Thursday, February 18, 2010

Party Prep

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but we don't have a shopping mall in our little town. Nor in the middle-sized town 20 minutes away. Or even the other middle-sized town 45 minutes away. The closest mall is an hour and ten minute drive from here. So when I asked Bear what kind of a birthday party she wanted this year, she didn't even hesitate, "I want a shopping party, where you take me and my friends to the mall."

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.

14 comments:

parnola said...

Good Lord, Mother never let me have a party with THAT many sweets!

Linda said...

And look how wonderful you turned out because of my restraint. :)

Linda said...

Wish I could be there to join in the fun time with Bear and her friends. They're going to have a blast! You and your BFF? Maybe not so much.

Cindy said...

The girls will have a great time. I laughed at the secret service comment. I can just picture you and your friend (with ear pieces and sunglasses) following behind the girls at the mall.

Dawn in Austin said...

When you mentioned liquid best friend, all I could think of was vodka. But then I remembered you were driving them to the mall. So I guess a latte and your BFF are the next best thing. Have fun and yes, I will be thinking of you!

Mackenzie said...

we get to have a giant pretzel????

Jen said...

that was not Mackenzie who left that message. It was the BFF

parnola said...

Dawn in Austin - she probably meant vodka in a flask. The sister has a drinking problem ;)

smalltownmom said...

It's going to be a fun party!

(Your little town sounds a lot like mine...no malls.)

Jen on the Edge said...

Goodgodalmighty, that is one helluva pile of junk food. My teeth hurt just looking at the photo.

As for the shopping trip, I think it is an inspired idea. I would actually LOVE to ride shotgun with you on this one. Hell, I'd even PAY the girls to let me tag along.

Susan said...

Sounds like the ideal party - especially the distance of your bedroom from the "sleepover" room!

Meg said...

Wow, that's an awesome treat for a birthday party. I hope you survive and I don't read about you going nuts from hanging out with the 13 years old. I couldn't help but laugh when I read the bit about the Secret Service. Great description!

Quilting Grandma said...

WOW, Grandpa and Grandma knew this day was coming, but it is still hard to see our little Bear become a teenager!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Many happy returns to your lovely girl. You are a saint to hostess and chaperone THAT party! Thank goodness for earplugs, BFFs and caffeine. Godspeed!