Here we go again. Again.

One of my favorite Spanish aphorisms goes something like: "What is inherited, isn't stolen."

Hold that thought, as we come back thereto.

NOS's 9th birthday is nearly at my throat. As Poppy well knows, previous birthdays have been in the scale of small county fairs. These have involved eleventy zillion cousins, all of the kids in his grade, and all of our (mostly TFBIM's) friends' kids. It is no bull$#!+ when I tell you every year we'd have to host 40something kids, plus assorted parents and grandparents. Normally we'd rent a gazebo-type pavilion at a park, and I'd grill burgers and hot dogs and chicken and ribs, plus the usual sides. The only drawback (i.e., the point at which Badger, and probably Poppy, and maybe bb & BB would get up and leave the movie, throwing popcorn in disgust) was that due to being at a park, no alcohol is allowed.

It got to a point that we BOUGHT a bounce-house (halfsies), because the purchase price was cheaper than three rentals.

Anyway, around age 5 or so, NOS insisted on his parties being SERIOUSLY themed. So, for example, when he wanted a Harry Potter party, we had to buy blank cards and envelopes that looked all parchment-y and then METICULOUSLY replicate the acceptance letters from Hogwarts. Same font, proper letterhead, "wax" seal, the works. This is because the stuff at the card store "looked really not like in the movie." At least the labor-intensive way was cheaper.

Then we had to go and assemble goody bags, which I consider the triple-lutz, since they had to be "correct" and desirable (to a little kid, anyway) AND absurdly cheap so we wouldn't go broke making a gazillion of them. Dollar stores and eBay proved to be Godsends. Therefore, the Peter Pan party had to have real Pirate-ish stuff (We found a bushel of Chanukah chocolate coins for $15, which helped) the cowboy party needed real Western-ish stuff and we always lucked out at the Disney Outlet with appropriate stuff.

Which brings us to today.

NOS has discovered poker. One time we went to WDW we stayed at the Dolphin Hotel, designed by pop architect extraordinaire Michael Graves. Who also happens to design stuff for Target. One day, at a wholly unrelated party, NOS received a Poker keychain as a door prize. He reveled mightily in the teeny cuteness thereof and wouldn't stop pestering me until I had taught him the basics. Still with us? OK. Later that month, TFBIM is at Target with him and NOS notices that Michael Graves (to his mind the only architect worth noticing because he has MADE HOTELS AT DISNEY WORLD) has a poker set, and it's on clearance! He tells TFBIM I have always wanted it and she believes him and now we're playing poker nonstop.

In fact, any unfortunate child who manages to be lured here for a play date is eventually conscripted into learning and playing poker. This all gets worse; when flipping through the channels, NOS sees some celebrity charity poker tournament thing. The skies part and he strikes upon the capital idea of having a hipster-ish Haunted Mansion (?) poker tournament for his 9th birthday party.

The good news is that he's at the phase where he only wants his inner circle of pals, and because NOS's birthday is in the dead of summer, a lot of kids R.s.v.p. in the negative. So we're working on the assumption that at absolute most, we're looking at 15 kids, tops.

Anyway, NOS decides he wants the invitations to be by our favorite illustrator, Shag. He also wants them to be about his favorite ride at both WDW and DL, the Haunted Mansion. I got lucky there was such a stationery set available at Amazon, of all places. Then he makes me find and get the Haunted Mansion font.

Today we spent the day hunting for the goody bags. Which are now goody tins. At a dollar store ("Where everything is a dollar!") we scored these really neat tins that are meant to hold a deck of cards and some poker chips. The decks of cards come in 3-packs (3/$1!) and two packs of chips provide enough fodder for the tins. $20 and we're good-to-go as re. the goody bags.

Now, NOS wants to throw a CD in there. You wouldn't believe the songs he has chosen. At least they don't suck.

-J.

Comments

Carolyn said…
You lucked out on the goodie bags!
Joke said…
Yah HUH! Cheap stuff + fewer kids = Bargains galore.

-J.
Poppy Buxom said…
HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Pardon me while I wet myself laughing.
Lazy cow said…
Sounds fabulous. I'm hoping to get away with a LOT less effort for the Girl's 6th b'day. Though I do need at least one glass of champagne to get me through it.
MsCellania said…
It is very dear that you go all out for your sons' birthdays, too. He is such a chip off your block.

Oldest is having his 6th bday party on 7/15 as well. It is going to be a water-play event. I scored twin packs of water blasters at TarJay in Spring, and the party grew from that idea.

And you can bet I'm serving plenty of alcohol to the parents. That, and curries, are how I bribe them to stay! We are hiring our babysitter and 2 of her friends to be the general dogsbodies.
Joke said…
We have a hard-and-fast rule: NO DROPOFFS. Parents are responsible for their own kids.

Now, for our kids, the 7th was the last "blowout" birthday. I'll rummage for pics, that Poppy may herniate herself with mirth.

-J.
Badger said…
Hey! You can't tease us about NOS's playlist and then not post it. Piker.
julia said…
It sounds great. I SO wouldn't go to those lengths, but it sounds fun. Remind me not to show this to my kids, or they'll get ideas in their little heads and we can't have that.
Joke said…
After many herculean parties, ordering stationery online, printing up with the "correct" font, a schlep to the dollar store and burning 12 CDs is practically a sleepwalk.

-J.
blackbird said…
NOS sounds like he has an art director position in his future.

If I were to attend such a function as the park/gazebo party, I am sure something wherein my english picnic hamper could be appropriated with a wee bit o'pinot (and perhaps some cheese). I don't really do birthday parties...
Badger said…
Not to worry, blackbird. I would have a flask with me. Vodka, not gin, but y'know -- any port in a storm, eh wot?
Lazy cow said…
I often stroll down to the local park with the kids in summer with an innocent little bottle of lemonade with Pimm's in it. No one needs to know...
Yes, you are a dear dad Joke, to do all of this. Your son will look back on these birthdays and just love you when he's a grownup.
MsCellania said…
I find the parents to be much more work than their children at my children's events! I make a point of asking the parents to apply sunscreen to their child at dropoff, and then ask for cell phone number, 'in case of any emergency or MISBEHAVIOR'. I can see the wheels turning in the child's head and their little eyes get thoughtful. I am renowned for being a Strict Parent. I have heard more than one kid tell Oldest "Wow, your mom is MEAN!" and I retort "It's not mean, it's a demand for reasonable and fair behavior."

Our wonderful babysitter is even more strict than I am. She is a college athlete. Over 6 feet tall. The friends she is bringing are Camp counselors and athletes as well. Methinks I will be enjoying this party Very Much. :o)
Poppy Buxom said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Poppy Buxom said…
Vickee and I posted at the same exact time, and her comment crowded out my comment, which followed directly on lazy cow's remark that your kids will love you when they grow up.

What I said was: "But your friends will continue to pee their pants."

And this is true. I, for one, have no intention of stopping until the rest of my age group is, like me, reduced to wearing Depends.

I can only imagine what it would be like if you had a daughter and a wedding to oversee.
Joke said…
I just hope the little darlings remember this when the time comes to stick me in a nursing home.

-J.
BabelBabe said…
Jesu effing Christe, i am exhausted and discombobulated READING this. Are you INSANE, my friend? Wow. I bet my kids wish you would adopt them.
Sarah Louise said…
Did you know your title resembles the Pittsburgh Steeler's fight song?

(she says because she too is exhausted just thinking about all this thematic planning...)

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