Monday, June 7, 2010

Birthday Party Sigh of Relief (or The Happy Rat)

We made it out unscathed! As a matter of fact, we made it out quite satisfied and happy. Who woulda thought?

Chuck E. Cheese, or at least the location we attended, was bright, clean and, when we first arrived, empty. Yes, empty! Just a handful of kiddos wandering around, most of whom were attending the same party as us. We could see that it was set up for all hell to break loose later, though, with rows and rows of vacant birthday party tables prepped with plates and balloons. Fortunately, the mother of our birthday child had the foresight to plan this party for 11:30am, before the general mayhem would begin. So, as a result, we had about an hour of playtime with no major competition for games or rides, and learned that that’s the time to go if we are so inclined to plan any future visits. Which we may be...

Samantha had a ball and surprised us, as she so often does, by trying some new things and liking them. Like Whack-a-Mole and coin-op rides. Perhaps we have deprived her over the years by not exposing her to them before, but we’d been scarred by her frequent decisions to take her hands off whatever support device she should be holding on to for dear life and saying, “all done!” That alone has taken years off my own life. She still does it on the swings at the playground (a definite problem), but she seemed to know that you’ve gotta hang onto merry-go-rounds and racehorses and souped up low-rider cars. Good.

A couple of things to note – the pizza was kind of yucky (isn’t that supposed to be CEC’s specialty?), but the birthday cake, made by a friend of the mother of the birthday boy, was spectacular (and beautifully hand-decorated). I could have eaten that icing all day, and I’m pretty sure Samantha could have, too. Several of us remarked on it, and the mother sent us contact information for the woman that made it. Samantha got to spend time with her two best buddies, one of whom is the same typically-developing little girl whose birthday party Samantha attended a few months ago, and who had told Sammi that day that she missed her. Unfortunately, we were just informed that she’s moving out of the country for 4 years, starting this summer. I know Samantha will miss her friend, and I’m feeling very sad about this.

By the time we left, around 1:15pm, the place was hopping, and the birthday party tables were packed to capacity. Samantha was beyond wiped out. She hit that tired/cranky wall that we always try to avoid, crying and displaying her very best flop-and-drop, then sinking her teeth into my shoulder as I tried to load her into her car seat. But she was nearly asleep by the time we got home and when Steve took her up to bed she was unconscious in seconds. I really can’t blame her, especially since we’d been swimming in a friend’s pool right before we went to the party.

We’ll definitely go back to Chuck E. Cheese. And we’ll definitely go back no later than 11:30am.

Car ride

The dreaded Purple One

Whack-a-Mole (or a variation of it)

With her two best buddies


Renee said...

I am so glad the party went well for Samantha. It sounds like she had a great time! I am sure she is one of the many (if not 99%) of the kids that melt down when leaving there.

Cathy said... I guess this means we'll have to take Lily someday. Sigh....

At least I have a couple of years before that happens...I hope!

my family said...

I am so glad you all had fun.I did not comment when you wanted advice if you should go or not. Chuck E is like the torture chamber to me...I mean I hate that place and I am all about fun...maybe it is the chaos that I cant take but I bring my kids very seldom....poor deprived kiddos,they will be scared for life and talk about it in therapy as adults, lol.She looks like she had a blast

stephanie said...

I'm so glad you went. I knew it would be a hit!

As I write this Miss Em is getting her first introduction to the Dreaded Purple One!! LOL

Kristi said...

I'm' glad she had a great time! I know how h ard parties can be! It gets better as they get older, I promise! :)
And yes, I love going to weekday (even weeknight) parties at chains like that because it's usually dead, AMEN, lol!

Dawn said...

I'm so happy that things turned out so well for Samantha...and for you.

I definitely could understand your "before the party" feelings but I'm glad that they didn't get in the way of everyone enjoying the party.

Michelle said...

so glad it ended up being such a success!

RobMonroe said...

Glad you had a good experience - We took Abby when she was too young to have a clue. Fun for us, though.


Koozies said...

Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so. Really nice post!