Maria passed Kindergarten. Whoo-hoo!
I was in charge of her end-of-the-year party last Thursday. It was one of those things that I agreed to back in September thinking “Oh, that is so far away, I can do that.” Somehow, my mind warps and thinks because it is so far away, it may not ever actually happen. I had actually forgotten all about signing up for the event and only learned of it when I canceled my volunteer day because of some work issues that arose. Maria’s teacher replied to my cancellation by stating “Oh, don’t worry about it, you have the end of the year party to deal with anyway!” I laughed pretending to know what she was talking about and as I stepped out to the sidewalk realized that I had signed up for that party back in September. Wow, it actually did get to that date.
Of course, because I have the anal, perfectionist, extreme personality that I have, I planned for it for the following two weeks. I looked up end-of-the-year parties on the internet. I asked other mothers what their classes were doing for their parties. I called amusement centers, clowns, face painters, and balloon artists to get pricing. Fortunately, I am very careful with our money so when I learned that a face painter would be $100 an hour and a balloon artist would be $150 an hour, I erased them from my ideas. My girlfriend is an art teacher at another school and had a plinko game (remember plinko from the Price is Right? One of my favorite games on that show!). She thought a carnival theme would be fun. I jumped on it since she had a game to bring. That was one less for me to be concerned about over the last few days before the party.
The entire time that I was planning this event, I was laughing at myself. I knew it was crazy to get so involved and over-the-top about a kindergarten party. But, it didn’t matter how much I tried to talk myself out of putting so much energy into it, the energy still went there. So, in the end, maybe it is just something I like to do. Other parents came through for the party, too, bringing candies, popcorn, juices, cotton candy, and stickers and toys for prizes.
The day arrived and the kids were so excited for the party. When I walked in the room, Maria jumped up screaming “Mommy!” and the other kids tried to sneak a peak of what was in all of the bags. The face painting was the biggest hit. My artist girlfriend made some beautiful creations on their faces but was getting tired after every kid lined up to get their face done. Someone had to help and no mom wanted a part of it so I bucked it up and tried my best at drawing butterflies and sharks. Poor Riley. She was my first customer and she saw a picture of a butterfly. “I want that one right there.” After I finished what looked like an ink explosion on her cheek, she ran into the bathroom to look in the mirror. Her facial expression when she walked out was priceless; let’s just say she looked a little disappointed. The next kid wanted a shark with blood. I could have drawn a blue circle as long as I drew lots of red down the circle’s cheek to show lots of blood spewing from his mouth. That was all most of the boys cared about in the end. Give me all of those kids, please. None of these intricate girlie drawings.
Maria begged me to allow her to do some of the painting. Typical of my daughter – she does not want to enjoy the kids’ games and amusement; she wants to be one of the adults. I let her draw on my hand and ended up with a picasso painting from my fingers to my wrist. We finished up the afternoon with a water balloon toss and playtime on the new playground structure (with a climbing wall!). Overall, the afternoon ranked an A+ amongst the parents and the teachers so I was happy when I left. I scored some serious tootsie rolls and Nerds, too, since we bought so much. Nerds are not an appropriate candy for a three-year-old by the way. Mario shakes the little balls into his hand and then tries to pop them in his mouth but only a third of them get in his mouth – the rest are all over the floor and couch.
When we got home, I asked Maria if she had fun. “Sure, mom,” as she focused on playing with her barbies. I asked what her favorite activity was during the carnival and she said “I don’t know, mom.” She was obviously interested in doing other things by that time (an hour later). So much for creating a world-renowned, unforgettable party for Maria and her class. I should have listened to my better judgment and stuck with ice cream cones and a walk to the park. But hey, at least I get my fill of tootsie rolls and Nerds for the next six months.