We had Dawson’s birthday party yesterday. He turns 5 – FIVE!! – tomorrow at 1:22pm. I can hardly believe it. Where has the time gone? I picked up his birthday balloons and his cake Friday after work and actually got teary in Target when I had his cake in cart.
We decided to keep his party small this year – D, Wes, their cousin Parker, and D was allowed to invite 2 friends. He didn’t hesitate when he picked Carson and Bryn, his two oldest and closest friends from daycare. It was especially sweet that he picked Bryn because they don’t see each other as much any more. Carson is in Dawson’s class at school, but Bryn goes in the afternoons, so they only see each other for a little bit each day, and on Fridays.
David and I decorated Friday night after the boys went to bed. Dawson had begged for a pinata, so we filled that, along with the baskets I had picked out for the kids. I’m pretty sure picking out goody bags for kiddos is my favorite thing to do. The stuff that goes in them ends up being absolute crap, but to kids they are SO MUCH FUN.
The boys were so excited the next morning when they came downstairs and discovered the decorations. It’s amazing what a few balloons and streamers can do. They then spent the next few hours asking every 15 minutes or so “When does the party start? When will they be here?”
Once everyone was here, we kicked it off by letting them dig through the baskets. Then we sent them upstairs to make a mess until the pizza arrived.
I had Bob and Nikki bring over their picnic table so we wouldn’t have to have 5 kids crammed into one table. I figured it wouldn’t be too big of a deal – the three older kids at one table, the two younger at another.
Of course, Wes hated being separated. Bob pointed out how focused he was on Dawson – getting D’s attention and making D laugh. So Wes spent a lot of his meal turned and focused on the other table. He tried A LOT to make the other kids laugh.
The kids played amazingly well. There were a few tears, and I think they were almost always Dawson or Wesley. D got hurt a few times – twice on his legs that are still so sensitive, and once on his eye. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but Bob managed to get a photo immediately in it’s aftermath.
We set the kids down for a group photo, and out of about 15, I managed to get exactly zero with them all looking at the camera. So…one in five is good enough, right?
Eventually, we broke out the much-anticipated pinata. Let’s just say that pinatas have changed over the years. First of all, we started out having the kids whack the wrong side. (Our bad). The prizes were stuffed in Michelangelo’s shell, we had them whacking the front. Then we turned it around and they whacked at the shell for awhile. Somewhere along the line, Wes said screw it and quit.
Bryn was the best hitter, with Carson being a close second. Parker provided some good laughs. He could hit it, unless you gave him directions of a specific place to hit, and then he gave it a gentle tap. Love it.
Eventually, Bob pointed out (for the SECOND time….we ignored him the first time) that there were strings attached to the bottom of Michelangelo’s shell, and asked what would happen if we pulled on them. Turns out the bottom would fall out of the shell and candy would spew everywhere.
Eventually, it was time for presents. There was one little boy in particular having a hard time with it not being his birthday (see if you can spot him!).
(I’d post more pictures of the present openings, but as Nikki pointed out, it’s just a bunch of photos of the back of kids heads.)
We got pretty lucky – with everything we had going on for the party (playing, buckets, more playing, lunch, pinata, presents, and cake) it was easy to stretch everything out so it didn’t feel like a ton of madness. Each time things got a little out of hand (crazy loud or one of my kids crying…), we were able to redirect to a new activity.
The final part of the party was cake. Oh, cake.
The kids all sit down at the table. The candles are lit. We are singing Happy Birthday. And suddenly Nikki is exclaiming about Dawson’s hair getting close to the candles! I don’t know what I was doing – I wasn’t on camera duty – but I completely missed it. But somehow, while we were singing, D looked down just enough to lightly singe the top of his hair.
First of all, look at the way Bryn is looking at Dawson. So cute. Second of all, you can see D’s singed hair just above the center of his forehead. In the photo, it just looks some fuzz or something on the picture, but I assure you, that’s fire-touched hair.
And seriously? All that we have gone through, and we let Dawson get that close to the candles? We joked about it after it happened (“Can you imagine, having to head back to the burn unit on Dawson’s birthday? Dr. F would KILL us!”) but ugh. I still can’t believe we did that.
The party was an absolute success. After everyone left, the boys were exhausted. David and I were too. Dawson and Wes were both fast asleep by 6:45 last night, and D slept straight for 11 hours. Wes woke up a bit in the night, and asked me to rub his feet. And then he asked me if we had any band-aids. And then he asked me if his feet were bleeding. And when I told him no, of course not, he said “No, I didn’t say they were bleeding. I just wanted to know if we had band-aids.” Just one of those conversations you have at 2:08am.
Today was Wesley’s (and mine!) favorite day. Sunday, the ultimate stay at home day, where if you want to stay in your pajamas all day, you can. So far the winner of the best birthday present of the year is a pair of binoculars from Grandma Terry. Dawson asked for binoculars last year when I went to Key West for my cousin’s wedding, and of course, no matter how hard I looked, we never found any. Dawson and Wes spent a LOT of time playing (and FIGHTING) with them today. Even when we broke out an extra pair we had lying around the house, they still fight over that one particular pair.
Tomorrow is Dawson’s actually birthday. I still can’t believe he’s five. I have no idea why it seems like such a milestone. Probably because we have had such a crazy year and I am just so happy that he is here, at home, to celebrate it. Definitely the best birthday party ever.