Done. We're supplying them each with a modest amount of spending money (and most of them have been saving their allowances for weeks in anticipation), having lunch at the Food Court (must. contain. my. excitement.), and then coming back to our house for pizza, movies, and a sleepover.
Think of me tomorrow, if you will, driving down the Maine State Freeway with five screechy, giggly thirteen-year-olds. To fortify myself, I plan to go with my tried-n-true combination of liquid personality (Starbucks latte x howevermanyIdamnwellneed) and earplugs (for the car ride). I'm also taking reinforcements in the form of my best friend, who makes an excellent latte partner and who can be loud as all hell, if necessary to quiet the party posse. Plus, she is the Designated Person I Can Roll My Eyes At.
I told Bear to think of us as her Secret Service detail. We won't be right alongside them, but we'll be with them. Twenty paces back or so. With the Starbucks cups. And possibly a giant pretzel.
This morning Bear and I went to the grocery store to pick up the snacks for the party, i.e. The Ceremonial Buying of The Crap. Bear tossed candy, chips, and all manner sugary, salty, and artifically-colored junk that I don't normally buy into the cart with an unholy glee.
At the cash register, I saw the cashier's eyes widen and saw her swallow the urge to comment as she scanned bottles of soda (caffeine-free, and yeah, I get the irony of buying $50 worth of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors but drawing the line at caffeine) and bags of candy and chips. I repressed a wicked desire to talk about the nation's childhood obesity epidemic and how Michelle Obama is kind of a hero of mine.
Finally, unable to hold it back, the cashier said, "Boy, that's a lot of candy."
"Sleepover," I said succinctly.
"I don't think there will be much sleeping," she said dubiously.
Hmm. She might have a point. However, the party posse will be "sleeping" in the downstairs family room, while I can retreat to the sanctuary of my shiny, new master bedroom. So, frankly, I don't much care if they sleep. I'm pretty cool as long as they stay off the internet and don't vomit on my furniture.
Bear wanted a giant chocolate chip cookie for her birthday cake, and she wanted to decorate it herself. Having done the elaborate nine colors of frosting, hand-decorated teddy bear/princess/flower cakes, I was all knock yourself out, kiddo. I baked the cookie and sat down with a cup of coffee while she used Junior Mints, Smarties, and candy melts to polka-dot the cookie. It's adorable.
The party plates and napkins are opened and ready, the crepe paper is strewn, the gifts are wrapped, and my van is clean and filled with gas. If you need me, I'll be sneaking in a nap. I have a feeling I'm going to need one before facing tomorrow.