I love birthday parties for kids. They're usually adorable and incredibly fun. Lots of games, tykes running around and playing, and selfishly ... well, there's usually cake.
This weekend was a birthday bonanza. CC had three -- count 'em -- three parties in one day, and we were determined to take her to all of them. We left the house about 9:30 in the morning and got home about 7 that evening -- with about 100 extra miles on the car.
Now, I love kids' parties. I only say that because by the end of this post you might think I'm the Grinchiest parent who ever set foot into a Chuck E. Cheese.
Speaking of which, that was our first stop of the day, the place "where a kid can be a kid" -- and an adult can, well, chase them around while they're doing it.
Honestly, when the big mouse came out to lead a conga line of kids around the restaurant before breaking into his Chuck E. dance, I expected tears. But CC was into it. She even got up close and personal with Chuck and busted out her own baby moves. Moves I'd never seen! That made me happy, because you never know when a child is going to be terrified by an oversized rodent in parachute pants.
Our next stop was an Elmo-themed carnival extravaganza, complete with bouncy castle, snow cones, cotton candy and live fish as prizes. CC, of course, headed straight for the item in which she could literally bounce off the walls.
CC loved the games, the storytelling, the candy (you know, the healthy, fruit-flavored kind), and she especially loved an item that wasn't officially part of the party -- a motorized miniature monster truck that only seemed to go forward ... right into other small children. Had to break her of that one quickly.
We got to stay a while, but unfortunately we missed out on Elmo himself and even a train ride, since we had to hit the road to make it to our last party of the day.
And, of course, we got lost.
Luckily we made it before sundown and, more importantly, before they cut the cake.
CC got to dive into her second bouncy castle of the day and even got to try her hand at a pinata. And although we had a minor infraction regarding the bouncy castle (Excuse me while I rant for a sec: Big kids and little kids should not mix in one of these things), we all survived, a little more sugary for our efforts.
At the end of the day, maybe I can think of it as a test of my sanity. Maybe I can think of it as endurance training. Or maybe I can think of it as a future ace in the hole. When she's 13 and asks me something insane like, "Mom, will you drive my friends and me to the Viper Room so we can see (insert completely inappropriate to the point of terrifying band name here)?" ...
I can say, "Remember when you were 2, and we drove 100 miles in one day ..."
Yeah, you only thought I was kidding about the Grinchy part.