So here's the deal with birthday parties in school - they're great because you don't really have to do anything except show up. The fabulous teachers play the party games, make the birthday crowns and provide general crowd control.
The downside? You have to do everything beforehand and then lug it all to school, and if you're me, you do all that lugging and dragging things while pushing the girls in the double stroller. Fun. Oh, and to make it even more fun, the first party - at 10am - is when the baby usually naps and the second party, at 11:30am is when my two year old naps. Just add two whiny girls (one with two skinned knees courtesy of walking to the car before the party) who've had more sugar in one morning than they normally have in a week and yeah, you know, it was a paartyyy.
Anyway, in a misguided attempt at efficiency, I scheduled birthday parties for both of my boys on the same day, this past Friday. My older son requested ice cream cones instead of a birthday cake. No problem. I packed all the ice cream in the cooler and the cones, the chocolate syrup, and the sprinkles in my backpack. I even remembered napkins and an ice cream scooper. I was mommy of the year. Until I got to school and dang it to heck! The sprinkles had the following printed in teeny-tiny letters on the back: "Manufactured on the same machinery as peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy and wheat". Our school is nut-free. So really, I probably could have taken out a sizable percentage of the school with these rainbow sprinkles. Sheesh. So no sprinkles for us. So sad. So were the kids. And the insane part, no one would have even asked for sprinkles had I not brought them, but once they saw them, they wanted 'em. We placated them with seconds on the ice cream.
My younger son had a simpler request. Doughnuts. The girls and I had made a Dunkin Donuts run that morning after we dropped the boys at school. There are 16 kids in my son's class but I counted on two teachers and my girls eating doughnuts too. So that made twenty. Okay, fine, who I am kidding, I wanted one too. So 21 doughnuts. And 21 is a weird number, but 24 - that's two boxes of doughnuts. Perfect.
I ordered my two dozen doughnuts from the nice Dunkin Donuts lady, and knowing that when I order four donuts for my kids I pay four dollars, I handed her a twenty and a ten while talking to another mommy who was ordering her own stuff at the same time and I guess I wasn't listening to the price.
The Dunkin Donuts lady handed me back the ten - and then a nice amount of change from the twenty! Yahoo! Apparently it's so so so much cheaper to order doughnuts by the dozen than it is to order singles. Who knew? Live and learn.
So anyway, what is my point here? The point here was my party favors. I really dislike regular party bags filled with lollipops and candy and some small plastic choking hazard of a toy that winds up in the baby's mouth.
And the part I dislike the most - you might think it's the choking hazards, but really it's the actual party bag. It hurts me to buy these plastic bags. They wind up right in the garbage and yet they are so expensive because they are printed with the characters from Toy Story 3. Seriously.
So like last year, I went a different way. Last year, I spent a buck per kid and handed out full size shovels and pails for the beach. I painted each kid's name on them with a paint pen and they were a huge hit.
This year though, there are way more kids and a dollar a kid seemed like a lot - it would have been over $50. I wasn't sure what to do, but when I went to the Dollar Store for inspiration, I found it.
22 ounce plastic cups in bright colors - and, and, they were 4 for a dollar. Yeah, you heard me right, four for a buck. Go get some. They're at the Dollar Tree. Go now, I'll wait.
Are you back? Good. So once again, using my trusty box of paint pens, I wrote each kid's name on a cup and filled it with a small bag of potato chips and two licorice sticks. Yeah, I know, I don't like to give out candy, but I also can't have my child being the weird kid who doesn't have any nosh in his party favor. Man alive, the neuroses of being a mom.
What's the best party favor you ever gave out?
Thanks so much for reading!
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