Where did I leave off? Oh, right. The party was trucking along and no one was bleeding. Yet.
5:00 rolled around and my 10 year-old helper showed up to commandeer the Banana Split Project.
I cribbed Kelly’s idea from the third grade party and even borrowed her “equipment” for the evening, a 10 foot-long 4″ diameter PVC pipe lined with parchment paper.
Part of the party prep (aside from madly cleaning my house, and more importantly Lonny cleaning up his desk, WOOT!) was getting the paper to wrap around the PVC. This sounds easy but it isn’t.
The pipe is cut lenthwise to create a trough and the paper has to wrap around the outside and the inside. But it doesn’t want to wrap around the inside. And FYI, tape doesn’t stick to parchment.
I’m struggling with the thing that takes up the entire length of my kitchen as Minion watches in amusement. I lament to the heavens, “Why isn’t this working?! It looked perfect when Kelly did it! Why can’t I be more like herrrrrrr!!!” and he sounded all parental by saying, “You’ve got to stop comparing yourself to Kelly!”
He is more right than he knows. But seriously, if I could be like anyone, it would be her. I got close tonight, though.
Leah and some helpers got the ice cream and bananas into the trough and I told everyone to grab their kids and meet me in the back yard. Adults held the trough as we passed big bowls of strawberries and cherries down the line, went to town with spray cream, and doused it in chocolate syrup and sprinkles.
Then I led the kids in a chant most brilliantly captured on film by Roberto Benini in Down By Law. Skip to :42 if you are impatient.
I got all the kids screaming for ice cream and then they dug in. It. was. awesome.
The parents looked on with mixed expressions that I interpreted as part amazement/horror/fear/disgust/envy. As afraid as you might be about kids eating out of a communal ice cream trough that is made from a sewer line (unused) you’ve got feel a little thrill for what the kids are experiencing. It’s like a Christmas miracle.
Lonny made a video that downloaded it onto my computer, but the date stamp must have put it in a deeply hidden folder because I can’t find the dang thing. Bummer.
Anyway, I placated the concerned parents with statistics.
Between 20+ kids, it was merely 1.5 quarts of ice cream (really not that much) but mostly the kids ate bananas and strawberries, and it lasted from beginning to end less than five minutes. It was about 1/3rd cup or a single scoop per child. It would have been worse if kids grazed on a table full of desserts all night.
A friend came up to me and said, “You really thrive on chaos, don’t you?”
“Oh no! I crave serenity, quiet and peace.”
“I don’t think so. I have a feeling you wouldn’t be happy without the craziness.”
I suppose she is right about that. For as much as I say I want serenity in my life (and I do want emotional serenity) I get a kick out of seeing everyone have fun and being a little wild. And I LOVE whipping everyone up into a frenzy.
Until I heard a crash in the other room and somebody yelled, “The pole fell over!”
Of course the first thing I thought was, “The kids! I hope no kids got hurt.”
To my relief it was not a child and no windows or mirrors were broken. I found a rather stunned Jacob getting to his feet and surmised that he was the one who took the pole down. It figures.
Tension mounted poles are load tested for vertical load, horizontal vectors of force are a different story. I’ve seen this guy on the playground with his three kids, he plays hard and is one of my favorite dads to watch.
He completely engages in play with the children and as a result is usually swarming with kids.
“Are you okay?” I wanted to know.
He moved his hand from his mouth and blood gushed out. “Yep! I’m fine. No problem.”
Given my recent experience with tooth loss, I had to ask, “Are your teeth okay?”
“Yes, teeth are fine. I just have a little cut.”
I thought I dodged a bullet until I looked a little closer at his lip.
To be continued.
Time to cut the crap.
I’m leaving today’s purge to Lonny because he has been cranking! He shipped a ton of merchandise today which should count for something. Plus, I’ve got to buck up for ANOTHER party. It’s Testiclese’s birthday party with his friends.
I really missed an opportunity. I should have said yesterday’s first grade party was his party and I invited every first grader in the school. Total mother-of-the-year fodder and I missed it.
After last night, eight kids seems very manageable.