Cats n’ Dogs

It was the time of the year again, where our daughter was going to celebrate her birthday.  This time she would turn six and us parents wept quietly before we went to bed.  Our little baby was getting older, again, and so were we.  At least I don’t have gray hairs – yet.

She had decided the theme and she was also determined to invite the entire class – again.  All kids were delighted to be invited again to my daughter’s birthday party.  They clearly remembered last year’s smashing success, and were dying to party hard again.  27 Kids under the age of six were invited.  Deep inside, I wished that only 3 could come.  I still haven’t recovered mentally from last year’s party. My ear drums are still bleeding when watching plane take off and land.  The old metal band Man-O-War would be proud of the noise levels we reached last time.

Theme: Cats & Dogs (wonder if it would be anything like the movie)
Time & Location: Our house, after school Friday (please note, this event has already happened, so no need to show up next Friday)

My wife loves to bake birthday cakes, and this would be no exception.  And this time she was determined to give “Ace of Cakes” a real run for their money.  She started to plan the cakes two weeks before the actual event, by researching cake dough, icing techniques and designs. The final design and result can be seen here.  I have to admit, they look fantastic. And no, we don’t take orders … yet.

The big day finally arrived, and our daughter was so excited.  While she was in school, we decorated the house and prepared the food; chicken nuggets, fries, sausages, fish fingers and juice – the usual urban combat meal.

As the time drew closer, we (parents) got nervous too. I probably peed 16 times before the kids arrived.  It was as if I was sitting an exam.  Our daughter was dressed as a cat. My wife made the catsuit and the face paint.

Mayhem started bang on time, with the first cats and dogs arriving to the house.  Within minutes, the noise level in our suburban neighborhood had gone up 5 Db.  22 kids arrived (out of 27) so it was an excellent turnout.  The majority were dressed like either cats or dogs, except one weirdo kid who came dressed as a knight!

It wasn’t long until all the neighbor kids were staring weird at our house because of all the screams.  Some even knocked on the door asking if they could participate and others attempted to bring their pets to the party. They totally misunderstood the theme.

One parent attempted to offload all his kids, not only classmates, but siblings too. One father even tried to get his 7 week old baby to crash the party, but I had to draw the line somewhere.  We were not stocking baby milk and we were not too keen on holding a baby while minding 22 lunatic pretend animals.  So, he left crying.  Another parent, whose child has all kinds of allergies, pretended that he did not have allergies anymore. He said he could have everything he wasn’t allowed to have.  Imagine if the kid ended up a glucose overdose attack?  Paramedics would think we were mental patients, living in a house full of kids pretending to be animals.

Dog Catcher CatcherAs the party progressed, my wife had organized the usual party games; piñata, musical statues, face paint, bubble disco and of course the birthday song.  But, nobody anticipated or expected the last party game – least of all me.  My lovely wife had planned a “fantastic” game she made up called dog catcher.  This game doesn’t need any introduction and should not be attempted without supervision by trained parents (like us)!  As soon as my wife said “GO”, the signal for the “dogs” and “cats” to run, 20 kids sprinted around in the house hoping not to be caught by the dog catchers that were catching the dogs with tiny fish nets and putting them into tents.

The noise level and screams went though the roof. My wife just stood there giggling and cheering. She was having a blast. Our real dogs started to whine because some kids’ high pitch screams went straight through their nerve system.   My ears started to pop uncontrollably and my heart beat faster.  I felt like screaming too, but I think most kids would have cried if I did.  This game went on for about 15 minutes. By then glasses and eardrums had cracked within a 1 mile radius.

Finally, the end emerged like God send.  Parents started to collect their kids and we slowly started to clean up the mess left by the animal invasion.  For all the food on the floor, we simply let in the dogs and then that was done.

The “funny” thing is that we cleaned the entire house in advance, but why?  It is not like the kids would judge how clean our crib was.  Anyway, within 7 minutes, the house looked like if someone had pulled the pin in a grenade – juice, food and party decoration all over – hovering in mid air due to the speed the kids ran in circles around the house.

When the last kid was collected, and our kids were in bed, we quietly sat in the sofa enjoying the sound of silence.  I finished a bottle of wine within 15 minutes and fell asleep.  Never again, but that’s what we said last year.

The main thing was that our daughter had a fantastic day, and she loved it.  And, all her classmates still talk about her fantastic party 3 months on.

We had to have another party the following day, for the family only, which obviously was going to be a lot more relaxed.  Our daughter wanted gumbo, and she was going to help cooking it. She is after all six years old you know.

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