So here we are again, facing down the frightening prospect of another Halloween – another birthday for the Human Tape Recorder. On Saturday (yesterday), we had the Party of the Bus, whereby the HTR invited 5 other 6th grade girls, with whom she rides the bus, to celebrate her birthday between 11am and 3pm. Since SOBUMD had knee surgery earlier this week, I was the principal party coordinator – and believe you me, I know how to throw an AWEsome party!
“There’s a DVD player downstairs, along with 3 computers. Yell if there’s blood; I’ll call you for pizza.” These are bright 11- and 12-yr olds; I figure if they can’t find something to do for 4 hours, she’s invited the wrong group. Needless to say, she had the right group. But – what do 6 girls in 6th grade in this high-tech, high-octane world do for a 4-hour birthday party? These are the children of the Internet! Why, they play their high-tech games and listen to their techno-pop modern music, of course.
You know, like the Beatles. And such games they know! Twister. Foosball. Truth or Dare. And a few good rounds of Hide-n-Seek. Between the music, the games, and the homemade pizza sauce and self-made pizzas (I had them shape their own dough and place their own toppings), these girls could have had this party in the 1950s.
(A huge shout-out for party facilitation is due to our dear friends who removed the Reigning Queen of Pink for several hours, with no notice whatsoever – pink 8-yr-olds and Goth-leaning 12-yr olds do not mix as well as you’d think.)
There were a few notable highlights: During one round of Hide-n-Seek, I stepped into the upstairs bathroom. Luckily for all concerned, I was only there to grab the laundry basket. Also luckily, my heart started right up again after a small voice whispered, “Just so you know, I’m back here,” from behind the shower curtain. Scared the hell out of me. Needless to say, she won that round.
Another note highlighted the historical knowledge these girls show: Walking past the pizza-scarfing sextet, I heard one of them shouting, “Ich bin ein Berliner!” Unable to resist, I interjected, “That’s right – you ARE a small jelly doughnut!” As I walked upstairs, I heard her explaining to the group that the reason that exchange was so funny is because “that’s what John F. Kennedy really said in Berlin when the Berlin Wall came down.”
SOBUMD and I laughed until we hurt – I was NOT going to dissuade her of that notion.
The only other highlight, if I may say so, was the cake. There are significant downsides to letting your kids watch too much Food Network TV, and the raising expectations are probably highest on that list. “Daddy, since I’m turning 12, you’ll make me a 12-layer cake, right?” How could I refuse my little angel?
You can eat the pieces as they’re taken off the field, you know, like rugby players do.
Again: Yeah, right. She’s only lucky that I view this as a challenge – I maintain that TV is mostly crap, and if I’m to hold my end of the argument, I see it as necessary to be able to cook anything that shows up on their little screens, just to prove that I’m better than the TV. I had the same problem with Number One Son a few years ago – he wanted a birthday party with a chess cake. That would be a cake on which one could play chess, and then eat the pieces as they’re taken off the field, you know, like rugby players do.
So yeah, 12-layer cake. Step one: bake 12 small cakes… It didn’t take as long as I thought it would largely because we got the damn oven fixed that morning, and I was able to bake them 6 at a time. Came out OK, and looking more complicated than it was – which is of course the idea. All the girls liked it, even though several of them couldn’t finish their slice. At first I couldn’t understand this, until I realized the finished cake weighed something over 6 pounds.
12 years, 12 layers. If she's still living here at 19, I'm in trouble.
If the entire post above seems choppy and disjointed, I assure you the party seemed like that as well. All in all, a good and happy birthday party for the Human Tape Recorder!
Today being her actual birthday, Trick or Treating for her birthday is on tap for tonight, along with visits from the Very Clever Grandparents and Aunt Janice. More cake! Happy Birthday to the HTR, and Happy Halloween to one and all!