Monday, December 20, 2010


The first mistake I made was asking Primo what “kind” of a birthday party he wanted to have this year. In retrospect, I see that was dumb, When you’re six years old, a birthday party shouldn’t require a category, It should be sufficient for the theme to be “fun.” I should have made some cupcakes, hung up a few rolls of crepe paper and assorted balloons and called it a day. But, no, I had to go and ask what “kind” of a party he wanted. I should have known my kid would not choose a conventional option like “Spiderman” or “Transformers” - the kind that’s easy to achieve with a purchase of some paper plates and maybe a banner for the door. Did I really think Primo, lover of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Greek mythology, would say he wanted a “Star Wars” birthday?

“I want a Plants vs Zombies birthday party!” he yelled immediately.

“Oh, ok, “I said, “That might be a little tough. I mean, I don’t have any idea how to do that.”

“We can play Plants vs Zombies!”

“No, no no. That’s out of the question. No video games at the party.”

“Ok, then we can listen to the soundtrack. Come on, Mommy, I KNOW you can do it! Don’t give up, Mommy! BELIEVE in yourself!”

Oooh, nice. My own galvanizing words come back to haunt me.

The kid knew who he was dealing with. I am a party planning maniac, an unhinged, incompetent, cheapskate Martha Stewart figure, and I love nothing if not a good challenge.

“Fine,” I said, “we’ll do it. A zombie party.”

“A Plants vs Zombies party.”

“A Plants vs Zombies / conventional zombie party,” I specified.

Turns out this is not as easy as one might think. Choosing the undead as a theme for a siz year-old birthday poses several problems.

  1. There is a dearth of zombie-related paper products out there. When I say dearth, I mean an absolutely gaping hole in the market. So we opted for plain old Solo plates, on sale from Key Food.
  2. Zombies, believe it or not, are fairly frightening creatures and not all six year-olds, and their toddler siblings, enjoy being terrified by images of rotting corpses brought back to life (is that what zombies are? I don’t even freaking know). So I had to find zombie accoutrements which were authentic but still light on the terror factor. This meant I could not show the Thriller video, as I initially planned. I didn’t need nasty 3am emails from mothers whose kids woke with nightmares.
  3. Zombie party favors are few and far between especially after the month of October. .

Are you ready, readers, to hear how to throw your child a state of the art, Plants vs Zombies/ conventional zombie birthday party? Prepare to enter DIY paradise!


Hand-crafted Plants xs Zombies decorations, which included the sunflowers, peashooters, and cherry bombs. .

Copious print-outs of the videogame screen which reads “THE ZOMBIES ATE YOUR BRAINS!” courtesy of Google images.

The piece de resistance: I got my younger sister, whose boyfriend works for Firefox, thus making him in my eyes an internet and tech wunderkind – to insert a real image of Primo jumping into a pool into the image from the videogame screen where the zombies are advancing into the swimming pool. This allowed Primo to ENTER the VIDEOGAME. It was pretty freaking cool.


Bagels. Everyone likes bagels, including zombies.


My peeps on FB stepped up to the plate for this one, helping to create a winning zombie game lineup:

Hot potato mine!

Duck duck zombie

Zombie freeze dance

Hands-free eat–the-brain/donut-off-the-string

Zombie model magic creation station

Zombie face painting, courtesy of my cousins

Make an eyeball out of ping pong balls.

Pinata in the shape of Crazy Dave from the video game (in actual fact, a pirate, but look, who really can tell the diff?)

Last but not least, Pin the Brain on the Zombie, on a board crafted by Master Primo himself


Gummi brains

Brain pops (made by taping a printout of a brain over the lollipop wrapping)

Brain teasers

Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (sunflowers being the go-to weapon in the videogame)

Glow-in-the-dark zombie finger puppets

And each kid got his own fashion pin featuring a zombie saying like:

Zombies were people too

I’m with Zombie

I heart brains,

You’re my friend and all, but if a zombie chases us, I’m totally tripping you

Yes, eBay is a magical thing.

That’s about it.

EXCEPT for the best part which was the KICK-ASS birthday cake featuring images of the different Plants vs Zombies weapons and zombies printed in color from the internet and mounted on cardstock, then glued onto toothpicks and uses as caketoppers??????

Whatesv. All in a day’s work. It’s not like I did it to prove that I’m the best-ever party planner and Mother of the Year. I did it, of course, just to put a smile on my darling son’s face. Any medals of honor I get in the process would be icing on the cake.