Sunday, January 30, 2005

The amazing, sort-of-calm racing birthday party

It sure was amazing. For Son1's celebration of having turned nine in December, I finally pulled together his birthday party and we held it this afternoon. The theme was racing -- centered around the kids playing MarioKart Double Dash on our Nintendo GameCube, which can handle up to four players at once. The kids had a lot of fun, made sure on their own that everyone got turns at doing the various things (solo driving and two-in-a-car co-op -- which meant one player drove and the other threw objects).

I've never had such a calm kids' birthday party in my life! My friend who stayed to help dear husband and me... worked on a racecar jigsaw puzzle at one point while the kids played! We had entire actual conversations between, say, making the suggestion that it was time to switch to co-op racing and time to open presents. Too funny!

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't *silent* -- it's that they were sort of focused, whether driving, throwing, or watching. "oooh, man!" "sweet!" "arrrgh" "grrr" (that would be the nearly-five Son2) "throw it now!" "sweet!" "ouch!"

Using some racing clip art, I made up name tags for them as a coming-in-the-door activity before racing. I also made up award certificates for Best Driver (individual), Best Driver (co-op/team), Best Thrower (co-op/team), Fastest Race (individual), Fastest Race (co-op/team), Most Awesome Crash, Most Improved Driver, and Best Sport.

After a bunch of racing, I awarded the certificates, and Son1 opened presents. Then we served, Son1's request, a sort of "dirt" sundae for each boy: a layer of crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, a layer of softened chocolate ice cream, another layer of cookie crumbs, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, and some whipped cream fizzed from a can. Then they washed up again and split up, some racing and others dueling with Yu-Gi-Oh cards, until parents started arriving for pickup. Each took home his certificate and a set of little race cars that you assemble after punching out the pieces from stiff plastic cards.

All in all, great fun and I'm chocolated out! Later this week it'll be time to plan Son2's party for two weeks from today...

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