Isn't this cake awesome---too pretty to cut? Patience was extremely approving as it looked, "just like my picture!"
Nevertheless, I managed to cut and serve it and wow, it was delicious. Carrot cake with real cream cheese frosting (as per Patience's instructions). Of course. What other kind of cake would you have for a Peter Rabbit?
(For those of you who do not live in the subtropics, you are probably thinking this is a fake-out. Nope. This was really yesterday, it was really 80 degrees, we were all really wearing tanks, tees and shorts, and sweating. The humidity did break halfway through the party, thank goodness, and a cool, refreshing breeze started. Locals...back me up please.)
We had a ginormous bouncy castle (literally, with spires and everything). This is a brilliant invention, and I wish I had one in my backyard every day. It was delivered at shortly past 7 a.m. As you can imagine, Jon and I were model examples of Up With Parenting! at that hour. The girls were crazier than Christmas: up at 6 a.m. ready to start decorating for the party. They were that excited. It was pretty cute...when I think about it now.
As soon as the castle was inflated, they got in and began jumping. And kept on. All day. It was great. The bouncy castle was the main attraction and all of the kids really enjoyed it. We ended up with a nice crowd.
In addition to the castle, we had:
* the lure of the Back 40 woods (I love having a huge yard, love it.);
* the swing set (the 1960s version..thus full of all the really cool and fun equipment modern sets no longer have due to safety or some crap like that);
* the buffet table (do kids love an eat-n-run buffet or what?);
* the driveway.
Isn't it amazing how fun driveways can be?. One can use sidewalk chalk to turn it into (a) a racetrack for scooters, (b) hopscotch, (c) a fairy house, (d) whatever you want. One can ride bikes, flintstone-style cars, the aforementioned scooters, and play jump rope---or turn the jump rope into a hauling mechanism with which one can pull a basket of rocks.
This is Persistence and the Love of Her Life (fortunately it's mutual) riding scooters:
There was also our second most popular feature: the dog.
Persistence and the Love of Her Life were taking turns playing a rousing game of Pat the Doggie's Tongue. (I know, me too...ooooh ick and wow, what an enormous tongue and what a tolerant---and well-trained---animal.)
In other words, there was no structure to this party. Just a giant back yard with lots of kid-friendly fun, food and places for the grown-ups to sit and chat. The only "activity" was the cake, which nobody minded pausing in the play for that.
It was just like a really wild and extra fun playdate. A number of guests told me they appreciated the casual and laid-back atmosphere.
I believe every child went home completely, happily exhausted.
My mission was accomplished.
Just before bed, Patience hugged me and said, "This was exactly the kind of birthday I hoped for! A jumping, running, playing, climbing, eating, riding, and drawing with tons of friends kind of birthday!"
Thanks to my mother and niece for the photos.
Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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