Friday, August 27, 2010
Holy Cupcakes, Batman - Parker's Almost Six!
And he has changed his party theme . . . well, I don't think he changed it, I think he humored his mother, for a time, into thinking that he would be up for something OTHER than Batman, but Batman was always what was in his brain. I shouldn't be surprised - his brother was Batman every year for Halloween, several years running. (Only, of course, he was never the SAME Batman twice . . . because that would have been economical. Thanks, costume manufacturers for providing us with SOOOOOO many Batman options, and thanks, also, for sending those glossy catalogs with all of the enticing pictures of said costume options. You are the reason that we are in possession of a "classic" Batman costume, and a "muscle chest" Batman costume, and a "Batman Begins" Batman costume, all of them just sliiiiiiiightly different from the others.)
Here's how he broke the news: this week, PJ's kindergarten class assembled their own books of vocabulary words. One of the words was "cake." Parker very carefully colored the cake that illustrated that word blue, yellow and black, and then made a point of showing that page, first before all others, to both parents. (In fact, he left the book at school and made his father take him BACK to the school to retrieve it, just so that he could show us the blue, yellow and black cake.) Then, with all of the subtlety of an elephant, he explained, "See? That's the cake for my sixth birthday, BECAUSE I'M GOING TO HAVE A BATMAN PARTY! Oh, did I mention that I want a Batman party? But it will be just Batman, and my last birthday was Justice League, so this one will be totally different. And I promise I'll do Harry Potter next year."
Siiiiiigh. So much for my Harry Potter idea board. But - bonus! - the last time I checked out the Dollar Spot at Super Target, they had really cool Batman easy reader books and activity books, so this change in plans is fortuitous. I recall seeing Imaginext Batman villains on clearance as well. Yeah, um, all of that seems to be out of the stores now. I blame Joker - this crime against Mom-anity has his fingerprints all over it.
But you can't keep this mom down for long, Joker. I can rally. Rally is my middle name. Or it should be. I have come up with a great party favor that is totally cheap and - bonus again! - a possibly really great bonding activity to do with the kids one weekend. Plan is to buy packages of Hanes white tees (which I've seen for roughly $1 per), Rit Dye them in yellow, and then tie-dye them black, so the yellow shows through. May throw some blue in there as well. Then I thought it might be fun to do captions on the shirts using a technique posted by Prank on Instructables.com. You use those alphabet refrigerator magnets, place them on a shirt and spritz around the letters with a bleach-and-water solution (using an old perfume spray bottle) to create white outlines:
I would love to make them say "I'm Batman," but I'm fairly sure that they don't make an apostrophe magnet. So I need to experiment with that, and also with a Batman logo - maybe I could cut one out of a sheet of adhesive contact paper, or an adhesive magnet sheet? Whatever wouldn't react with the bleach. After you add the bleach, you wait three minutes and then dip the shirt in cold water to halt the bleaching process. I'm toying with the idea of letting the kids create their own patterns, I'll do the spritzing and dunking, and they can dry on a line outside while the party progresses. Or, I may do them from start to finish. Depends on where we have the party. My initial thought was to do something offsite, as the kindergarten birthday is always awkward (particularly if you are fortunate enough to have an early birthday kid) - parents of new classmates don't know you as well, you aren't sure how many will show up, and so you invite the preschool classmates as well. You could end up with thirty kids, or three. Pro for a home party: Easy to accommodate an unknown number of party guests. Pro for an away party: Chuck E. Cheese/Main Event/etc. are the great equalizers. If not all of the kids know each other, doesn't matter - tons to distract them. And parents who don't know you from Adam are more likely to RSVP yes, because it's a neutral location, with plenty to distract.
The problem is that part of my job involves representing landlords under commercial leases, and, occasionally, I oversee the eviction of kid party palaces. Which, in this economy, tends to make me distinctly nervous when faced with the prospect of plunking down a $100 non-refundable deposit today with the hope that a venue will still be around in two months. Do you think it would be rude if I asked for financials and an estoppel, certifying that they are current with their landlord?
So, venue not certain . . . but I am moving forward with another idea board, nonetheless. This adorable favor cake, from FavorCakes on Etsy, is going on there for sure:
If push comes to shove, I figure that we can have an in-home party, and the activity can be "dress up like Batman." We should have enough costumes to go around, regardless of how many kids show up . . . .