All the kids and a few of the parents came in their pajamas, and Allyson wore a brand-new set that we'd bought for the occasion. With all that running and jumping, she got really sweaty in those fleece jammies, but do you think she minded?
Here are all the guests posing with Batman's knees:
Not pictured are Ethan and his friend David, who were skulking around trying to escape notice at the "five-year-old birthday party."
After the hour of jumping was up, we all trooped to the Blue Room for pizza, cupcakes, and ice cream. Actually, I turned down the cupcakes and ice cream but then drooled over Allyson's, which she barely touched. Man, that frosting smelled good!
In the party room, there was an inflatable throne where the birthday girl sat with each of her friends. Here she is with Allyson. See their matching rosy cheeks, and the way their hair styles are almost identical? (We sometimes get them confused when we see them from the back.)
"I don't care," Ethan said around a bite of fluffy purple frosting. "It was fun. They'd all wish they were here." But David sank lower into his seat.
When it was time for gifts, I thought back to the last few parties, at which Allyson practically sat in the laps of the birthday kids and even helped unwrap the paper in some instances. I pulled her into my lap and whispered in her ear, "Now give Olivia some space. Don't sit too close, and let her open her own presents, okay?"
"Can I get kind of close?" she whispered.
"Kind of," I said.
When Olivia got started, I was too busy chatting with my friend Carla to see if Allyson was following my instructions, and it's a good thing. I would have been MORTIFIED.
On the way home, I asked Bill how she did.
"Pretty well," he said. "She stayed back with the other kids. But did you hear what she said when Olivia opened her first present?"
"She yelled, 'Ooh! We saw that at the store. But Mama said it was too much!'"
"No! She didn't! Did anyone hear?"
"Well, maybe no one was paying attention."
What Allyson didn't explain was that we had been shopping for a $5 fill-in gift; we had already picked out a lovely illustrated story book for Olivia. Thank goodness I was oblivious to the whole thing.
After the gifts came the goody bags. Since there were several extra, Olivia's sister asked Ethan if he wanted one. Sensing the possibility of candy, he said, "Sure." He grabbed a balloon too, while he was at it.
When she offered a goody bag to David, he ducked his head and said, "No!" But then Ethan whispered, "Want me to get one for you?", and he nodded sheepishly.
Back at the car, Ethan stuffed his balloon into the trunk. For some reason, Bill found it hilarious that he'd taken a balloon. All the way home, he threatened to pop the trunk and let it float away. "No!" Ethan shrieked over and over.
"You better hope we don't hit a red light," Bill warned.
In our driveway, Bill put the car in Park and said, "Ready, set, go!" Ethan threw open his door just as he hit the trunk release button. Ethan dove into the trunk and rescued his balloon, but then the trunk came down on his shoulders.
All of us laughed hysterically. He wasn't hurt--much. His relief at saving the balloon probably overshadowed the pain.
I'm glad Ethan isn't too cool to play with balloons and jump in bounce houses. That time will come soon enough, I'm sure. In the meantime, I'm loving times like these.