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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Operation Bore My Son to Tears | Main | Why you should not fear Five. »

What has Alice been doing?

Why, preparing for Henry's birthday party, of course!

Which was yesterday. His party was to be a Space Party, as Henry wishes someday to be an astronaut. An astronaut, or a "worker guy." A Worker Guy party sounded, at the time of the party planning, less interesting than Space. Although now that we're done I can see the appeal of a Worker Guy party. Maybe we could have had the kids regrout our bathroom. We'll plan that one for next year.

Because we enjoy suffering, we spent much of Saturday in Party City. We hadn't prepared too well for the Space Party (hello, I lied about spending all this time on party preparation), and we had fewer than twenty-four hours, and surely they had something space-related there. But did you know? According to Party City, you cannot have a Space Party. Or any type of generically themed party.You can have a Go Diego Go! party, if you like. ¡Al rescate, partygoers! But you cannot have a Space Party, because there is no branded character associated with generic Space, so no. No Space Party for you.

We actually went to the strict trademarked-characters-only Party City for one reason, which was to pick up a Rocketship Pinata, as I had seen it on their website. I asked a salesperson where I could find said Rocketship Pinata, and she looked at me like I had asked where I could find the Double Penetration Dildo Pinata. "We don't have that," she said, slowly, so I could understand her despite my obvious idiocy. "I've never heard of that, and we don't have it here, and I'm pretty sure we've never had it."

"Whuh," I said.

"If you want a Diego pinata, I can get that for you! ¡Vamonos!"

"Nuuuuh," I said, and she fed me some kibble.

So then Henry and I traipsed over to the next aisle, where we found a massive display of ROCKET-SHIP PINATAS. And do you know what I did then? Do you? I marched right over to the Diego-peddling salesperson and I barked WHAT DO YOU CALL THESE, MS. PINATA EXPERT? She cowered in fear. And begged my forgiveness, after acknowledging my clearly superior intellect.

You've probably guessed by now that I said absolutely nothing, and you would be correct. I can't feel anything but bad for anyone who works at Party City. She deserves not to know about the rocketship pinata. You go on not knowing, young miss! You go on not knowing until you're free!

By the way, if you want to yell at your child, go to Party City first. You'll blend right in! Every parent at Party City has had it up to HERE with his or her child. It's the place to go if you need to unleash a little pent-up hostility. Hell, you could grab someone else's kid and let 'er rip. No one would be the wiser. And the little kid would be too dazzled by the shiny party favors to mind your tirade.

So what happened next, you ask? Well, next we went insane creating Space Party activities and Space Party favors. I told one of my friends at the party that we actually went back in time to create the space program, just so we could have this party. (Clearly I liked my joke enough to make it again.) A few days before the party another friend mentioned to me that she had one of those inflatable Bouncy Castles in her possession, and would we like to borrow it? Indeed we did. Fast-forward to fifteen minutes into the party, when we realized we could have abandoned the Space theme and simply let the children flail away inside the Bouncy Castle until it was time for them to stagger home. Children who have a Bouncy Castle do not need personalized NASA t-shirts, or a Stick the Astronaut on the Lifeline game, or an Alien Slime-Making project, or a Rocketship Pinata. They may not even need cake. All they want to do is bounce.

In the end, no one vomited or broke any bones, so it was a rousing success. And now my son is home sick with post-party ennui. (Also an ear infection.) Such is the price we pay for showing him too good a time.

P.S.: My son is FIVE. Holy crap.

P.P.S.: Wonderland post from last week, in which I attempt to tackle the giant topic of the vaccination/autism link. Yeesh.

Reader Comments (33)

Delurking to say: Seriously! Five! OMG he got old fast. Soon Henry will be staying out late, sneaking off to parties and getting involved with GIRLS.

(Also a space party with a bouncy castle is lmost the coolest thing in the world.. Almost.)
October 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLeaf, probably...
Welcome to Fivedom. We were admitted 2 weeks ago.
October 2, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteraimee/greeblemonkey
(delurking to say) Happy Birthday Henry! Very fun post.

When my daughter was five (oh dear, was that the "earth day" theme? *groans*) the girls made bread in a bag, painted little flower pots and planted seeds in them to take home; the cake was individual mud cakes complete with gummy worms. Ah yes, I remember it well. It rained all day and I was stuck inside with all of them. A nightmare!
October 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKeri
Hahaha! Now, where exactly can I get one of those Dildo pinatas??? The Hubs birthday is coming up in November....*smile*
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBig Pumpkin
Birthdays scare me. I'm thinking of forbidding them until the smallest one turns ten.

Or something.

Please, please, please link to the birthday cake post from a few years back. Who knew frosting was so funny?
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdaysgoby
I LOVED the dildo comment! It was great!

It could have been worse though. Henry could have wanted a super-exclusive trademark character that they didn't have.

Luckily he wanted space, which was easy enough to BS your way through (not that it was easy to organize, but you could have come up with anything)
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLori
In consideration of The Great Mofo Delurk today, I am sending this little comment your way. I enjoy reading your blog regularly and look forward to every new post.

October 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTXPoppet
My Maddie wanted a Blues Clues birthday before Blues Clues was so annoyingly popular, this was 10 years ago, she will be 13 next week, my god.....anyway, none of the party stores had any Blues Clues crap, so unbelievably, I sat up all night and made a paper mache (sp?) Blue-head pinanta. Do you think those damn 3-year-olds appreciated my work? Of course not, no appreciation at all.

Delurking, by the way. I read often and usually end up laughing out loud with my family looking at me like I've finally lost it.
October 3, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterangie

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