Sunday, July 15, 2012

816. How To Stress Over A Summer Party

As the woman who inconsiderately gave birth to him in July, thus relegating him forever to the corner of the classroom reserved for the “Summer Birthdays” (i.e. the ones not celebrated at school), I was determined to give Short a birthday to remember this year. 

I started researching my options in January.    

“Look,” I said to The Husband excitedly as I pointed to the computer screen one evening, “we can rent a small farm for only $8000!” 
He laughed, not at the idea of how much fun our very own farm would be, but at the fact that he would have to scoop up 12 kinds of poop at the end of the party.    

“Uh, no, MOV.  Try again.” 
And try I did. 
I looked into bounce houses, magicians, laser tag, pool parties, water parks ...

... miniature golf, and bowling. 

I considered reptiles-by-the-hour and unknown comedians. 

I called clowns, basketball coaches, professional flame throwers ...

... and circus-to-go.  In the end, I turned to the one person who mattered most in the decision-making process. 

“Thank you for calling Bank of America, how may I help you?” answered the ultra-cheery phone teller. 
“Yes, please, I need to find out my balance?” 

Strangely enough, professional flame-throwers happen to charge more than $17.44 (my current bank balance) to appear at a child’s party for two hours. 
Who knew? 
“I think we can get them some beach balls?” I suggested hopefully to The Husband.  “And I have a coupon for plastic water guns?” 

“Done.”  The Husband smiled, content that he had the foresight to remove his credit card number from my online PayPal account. 
When the day arrived (today) for the party, I began to panic.  Water guns!  What the hell was I thinking?  What kind of dumb party was this? 

We were not even feeding the guests anything other than ice-cream cake. 

“Welcome!” I blurted out to the first child arriving.  “Come on in, grab a water gun and a beach ball!” 

All my worries melted away, just like the ice-cream cake did in 92 degree heat.  The kids had a blast.  They ran, they squirted each other, they kicked the beach balls.  No one said, “Where is the bounce house?” or “Where is the magician?” 

When the party was over, each child took a beach ball and a water gun home with him.  There were no goody bags.  As they were walking out to their car, I overheard one little boy announce to his mother,
“I want a water-gun party for my birthday, too!” 

I might have an extra coupon for his mom.    


  1. Love, love, love it. The simplest things in life are sometimes the best.


  2. "Do the most with what you got" and you did exactly that. You sure are a great mom!

    - Ian

  3. I wish I had a water-gun party when I was a kid! So awesome. And so awesome that kids can have fun with anything. Oh, to have an imagination....


  4. What a GREAT idea!! Our daughter was more interested in the floor full of balloons she woke up to (that only cost $1 and our lungs), than all of the other presents she got that day. Lesson learned. :-)

  5. First, thank you so much for joining See Beautiful! We're SO glad we found your blog and became a new follower, as you brought great laughter into this Monday morning. As a second, journal a bounce house idea for his 30th birthday party. This is what I did for my husband and it was a raging success. All of us adults bouncing around like we were eight-year-olds was magnificent. Though you'll want to send him some ice packs for the day after because well, none of us could move. :/

    Happy seeing beautiful!

  6. Fabulous! Simple is indeed often the best.

    1. thanks, couse! I agree (although if I had my own private jet, I could take simple to a whole new level).

  7. I had a summer birthday and I felt like it was so cool. Not only did I get to choose ANY day I wanted in the school year to bring treats and say it was my birthday (and wear a construction paper crown), I also got to have my party in the summer when we could do activities outside like WATER GUNS! Good call! I think that the big parties are more for the parents anyway and the kids are just as happy with the water gun party. With that said, I did reserve a bounce house for Cinderella's 5th birthday, but I had a Groupon. : )

  8. That was a brilliant idea. I'll have to try that for my 25-year-old husband next year. I feel like he and his friends would love it. Ice cream cake, too.

  9. MOV, *I* want a water gun party! Too bad my stupid birthday is in October. I always get stuck sharing with Thanksgiving (I'm Canadian). Not warm enough for water fun and not cold enough for tobogganing; It's us fall birthdays that got shafted.

  10. I used to want every celebration to be memorable for my nieces. In my mind, that meant I had to spend a fortune. I have learned that, because they are children, everything is new to them. They have found themselves entertained by a cardboard box.

  11. Love that this got pulled off with great success you ARE the BOMB-diggity of moms who rock summer birthday parties!! Is there any cake left?? Dang I was hoping for a piece of ice cream cake it sounds really yummy right now...who am I kidding birthday cake sounds yummy 24/7 Happy Birthday Short!

    1. Of course there is cake left, and I saved you a piece. :)


  12. I have one with an early August Birthday. We just dump her and her friends in our pool for 4 hours and serve lemonade....pretty cheap.

  13. I totally had the same party for my daughter in May :) I bought dollar bin water guns and bubbles, put out a wading pool and a sprinkler, and we have a small bouncy house that fits about three or four kids at a time. We grilled out, and we all had a blast. I agree about the summer birthday thing, but sadly, I think my son has it worse. It is even worse to be a December 18th baby. It's cold, and everyone is out of town or at Christmas parties. Much worse. Always remember, the simplest things can make them so happy. And when someone asked what the theme for my daughter's birthday was, my simple response "I don't know. Princesses, burgers, dogs, and beer??"

  14. My boy is a July baby, too. Birthdays have always been a bit of a challenge. This weekend he turns 19, and he lost interest in birthday parties a long time ago. Now, he'd much rather spend the afternoon on a paintball field with his 2 closest friends, and then go out for a fancy dinner with us. So much easier to plan that!


When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)