Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Have I Gotten Myself Into Now?

No, I'm not talking about the half-marathon. This makes that look like a walk in the park.

Tomorrow we are having Juan Carlos's 6th birthday party. Semi-Brazilian style.

Unless you live here, I don't think you can truly appreciate the importance of birthday partys in the social life of a Brazilian child (or their parents'). The parties are huge events that include all the family and all the friends of the birthday person. And, oftentimes, family members of the friends. And, of course, friends of all the family members.

Parties are normally held at a "Casa de Festa", (party house) and have a variety of activties for kids of all ages, including, but certainly not limited to:

Zip lines:

Climbing walls:

Various mechanical rides:

And my kids' personal favorite-tables filled with candy to be eaten at at their leisure throughout the party:

I have no problem with going to these parties, other than the fact that they normally last 4 hours and I'm sorry but I just can't do a kid's party for 4 hours (famous last words...).

My kids adore these parties!

My kids WANT these parties for themselves.

Never gonna happen.


They cost thousands of dollars. I am not exaggerating. I looked into one a while back (after listening to my kids whine about how everybody has a party like this) and the cheapest option was close to $2,000.00. No, no. My kids get small parties at home where we order pizza, I bake a cake from a smuggled-in boxed cake mix, we play freeze-dance and the limbo, and they get to invite a few of their friends whose mothers I know won't also send along their brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors, etc.

Do I love this kind of party? No. The thought of doing it off-site is very appealing. No cleaning. No cooking. No entertaining. Less stress. But I'm fiscally responsible person (except when it comes to shoes, of course)-so what can ya do?

Then, last month, when I went with Julio on his field trip to the "farm", I noticed a pamphlet about having birthday parties there. Interesting. It turns out they cost a (small) fraction of what these party houses charge.

So, I start thinking... maybe I can give Juan Carlos the kind of party he's always wanted-where he can invite his entire class and I can be the HERO!

I pick out the cheapest packet, which is a party held on a day mid-week of course, and I start looking for a day during the week that the kids don't have school, but that is not a Brazilian Holiday (we don't want too many people on the farm while we're there). So, tomorrow their school has a teacher in-service day. Perfect. And next week is Spring Break (well, really Fall Break if you want to get technical). Excellent. That mean's a lot of people will probably be traveling, right? -so I can get the all the credit for inviting the entire class but chances are only a few will actually be able to come!


Long story short.

It appears that practically no one will be traveling before Saturday and that everyone was more than happy to get rid of their kid for a day. The entire class is coming. I have to rent a very large van to haul all these kids out to "the farm" which is over 75 minutes away. The party will last 4 hours. Followed by the van ride ride home.

Basically I am hosting a 7-hour birthday party/kindergarten field trip without the teachers for fifteen 5 and 6 year olds. On the upside-this is a super-nice group of kids. But still, it's a lot of kids.



Janice said...

I am a crappy birthday party mom. I let my kids invite one or two friends to an "expensive" party--meaning going to Lagoon, or movie, etc. I hate birthday parties.

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

I would so help you out if I was anywhere near to you. I love "fieldtrips".

Stephanie said...



but hey, you are going to be the most awesome Mom EVER!!

Good luck!!!

Kari said...

I am SOOOOOOO with you on the dreading-birthday-parties thing!

I don't worry that the kids won't be sufficiently entertained while they are AT the farm. But 75 minutes each way...hmmm...can you possibly do movies on the laptop or something? Or rent a van with a drop-down screen? At least it's not your car to be paranoid about.

Everyone will think you are EXTREMELY COOL! Yess!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ballerina Girl said...

I wish I could go to help you....
I think you will have a great time, just remember to RELAX ALL THE NEXT DAY!

Have fun and wish a Happy Birthday to Juan Carlos for us :)...he is such a sweetie!


marina said...

wow your really will be the most awewome!!!
BG- is right I hope you go to the spa the next day and RELAX YOU WILL NEED IT ") marina

Fabiola said...

I hope everything goes well tomorrow and the party is a hit.

And remember: The Oscar for the Coolest Mom of the year goes to.....Gabriela.

Have fun.

Awesome Mom said...

Good luck! You are so going to need it! I am slacker mom when it comes to birthdays and that is the way I like it.

momofalltrades said...

I am laughing and laughing right now! I hate doing them you got yourself suckered! And you KNOW the other kids are gonna want you to do something similar when their birthday comes around!

Maine Mom said...

It sounds like you have gotten yourself into a stressful day! I hope it goes better than expected, and you survive. :-) Hopefully, Juan Carlos will have a GREAT time!

My kids would LOVE the all-you-can eat candy at the typical birthday parties. Who wouldn't???

Abby said...

Goodness. Good luck Mrs. Cool Mom. Other than the fact that it's a REALLY long day, it may be easier than trying to entertain them at your house...maybe:)

Code Yellow said...

Bus ride and candy and kindergarteners, OH MY!!!! Bless your heart...I hope it goes well. Then again, you can always hope that it's a tiny bit of a let-down, so your kids will never want one like it again. Is that bad to consider? ;)

Can't wait to hear how it all comes together. Good luck!!!