Today my son had a birthday party to attend. It was at one of those bounce places with the inflatable castles and obstacle courses. We were excited for him, because he loves those things. He had such a great time at a bounce-theme birthday party a couple years ago. We assumed that was representative of all bounce parties. Upon arriving to today's party, however, we soon realized we had embarked on a journey to the innermost circles of Hell for the following 2 and 1/2 hours.
I don't enjoy party games that are pretty much "which two kids are going to bang heads, and demonstrate to everyone why there is an enormous advertisement for "urgent care" on the wall of the bounce room". And, although I like cake just as much as the next person, I don't enjoy mine served with a side of snot. I also never think "I hope everyone who just rolled on the floor, picked their boogers, and made snow angels in inflatable birthday cakes that, let's be honest, someone probably puked in within the last 24 hours... touches all the food sitting on the table, seasoning it with the latest super bug." Never, I never think that.
We showed up at the party, all ready to go, and the first thing we see is this poor, sick baby, who cannot keep his eyes open. He constantly had snot covering at least 50% of his face, looked miserably ill, and was struggling to stay awake... however, he was at the party. Not only was he there, but assorted relatives kept carrying him into the bouncy contraptions and bouncing him around, as he looked at everyone with the saddest "please help me" eyes. All he wanted to do was sleep. The Dad even said "He's getting better, he's just exhausted because he hasn't slept for 2 days." Yes, I wanted to hose my kids down with lysol at that point, every 5 minutes after that, and strip them for one last coat of it when we got home... but I was more upset that this poor baby was being subjected to this when he should have been home, resting (if possible). I still want to scoop him up and take care of him, wipe his poor little face, and rock him to sleep.
About 15 minutes into the party, they spiced it up a bit by throwing in 2 children between the ages of 10-12, who were about MY size, and were mean and super aggressive. Why these things were released into a crowd of pre-schoolers, I do not know. Kids were getting plowed down, my kiddo got hit in the face, and they were pushing kids down the back of the inflatable slide and not letting them go down the slide. Fun times.
After the anxiety filled 2 hours of hoping my child, or any other kiddo, didn't break a limb, we went to the party room. I know I'm a germ-phobe who overreacts to dirt and germs, but there is just something about watching people dig in bare handed to food who are sick or were just playing with a bunch of sick kids on dirty equipment that turns my stomach. Great for the diet, though! I did whip out the hand sanitizer like any well prepared crazy person would in this situation. I did not, however, eat anything. My kids did, though. It's hard to explain to them, in a middle of a party, that they are sitting in a giant petri dish with a sample taken from none other than Typhoid Mary. People tend to look at you strange for mentioning her at a kid's party.
Anyway, after all of this, I decided to fill my husband in on the types of kid's parties I won't be throwing. I know the title says top five, but really there are only 2 on that list right now....
1. Bounce party... after the above, it really goes without saying
2. Chuck E. Cheese
I'm not a big fan of Chuck E. Cheese. This post is getting long, so I'll cut to the chase, and sum it up with a quote from my husband
"What do you mean, you don't like Chuck E. Cheese? Pizza, a giant rat, and knife fights... what's not to like?"
So, there you have it. The kids had a ton of fun, but my anxiety was through the bouncy castle roof.
Since I included a quote from my husband in here, I'll throw in an extra one from this evening... it's pretty much classic-him...
Husband What?! Cat beatings?!
Me Yeah, I just said "I was way over doing it with the cat beatings." Now when I ask the baby what a kitty says, he says "No, Mommy, no!"
I will give him some credit, though. Caffeine, cat beatings... they are almost the same thing some mornings.