This guy knows how to PARTAY!

MSo you all know I’m working through a mean twitter addiction (hurry somebody call Dr. Drew I think I need mouth to…um mouth, yeah that’s it… Dr. Drew yet another of my odd attractions, more than you wanted to know right?). The thing is you can really find some interesting cats round the nest over there in the twitterverse. What is it with this trend for slapping “verse” on the end of everything these days?.. blogoverse, mommyverse.. it’s almost as bad as the whole changing the font size thing! Whatever though I guess it could be verse (bada bing, I made a punny). All snarking aside it’s true and I can prove it. I found Eileen and John Calandro (@calandro5) there. They tweet AND blog as a team at Clandroclan.com. Let me just pause here to say that though I’m WAY impressed by that, The DH isn’t into tweeting or blogging and I’m COOL with that! Though I’m still sort of miffed that he refused to participate in MANuary, maybe we’ll take that one to the octagon.. nice visual huh?! 

So how did John of the Calandro5 fame end up over here for MANuary? It happened one tweet.. Eileen said something about him doing ALL the cooking for a holiday and I HAD to get him over here. WOW if The DH ever cooked anything other than a poptart I think I’d need a cardiac unit. Boy I tell ya that C5 gang can party too! Check out the Panasonic 3D HD TRUCK they had at their holiday party (and all the boys say..mmmmm 3D aaaaaa HD …oooooo TRUCK). And now I give you John and his feature…

Birthday Parties Aren’t for Sissies

As the father of three boys, my wife and I have had plenty of opportunities to throw birthday parties for our kids. Every party we throw has a theme, and we never repeat a theme (except for Star Wars at age 7). I’ll admit that for the first seven years I pretty much coasted on my wife’s coattails- she’s incredibly creative and artistic and is able to come up with more party ideas in 5 minutes than most people could generate in their lifetimes.
In the beginning it was fairly easy- pick something we like or pick something the kids like and run with it. My wife, who only has one sister, realized that after the age of seven, she really has very little idea as to what exactly goes on in the heads of boys. It’s not that she didn’t try to understand, it’s just that if you’ve never been a boy, it is difficult to grasp. I tried to explain it to her once like this- “Did you ever play with Barbies as a young girl?”
“Yes,” She said.
When you played with them with friends, was your first thought to rip the heads off of the Barbies and throw them at each other, or swing them around by their hair to see how fast they had to go before the their bodies flew off?”
She looked at me blankly. “Really?” she asked. Then she rolled her eyes, sighed heavily, and told me she’d be in the bedroom in the fetal position.
Every man out there knows exactly what I am talking about. Every mother of boys that reads this has a little more insight into what they’re dealing with, and any woman who has only daughters is still working on the idea that anyone would think the point of playing with a Barbie is to try to destroy it.
How do you throw a party when you have no frame of reference? Fortunately, my wife trusts my judgment enough to let me run with some things and do them in my man way. Instead of store-bought Star Wars invitations, we sent out a DVD with music, special effects, and our son inserted into several scenes from Star Wars. Instead of creating an “idol” craft at the Indiana Jones party, we gave 14 eight-year old boys cheap fedoras and six foot bullwhips. At each party, we have dedicated one corner of our house to be decorated as the “adult joke” of the party- so far, we manage to keep it over the boys’ heads: in addition to the “CRASH!” and “POW!” decorations at the super hero party, we had a “WHAM!” a “BAM!” and a (you guessed it) “Thank you , Ma’am” decoration.
As the boys get older, the party activities have gotten a little more “boy” (read: disgusting)– making slime, eating “monkey brains” (noodles in red Jello), creating an alien autopsy- and the party favors have progressed from balloons to light sabers to pointy sticks and bullwhips. I get to have a great time letting my creative juices flow and running around whipping 10 year-olds into a frenzy. And while she’s never been the kind of woman who wishes she could throw a pretty pink princess party, sometimes I catch my wife just shaking her head as she watches these boys get farther and farther from her comfort zone. Most of the time, though, I think she digs it and she’ll jump whole-heartedly into any activity we can come up with.
Our second son’s 7th birthday party is coming up at the end of the month- that means it’s the Star Wars birthday- Rerun of the Jedi. I’m glad to take an active role in planning our parties and I’m glad my wife is willing to run with some of my wackier ideas.
Now if I can just get her to wear that Princess Leia bikini…

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