As Alden’s fourth birthday rapidly approaches, we’ve fallen into party preparation mode. As with everything I do for my children, this party (to happen at 6 o’clock this evening) was planned yesterday at approximately 2 o’clock. Alden has asked for a piñata and a crown for her birthday. So the first order of business was to make a piñata.
Step 1: Procure a balloon for said piñata by going next door and begging one off of Savior-in-Chief Annie.
Step 2: Try to blow up said balloon.
Step 3: After failing to blow up said balloon, give your younger brother a shot.
Step 4: When it seems evident that he will fail as well, give further instructions in as domineering a manner as possible.
Step 5: Retrieve balloon in disgust. Make a second attempt while patently ignoring the wails of your youngest brother.
Step 6: Proudly show off your blown up balloon!
Step 7: Dolefully recognize that your mother was the one who actually blew up the balloon and tied it for you. Dream of the days when you can blow up your own balloons.
Step 8: Scrounge about for newspaper. Realize you haven’t had newspaper in your house since your house was invented. Go next door to Doug the Baker’s to steal some of his newspapers.
Step 9: Tear that sh*t up!
Step 10: Rejoice!
Step 11: Really… REJOICE!!
Step 12: Calm down. Take your shirt off. (Some parents might prefer you put on a smock instead. Whatever.) Mix up some mysterious goo (2 parts flour, 3 parts water). Use a fork. If using your hands, do your best not to look guilty.
Step 13: Get those hands good and coated.
Step 14: Clap your hands. Reload your hands with goo and clap again. Look on indifferently as your mother goes ape because you’re getting flecks of goo all over the kitchen and in your hair.
Step 15: Calm down. Re-focus. Convince your little brother that the mysterious goo is cake mix.
Step 16: Take his assessment at face value.
Step 17: Re-focus again. Carefully place some of the strips of newspaper into the goo.
Step 18: Wipe excess goo off of newspaper strips.
Step 19: Carefully apply gooey newspaper to balloon.
Step 20: Repeat steps 17 through 19 until balloon is entirely coated.
Step 21: Set coated balloon aside to dry. Wonder how your mother could have so wildly overestimated the number of newspaper strips needed to complete the task.
Step 22: Take a bath. Recognize that mysterious goo might actually be bulletproof when dried on skin.
Step 23: Go to bed happy.
Step 24: Sleep soundly while your mother discovers that the cat has popped the balloon before the newspaper goo has dried.
Step 25: Continue to sleep soundly while your mother takes a late-night run to the store to buy balloons.
Step 26: Continue to sleep soundly while your mother carefully reconstructs the goopaper balloon, all the while thanking herself for so wildly overestimating the amount of newspaper strips needed to complete the task.
Step 27: Wake up to find the goopaper balloon, almost dry, hanging well out of reach of curious cats.
Step 28: Ask your mom why your piñata isn’t shaped like a donkey.