crazy - glad I'm not yet joining that club lol I'd lose it, but I so admire the women who can do it. they're a seriously amazing lot

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    1. It's a tricky tricky role but overall, the best club to be apart of.

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  5. I was laughing out loud at this post! I always try to plan parties in advance, but there is always something that is last minute, especially with my daughter's birthday being right after Christmas....I find myself scrambling.

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    1. We have holiday birthdays too - mine and C are days from Halloween - so I get that madness.

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  6. That would've been me for sure! Always waiting and creating chaos at the last minute lol!

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    1. I don't like chaos so I plan and plan and plan so more. But sometimes, things happen and you have to just roll with it.

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