Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nora's 5th Birthday

Nora has been waiting for her birthday party since last June, and the day finally arrived. Her first ever friend party at McDonald's, complete with Hello Kitty invitations and a new pair of pink metallic shoes. She was excited, to be sure, but I think her excitement had kept her from a good night's sleep, so she was also a bit touchy.

We got to the restaurant a minute or two late, so everyone else was already there. (We had forgotten Nora's present at home, so we had to turn back to retrieve it). Nora seemed a bit overwhelmed; everywhere she turned she saw someone she knew. The party hostesses there to help us suggested we let the kids run off some steam in the Playland, which we did. Excellent suggestion.

From the kid's point of view, the party was awesome. That was my intention; I did it all for them. Nora had a great time running around with Ivan, Illiana, Isabella, and Keiyona from school. Her best friend Miles and cousin Layla also joined in for the fun. The kids got along great, except for the fact that Ivan was not too pleased to learn that Nora's best-friend was a boy. When I tried to introduce Ivan to Miles, Ivan dryly informed me, "Nora already told me about HIM". They ran, they got painted tattoos, they ate a lot of chicken nuggets and fries, they played pin the potato. There was an awful lot of energy and yelling and all-around merriment from the kids. Nora did, however, pout when she was told she had to wait to open presents.

The grown-ups must have been pretty bored waiting for the ice-cream and cake portion of the party, but they were good sports, sitting amid the mayhem. We sang to her, and she seemed a bit dazed, then she and Illiana blew out the candles. The cake was delicious, its too bad so much of it ended up on the floor! Thanks goodness it wasn't my dining room floor. And then came the presents.

Watching Nora open her presents was like watching a tornado destroy a small town. There was just a flurry of wrappings and envelopes and presents going everywhere. At her prior parties, I have always asked her to say thank you and hug the giver of each present after she opened it to instill a sense of gratitude, but there was no way that could have happened. There was a partition wall separating the adults from the kids, we were all very crowded, and her friends kept asking, "What did you get???" and urging her to "Open another! Open more!". It took 2 minutes to open up a mountain of gifts. The only things I think she even noticed were the new mermaid costume and a big Princess colorform book. Then, just a quickly as it had started, her McDonald's party was over.

Since so many family members had driven out for the party, I invited them back to the house for party part deux. Nora, Emily, Miles, and Layla ran around. I picked up some pizza, we had some beer on tap, and the adults relaxed as much as you can when kids are running off a sugar buzz. Its too bad everyone left when they did; we lit a fire in the fireplace after the kids went to bed and it was really really cozy to sit between the Christmas tree and the fire, sipping on an Imperial Stout.

To see more photos from Nora's party, click this link:

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