Alex turned 8 last week. In the blog world, that means I'm supposed to write a sappy birthday post, reminiscing about his chubby baby cheeks, cutely mispronounced first words, preschool antics, etc. Forget that. We had what was essentially a three-day birthday party, and it rocked. You get to hear about that instead.
It all started with his disco party on Friday night. Six months ago, Alex became obsessed with disco balls. I have no idea where he had seen or heard about them, but he decided he wanted one--immediately. I got him one, with the stipulation that he would have a disco party for his 8th birthday, whether he was still into disco or not (I do not have a Donna Summer alter ego that would make a disco ball an otherwise logical purchase).
Fortunately, Alex was still down with the disco party. We invited nearly 20 friends to a dance party at our house. Yes, I am crazy. Every time we have a birthday party at our house, we swear we will never do it again. But the mighty dollar sign always wins out--we did not want to pay to rent a facility that may or may not have been appropriate for an 8-year-old's disco party.
Don't all discos have a fish tank?
Anyway, back to the party. Almost everyone we invited was able to come. A few even dressed up, as the invitation requested. Kudos to the mom who managed to find platform shoes for her 9-year-old son. The kids were wild from the start. Not in a bad way--just in a high-energy way. I roped them in with the limbo, followed by a dancing competition. We ate some pizza, and after that, it was pretty much a free-for-all. Sorry, neighbors. It was 75 degrees at 8 p.m. on a late September night, and there was no way I was keeping the kids cooped up inside. There was some air guitar on our play set's "stage." Running with glow sticks. A lot of "Macarena" action on our patio, followed by an impromptu performance by Alex and his two backup dancers. We did not even get around to serving cake until almost 8:30, when the party was supposed to end (cake made by me--cue pat on the back). None of the kids wanted to leave. That makes me a cool mom, right?
I think Alex likes being the center of attention. He is certainly not shy ...
... no, not shy at all ...
The next day, we hosted our first tailgate in our RV (ultimately christened "Betty"). Despite being a bit "hungover," Alex played the perfect host, decked out in a Penn State apron and Santa hat (because, as he will tell anyone, he is WEIRD). Little cheerleaders cheered, Alex and his buddies tossed a football, and lots of adults ate way more than necessary. Alex got to blow out a candle on another cake (again made by me!) before heading off to the game.
The real excitement during the game was in the RV, not the stadium. Well, at least for a group of 3-year-olds. Lauren and her friends decided to have what she called an "underwear party" and proceeded to strip down to their skivvies and spend two hours jumping on the bed. That gave me a chance not to watch the game, but rather play endless games of Solitaire on my iPad, an undertaking I find infinitely more enjoyable than football (sorry, Dad).
There was more eating and football-tossing after the game, and then I embarked on my twelve hours of "freedom," because both kids spent Saturday night in the RV with Brian. I spent eight of those hours sleeping and two of them running 12 miles.
Alex's actual birthday was on Sunday. By that point, admittedly, I could not believe we were still celebrating. An 8-year-old, however, especially a party-hardy one like mine, was not going to let the actual day go by without doing something special. We went out for dinner and then to my parents' house to open gifts. Gift-opening was preceded by more "Macarena"-ing with some interesting gyrations that Alex may regret later, thanks to the video capabilities of the trusty iPhone. And then more cake (I can't take the credit for this one). In a sweet display of his lingering "little boy-ness," Alex was ecstatic about the battery-operated Disney monorail playset that he received from my parents.
And finally, the weekend was over. I'm confident Alex's 8th birthday is one he will remember for some time to come, from the glittering disco ball (still) hung in our basement to the crab cakes he requested but did not eat for his birthday dinner. During his first week as an 8-year-old, I have not had to call him "Alexander Joseph Marshall" once. I'd say his year is off to a good start.