Sunday, August 24, 2014

Picture Post: Birthday Boys

Really, I just wanted to make a picture post celebrating the boys' birthdays, but then while hosting our second party in as many weeks at one of these family fun centers - bowling, laser tag, arcade, teenagers apparently in charge - I noticed something. Parties at this place essentially consist of a series of feats of strength. Nobody's good at bowling, and that goes double for today's 8- and 12-year-old boys. So the party starts with boys hurling balls down bumper-aided lanes with no form at all to usually-unsatisfying results. The rare spare legitimately causes a huge celebration. Then it's on to just-better-than-school-quality pizza and pitchers of soda. That's the training table for laser tag. Because Charlie's group was shy of the mandatory minimum size for our party package, I played laser tag with the boys. Running around in the dark with a gun that ceases working for four extremely-long seconds after you've been shot is nothing short of terrifying and shattering. I now know what those guys felt like coming back from 'Nam. Finally, after the cake and presents ritual (a subtle competition in its own right at a friend party), it's on to the arcade with little baggies of tokens. Here, different priorities can be pursued, but the ticket-acquisition priority has also produces clear winners and losers. Some kids end up with paltry little stacks, while other kids struggle to manage unruly anacondas of tickets. Of course, virtually every single item one can acquire with those tickets is garbage that no parent wants to enter the house. Happy Your Friend's Birthday! My kids seem to enjoy these parties, but I wonder what psychological damage they inflict. 

For the record, Charlie invited four girls.  Unforch, none of them could attend.

Analysis aside, look how much fun everyone had!
Paige made a marble cake.  She writes more neatly with frosting than I write with a pen.
Charlie liked it.
Here comes a 7 with an impossible split.
Bumper violence on its way.
I didn't want to post photos of the boys' friends (because their parents didn't sign photo releases), but suffice it to say, they're nerds.  Their bowling names are things like as many digits of Pi as could fit and Doctor Who references.
Pride builds quality.  Quality builds pride.
Decorating in situ.
World Cup Fever!
Teddy requested red velvet cake.
Potential energy.
Kinetic energy.
Li'l Storm Trooper
Engage phasers!


Anne H. said...

Super cakes Paige. You're an artist and I'm sincerely impressed. Interesting birthday party description, Jeff. I quite enjoyed your take on the boy birthday at a commercial venue. As for laser tag I never realized it could be really scary, or perhaps the better word is disturbing. Kudos to you both for providing a memorable celebration for each of the boys.

Lauren Jackson said...

These are fantastic cakes, and obviously memorable parties thrown by loving and dedicated parents. I'm so impressed. I hope the Competent Parent has an appropriately subdued yet joyful birthday on Monday.