Sunday, July 23, 2006

I'm not a religious man, but on select occasions I become very pious.

I prayed to the almighty about every other month when I was 18. Those times coincided exactly with the occasions when my girlfriend's period was late.

These days I pray about once a year. This year's version of the annual prayer went something like this, "Oh, Lord, please don't let any of these children die during Daisy's birthday party, either from my vengeful hands, or from a misthrown bowling ball. Thanks, Lord." My rabbi would be proud.

So, Daisy's 7th birthday is this week and we threw her a party this weekend. Her birthday parties are always a pain in the ass.

Actually, the first few years weren't too hard. Throwing a party for a one-year old is pretty easy. They can't really explain any of their demands and they don't have any friends to invite, so you can just invite your own friends over, drink booze, and call it a day. A toast to Daisy!

That scam worked for a few years, but by the time she was turning four, she had attended enough birthday parties to know that she wanted one filled with her own damn friends and more juice than beer. I grudgingly agreed. Thankfully she just wanted to have her party held in our local park so that the kids could play at the playground.

This turned out to be more work than I thought. My wife cooked up tons of food for kids and their parents to eat for lunch, and we planned some activities for the kids to play, and we had to jump through absurd hoops to reserve a picnic table at our park. I carried heavy coolers many yards, interacted with many annoying children, endured the violence and tears of the pinata, and swore I'd never do any of that again, but found myself doing the EXACT same thing again the next year, and the year after that. It's hard saying "no" to cute daughters when they make not unreasonable birthday requests.

This year, inexplicably, she wanted to have a bowling party. Although it was going to be more expensive than a party in the park, it seemed to be a lot less effort. No coolers! Built-in entertainment! Easy peasy!

As it turns out, it was STILL a pain in the ass. We had 22 kids bowling, and at any given time, someone needed help. Either the scoring computer wasn't working, or the kids had jammed the pin machine by rolling dozens of balls at once, or somebody was whining because the computer just gave them an X instead of points for their strike. Also, I still had to lug heavy coolers around wherever I went. I'm like Job that way.

Meanwhile, I'm panicked that someone is going to drop a bowling ball on their toes, heads, or, knowing how elastic small kids can be, their gonads. Thankfully, only two kids got injured, which is less than 10%. I'm not sure whether God intervened or if it was just how the numbers worked out. Either way, 10% ain't bad.

So, happy birthday, Daisy! You're all 7 and crap!


Will said...

Just a warning about horseback riding parties... they make you sign wavers.

The girl-next-door said...

My nephew wanted the traveling zoo when he was 8...and they brought a damn monkey who promptly threw donkey dung at the children. That day I was greatful for Jack and Coke.

Siôn said...

I guess now would be a good time for me to resurrect my anti-child stance...I hate kids.

Mike said...

Will, oh man, I hadn't even thought of horseback riding. Probably just a couple years before I'm hosting one of those damn parties.

The girl next door (really? you're my neighbor? The gay one or the newlywed?), monkeys throwing poop? Oh, that's classic humor. I cannot wait for Daisy to pick that birthday party theme.

Siôn, I also hate kids, except for those that emerged from my wife's womb.

carey said...

Yeah, skating parties are another great way to inflict injury on innocent guests.

What happened to the days when mom just set up the card tables in the basement, with a little plate of cake and ice cream, maybe some pin the tail on the donkey, and NO FRIGGING GOODY BAGS?

Mike said...

Carey, no kidding. First off, birthday parties were the exception and not the rule when I was a kid, and goodie bags weren't common either. We've been trying to give out books or some other non-plastic-crap goodies, but it's hard to find something good and cheap.