Thursday, June 11, 2009

13 Candles

Tomorrow is D's birthday party. Number 13. (There's a reason people are suspicious about that number. I bet it all started from 13 year old girls.) I didn't think it was that big of a deal - some girls are sleeping over, I get a couple of pizzas, then hide out in my room with my computer and a steady supply of drinks. I didn't realize this is a Really Big Deal.

Monday night D started freaking out. She started asking over and over what activities she could do with her friends, what games they should play, what order each one should be in, where should everyone sleep, like she wanted a detailed itinerary and map of the evening. I, in my infinite stupidity, suggested she make a list. I like lists, they help me think. Her list stirred her into more of a frenzy. I didn't get it. It's just a sleepover that we're calling a birthday party. WTF?

Later that evening I asked her what the big deal is. It's not her first sleepover, it's not her first party, they're not strangers to her. Her response was, "I just want to make sure everyone is happy and has a good time. I want it to be perfect." Oh, yes. Yes, this I get. I realized that I have passed the Party Hostess With the Mostest gene on to my child. The apple does not fall far from the anal tree.

This sent me into my own frenzy, thinking that my kid deserves a cool party, I can't let her be embarrassed in front of her friends. I won't be the lame mom who gives a lame party. I have a reputation to uphold and it's not going to be ruined by a bunch of newly-branded teenagers. As if.

I spent my lunch the next day scouring the internet and the town for the perfect goody bag ideas. Goody bags? Really? Goody bags were invented for three-year-olds to coax them into giving up a birthday gift and not feel like they have to leave empty-handed. Apparently goody bags are still very much desired at this age. At any rate, I went to my friend Michael's for some crafty inspiration and got my final idea D-approved that evening.

Next was the cake. Stupid me, thinking I could get by without it. I didn't want to spend $35 on a cheesy cake (although I might on a cheesecake), so I came up with the brilliant idea of making one. Brilliant because I don't actually bake. I do pretty much everything but bake. Again, I turned to the internets and found - insert sound of angel chorus - the Rainbow Cake. It's unique, it's colorful, it's easy. At least it sounded easy because it uses a cake mix box. It's really a bit more ambitious and I'm beginning to resent the fact that I will be spending my evening tonight relatively alcohol-free baking a multi-layer cake (because drinking could turn it into a fiasco and me into the Lamest Mom Ever. Seriously, the cake is the centerpiece. It can't be messed with.) instead of boozing it up and watching trashy TV like The Bachelorette and I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. It's summer time, people. Don't judge.

Now, for the gift. I procrastinated until yesterday, not knowing for the first time what to get her. She had a list a mile long, that she repeated to me daily for at least a month, but it is the big 1-3 and I thought it should be something really cool but not over the top. I started thinking about what she asks for that I always say no to, which made it so easy. I like saying no. No, you can't wear makeup. No, you can't wear that color nail polish. No, you can't borrow my hair straightener or my curling iron. No, you can't use my face mask. Thus, she is getting her own flattening iron, plus a crimping iron (selfishly, so I don't have to braid her hair every night), pastel eye shadow, face powder, lip gloss, a trio of makeup bags, nail polish and nail decals. I'm considering giving it to her at her party instead of on her actual birthday so the girls can play with all of it and do makeovers. Plus it makes me look like a Cool Mom, which is really all that matters.

Barring some bizarre tragedy with the cake, I believe I have upheld my title as Party Planner Extraordinaire. I might even be feeling generous enough to let them use my face mask. I'll just take pictures in case I need blackmail later.


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