Sunday, February 28, 2010

Won't-Grow-Up Birthday Bash

Seconda turned three last week and in honor of her emerging from the terrifying terrain known as the terrible twos (wishful thinking) I decided to throw her a totally overboard birthday bash with a fully-realized theme . . . Peter Pan and Neverland. Sec loves Peter Pan -- not Tinkerbell, as you'd expect, but Captain Hook and his bo'sun Smee. She absolutely adores Smee. It so happens that I am rather fond of Peter Pan myself -- was a childhood love of mine, too, and Primo is obsessed, no other way to put it. Couple our shared passion for Peter Pan with the fact that I recently wrote this article about birthday party ideas for kids in the city, and spent a few weeks putting together various theme parties, soup-to-nuts, fanning the fires of my party-planning zeal and you get one totally pimped out Neverland Party. As Primo put it, "Mommy, you've gone TOO FAR with this party! Enough is enough!" It was so ridiculous that I grew embarrassed and worried that the parents of the kids in Sec's class would think I was some kind of precious party nut, so I spent all last week explaining to them that I wasn't usually so fanatic about my parties. When you have to preface your party with an explanation, you know you've gone too far.

First, the cake:

I am not going to compare myself to the Ace of Cakes, but you may, if you feel so compelled. The truth about the cake is that it looked like a big old pile of shit, green shit, before my dad, who could have a great show on the Food Network called The Cake Doctor (he's a real MD, you see, and also good at fixing cakes) stepped in. I gave him a handful of plastic characters and a big tub of cotton candy and he made the magic happen. But I'm happy to accept credit.

Here's Sec in her PJs wearing some of wildly fun dress-up accouterments I provided, all of which were relevant to Neverland adventures. This is mermaid hair. There were also eye patches, bandanas, and Lost Boy animal masks:

Here are the children happily doing the crafts I lovingly prepared for them until midnight: pirate hats, coloring pages, trace-your-shadow on butcher paper, feathered headbands, and fairy wands. Primo, the purist, pointed out Tinkerbell did not use a wand, but I told him we needed something to appease the die-hard princessy types.

My bagel spread (not in keeping with Neverland theme but NYC bagels are the perfect food for any occasion and need no apology). I did offer Pirate Booty as well.

Tattoos, of course, every possible kind of Neverland-related tattoo, including mermaids, fairies, pirate and Native American totem poles:

Blowing out the candles:

General revelry:

I didn't take a picture of my goody bags only because I didn't want to give you guys any ideas that you'd regret in the wee hours of the morning as you assembled them, half-deranged. Let's just put it this way: it was my first time at Oriental Trading Company, and I did not exercise enough restraint. There were pixy sticks, pirate telescopes, fairy paraphernalia, homemade pixy dust put in silken pouches and homemade mermaid-shaped chocolates, all of which was placed in a treasure chest. I used the snow day last week to start a sweat shop in my living room, where Primo worked overtime on my assembly line, putting an equal number of pirate gold in each chest. I also forced him to draw all decorations as well as the game "Pin the Hook on Captain Hook." In exchange I gave him pixy sticks which he just couldn't refuse. Good times.

The party was a success but we are all relieved its over and I can slowly morph from a psycho Martha Stewart wanna-be to my normal self again.