Catching the deluge in a paper cup

My daughter was a late November baby, and it has always been very frustrating for her that she is frequently deemed “the Turkey,” as in — often her birthday falls on Thanksgiving. This means many of her friends are out of town with their families, and she rarely gets a full turnout for her party.

The year she turned 10, however, the stars aligned, her birthday was on a Saturday and for some reason, most kids were available. Ten girls to celebrate 10 years old, a scavenger hunt to find ingredients to decorate cupcakes, two hours — what could go wrong?

To start, my husband came down with the flu and he huddled in the bedroom, unable to help. The guests arrived and found the frosting, sprinkles, paper parasols and et al within minutes, decorated their cupcakes and left them in a gooey heap. The girls became bored. One thought it would be fun to frost her own face. Another thought it would be a gas to use it as hair conditioner. They both decided to wipe it all off with my bathroom towels and walls.

One got a little crazy with the sprinkles, while another spilled pop on the floor. The dog ran in to lap it up; the cat cowered while being menaced by a kid with a cupcake wrapper stuck to her shoe. Seriously — trying to corral a pack of girls high on sugar is like, to quote an old Neil Finn song, “trying to catch the deluge in a paper cup.”

And so we come to the end of this short little piece with a request. Send me your stories and photos. What I’d really love to see, more than the bad — is the good. Those clever parties where the kids are good and happy, the parents are successful hosts, and those who come to pick up their kids at the end marvel in how fun the celebration appeared and think, “how did she/he do that?” This is our intent: to give you ideas for your own kids, and maybe … in my case — to let you know what won’t work well — unless your adult-to-kid ratio is better balanced.

Email your adventurous party tales and images to [email protected].

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