Sunday, July 01, 2007

Partying Like He's Never Partied Before

A couple of weeks ago, our next door neighbor, whom we know through Caleb, invited Caleb to a birthday party for her 1 year-old grand-daughter Marianita. The invitation was written on stationery from the kids show "Lazy Town" (a show about the importance of eating healthy food and exercising - the main character's name is Sportacus, really) and listed the party start time as 3:00pm. We rifled through our gift drawer for something appropriate for a 1 year-old and set off at the, we thought, fashionably late hour of 3:45pm. The party was next door, so we didn't have far to walk and upon arrival we, or rather Caleb, were very warmly received. Frankly, I think they were surprised that we showed up at all and without a maid/nanny in tow to boot. In typical Peruvian and probably Latin fashion, we were among the first guests at what proved to be the most over the top, unbelievable, crazy birthday party we have ever attended...never mind the fact that the guest of honor could neither walk nor speak! There were easily 50 kids under the age of 7, at least 3 adults for every child, and a whole brigade of nannies - seriously, it was amazing.

Up to this point Caleb has had very limited interaction with other children. For lots of reasons we are not regulars on the playgroup/playdate circuit. I once asked my Mom about play dates and if she had ever participated in such things - her response "we didn't have play dates, we had more kids and you all played together". That concept has become passe and apparently play dates are all the rage. Because of his limited interaction with other children, Caleb is fascinated by them, particularly babies. He is very gentle, but loves to touch them as if they were pets. We are working on the concept that babies are not toys or pets but people just like him. Anyway, this party was a child's paradise and there were lots of children to appreciate that. Caleb in particular was in heaven!! They had set up an enormous tent in their backyard equipped with a sound system, an old-fashioned popcorn maker, balloons galore, a table full of goodies generally not suitable for the under 3 crowd - but Caleb tried them all, cotton candy, soda, jell-0 (the one semi-nod to healthy eating), and waiters circulating with food for the adults. The day of the party, Peru was playing in the Copa Americana and so at the other end of the house there was a large, flat screen tv set up for the adults as well.

About an hour after we arrived, "Stephanie" from "Lazy Town" appeared to begin the entertainment portion of the show. She was joined over the next hour by "Sportacus", "Robbie Rotten" (the villain of Lazy Town) and "Stingy". They danced, sang (actually the voices were recorded) and led the children in all sorts of sporty games. Caleb was in heaven and couldn't contain himself. He ran around in circles and grabbed balloons and balls and popcorn and candy and anything he could find. After 2 hours we decided it was time to go home. Our host told us we had to stay longer or we would miss so much, but we graciously thanked her for the invitation and all of the fun and took an exhausted Caleb home for a long overdue nap. We heard party sounds for most of the rest of the evening.

Caleb discovering the fun of helium balloons

Stephanie from Lazy Town - Love the wig!
(Marianita is to the left with her mother)

Kids, kids and more kids

Caleb playing "sporty games" from the back...

...and the front

Crazy party antics

This view does not do justice to the insanity that was this party,
but it gives some idea of the fun that was had


Kristy said...

Wow! That is quite the party! In all of it's insanity (in my opinion)it sure looks like it was a great time. It seems weird to see Caleb in jeans and a long sleeve shirt. It was close to 100 degrees here yesterday!

Nate and Sina said...

But, I want an excuse to have that party!!

Let's just call play dates what they's hanging out. Plus they also give me a great reason to not have to fully stock my own playroom with tons of toys. We go to a friends for a few hours, Ruby plays with their piles of toys and by the time we leave she has lost interest. I am out the price of a metro tickeet. Perfection!

robin marie said...

um, can i maybe hire this peruvian party planning family for christian's birthday! do they travel!?!?

Adrianne said...

Caleb will enjoy any gathering - even sacrament meeting - if allowed to run freely after consuming a variety of foods, the most sugar-free of which is jello. Expensive party not required! But I agree, playdates and parties are always for the parents, notthe kid.


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