Birthday parties in the time of COVID are something else. Minimal guests, social distancing, and supply chain issues with presents and decorations. Mostly first world problems, right? Even though I was a little late with the planning, Elaina still ended up having a pretty good little birthday party.
We got a late start this year due to Elaina being a little indecisive on what the theme for her party would be… or if she even wanted to have a party. There were certainly times that she was being emotional and just did not want to have anyone over. She has been getting a little dramatic lately, so sometimes I needed her to calm down before she could make a decision.
She finally settled on her first choice which was a Scooby-Doo-themed party. We ended up getting the usual for the party, including the piñata, balloons, and party favors. The girls especially had a great time at our local party store picking out the colors for all the tablecloths, napkins, and silverware.
At Elaina’s insistence, we had almost the exactly same spread as last year, carnitas nachos; Gabriella wanted chocolate milk though “for the guests,” so we got some of them too. It did not disappoint, as the guests came back for plate after plate. Do not get me wrong, I love pizza, but parents usually get pretty excited when that is not on the birthday menu.
The girls did a great job helping me get everything ready for the party. Elaina helped by cleaning off the trampoline, including using a spray bottle and towel.
Gabriella did her part by testing out the bouncy house… it still works.
The girls tested out their Daphne and Velma costumes a few nights before. Thankfully, Elaina did not make me wear my Fred costume for the party.
As always, the girls’ favorite part of party-planning is stuffing the piñata. They were very disappointed that all of the candy fit inside of it, but, being a good Dad, I let them test out a few pieces beforehand… you know, to make sure that the candy was still good.
About 30 minutes before the guests were scheduled to arrive, Elaina had her predictable meltdown. I love my oldest daughter, but she tends to do this before big scheduled events. I just left her to her own devices for a few minutes while I finished getting things ready.
Gabriella’s birthday occurs every year when she is at her Mother’s house. She gets a party, but it is a party for both of them, even though Elaina’s comes two months later. By the time they come home, it is just a party for Elaina on her birthday. I try to include Gabriella as much as possible, but I really wish that she would get her party at her Mother’s and Elaina gets her party at my house. It would just make things a little simpler and not make Gabriella feel like she is not getting her due at my house.
Once I took the carnitas out of the slow cooker and the nacho cheese was heated, as she requested weeks before, Elaina got a plate of carnitas nachos to eat before the party. That made everything right, and by the time the guests arrived, Elaina was her happy self again.
Once the guests arrived, the party went pretty smoothly until we got to the piñata. We purchased a homemade piñata from our local party store, and while it was nice looking, it was absolutely indestructible. We let the guests take a few turns swinging at it, but after only superficial damage, I tore the thing open and let them at it.
There was way too much candy in the piñata and my colleagues at work benefitted greatly from all the extra we had.
The rest of the day was completely drama-free. We sang and Elaina blew out the candles on the cake. She opened presents and thanked all her guests. No other children cried, so I will call that a win. Elaina even made a new friend.
Although it was not as big as her last party, Elaina had a great time. Because of COVID, she understood that she could not have a giant party, although I think that she actually preferred a smaller gathering. Gabriella had a great time too and I do not think that she felt left out. Nothing too amazing, but we are trying our best to bring a sense of normalcy to these crazy times. Because that is all we can do, keep pressing on and trying to make the best of things.
Thanks for checking in on us.