Nicky went to his first pool party today. He'd been invited to a birthday party for a little girl at his preschool. We'd waffled about whether to attend or not, but in the end we had the weekend free and when I asked him who the little girl was he said she's "my girl," so of course we had to go!
Tom stayed home to mow the lawn, and Nicky and I left early so I could go to my meeting this morning (not doing so great the last few weeks by the way). After the meeting we went to Toys R Us to shop for a gift (nothing like waiting till the last minute eh?) and Nicky picked out a Dora bubble kit. Since the invitation had Dora on it, and it was a spill proof, non-battery toy, I thought it was a great choice. I already had wrapping paper, scissors and tape in the car, so I was able to skip buying any bags or paper. I thought about a pretty ribbon, but they were expensive at Toys R Us, so I improvised by adding a few origami cranes to the package instead. It looked beautiful.
We still had over an hour before the party, which was at noon. I wasn't 100% sure if there would be lunch there, and if we were going to swim first I thought it prudent to make sure Nicky had something besides the dried fruit he'd eaten at 9am to sustain him. So we went to the food court in the mall for a slice of pizza really quick. Nicky was so excited about the fountain being on (which was on for the first time in recent memory) that we sat next to the fountain while we ate.
When we finished our pizza, he got to throw 6 pennies into the fountain (hey, it was for Habitat for Humanity, so I splurged). He made his wishes on each penny. And the few he said out loud were for a brother and sister. Let's all hope that at least one of those wishes comes true! For the record, the wish for a sister came first.
After pizza we headed to the party. We were the first ones there, so we helped set up. As the other kids arrived, Nicky was a little thrown at first as these were the kids from his school, so maybe it was time to act like school. He told a few kids to use their "inside voices" and "no running feet" before he gave up and just started playing with the rest of them. There was a tumble-mat there that they had fun running, jumping and tumbling on throughout the inside part of the party.
In the end, there were about 18 kids there total, and probably 20+ parents. The kids ate pizza, cheese, crackers and fruit. Nicky ate, even though we'd just had pizza. You should have seen this pizza! There were four choices: cheese (boring), mushroom (he doesn't do mushrooms anymore), black olives (he doesn't do those anymore either) and macaroni! OMG, you should have seen his reaction to that. Pizza AND pasta? At the SAME TIME? Wow!
The kids did some finger painting (which I totally forgot to bring home, oops) and then got to decorate their own chocolate cupcakes. That was an interesting idea. There was a little cake (for the grownups, but I skipped) for the birthday girl to blow out the candles (Nicky and I were in the bathroom, so any drama over who blew out the candles was avoided). But the kids all got a chocolate cupcake, two raspberries, a few M&Ms and gummy bears, and a little medicine cup of icing with a popsicle stick. They had fun decorating, although I don't think they really ate much. (Excellent!)
Then we headed out to the pool. There were some pool noodles and kickboards available, so we grabbed a noodle. Nicky swam around in the shallow end (which was a good 4 feet deep) for about 2 hours with me. I'd re-sunscreened him before we went out, and re-did my face too. But I ended up with a nice sunburn anyway on my shoulders. (I totally blame Tom for not sunscreening me up properly this morning. Although he was really nice and aloe-d me up this evening.) Nicky even went underwater several times and only swallowed a little water once! He did great and had a lot of fun.
We actually stayed till he was the only kid left. We all went back inside and had the birthday girl open the gift from Nicky. He did so well giving it to her.
By the way, what is the deal these days with not opening gifts at the party? Remember when we were kids and you'd have cake and then open presents and play games? Well apparently these days no one opens presents at the party anymore. I understand that it really takes a lot of time to do it, and the kids might get all jealous (especially the little ones), but that's kind of how they learn that sometimes you GIVE presents, and you don't always GET them. You know? I was glad we stayed and let him see her open her gift. I think it's a great lesson in giving. And I think we'll be the gauche family who continue to open presents at birthday parties. Just warning you now. ;)
So next year I think we'll be doing a party for Nicky's birthday. He's starting a new school next week (a whole other post there!) and will have a whole class to invite. I think he'll be ready for that kind of party by then. I don't know if Tom and I will, but we'll do it anyway. Maybe not in our house though. That was a LOT of kids.
(I was looking for a photo to add here of Nicky in his swim trunks, but dang I've been slacking on the photography! Here's one of him this summer at his Grammie's house.)