One of the things that we’ve come to expect since moving to Laredo is birthday parties. We go to a lot of ‘em. I don’t think we’ve been to one without a piñata.
My kids love piñatas. I should clarify. I have been to a lot of parties with “pin-yah-duz”. My kids, however, routinely inform me that they love “peen-yah-TTAHSS” (with staccato accent over the TTs”.)
(My kids’ correct Spanish pronunciations are a real benefit to living on the US/Mexico border. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter brought home a ziplock baggy of red and green chile peppers from the pre-school chile plant and informed me that they were called “Shee-LAYZ”.)
We went to a party this weekend. It was a magic party. It was awesome.
There were riding toys, a play area, and one of those spinning tea cups. There was a merry-go-round that operated manually. You had to push it to make it spin. Three and four year olds climbed all over the vintage Dumbo and Mickey Mouse carousel and did what we all did as kids on our playgrounds. They got that thing going and tried to grab onto it at the umpteenth second. Sometimes, they made it onto the spinning carousel. Often, they didn’t. My instinct was to panic, mostly because we don’t see those spinning things on playgrounds anymore.
But, then I remembered getting much bigger ones going much faster. And, I remembered that some of the best spins involved missing that bar and being airborne before hitting the unsoft ground. I only panicked when my son thought it was a good idea to try standing up on the back of the polymer animal, hands outstretched.
The magic party was what I consider a success. I only broke up four or five fights between my two year old and his party-mates. Only two of them were with the birthday boy. During the magic show, my daughter only stormed the stage to club the crepe paper rope that the magician was having pulled from his mouth in order to save him from choking once. Perhaps, one of the funniest things that happened during this party occurred when my daughter was called on stage to assist the magician.
Her job was to pump the bicycle pump. Did I mention that the magician only spoke in Spanish? So, her job was to “bombear la pompa” (to pump the pump). He said, “Parate” (Stop) a couple of times and my daughter would proceed to pump harder and harder.
After her enthusiastic pumping and his repeatedly ignored requests for her to stop, he finally asked her, “Do you speak Spanish?”. And, she yelled, “YEAH! UNO DOS TRES!” And then pumped her little heart out.
Good thing the magician could think fast. He adjusted his routine and we were all very shocked when a rabbit appeared out of a hat. My daughter was really proud of herself for making that happen. She told me so.
But, that wasn’t the funniest moment of the night. Not by a long shot.
When it was piñata time, all the kids crowded around the giant hanging frayed crepe and paper mache top-hatted bunny. My kids started singing “Dale Dale Dale! It’s Your Turn To Be Up!”. It’s the song they’ve learned at all the parties they’ve been to since moving here. (My Spanish isn’t great but I’m pretty sure it translates to “Hit It! Hit It! Hit It!”)
Veteran party moms broke into teams to keep the imaginary safety line in tact, pushing and herding little kids so that they would miraculously stay 1 millimeter beyond the swinging stick.
As each kid went, I began to wonder how that thing was ever going to break. Most tapped at it like they were petting it.
My cat farts with more force than some of those strikes.
Then, my daughter came up to bat.
Behold the sequence.
Thanks for the stick, Lady. I know what to do.
“Dale Dale” THIS you long-eared mutant!
And THIS is the funniest moment of the party. At least for me.
THAT’S MY GIRL!
I’m actually pretty proud of her. I think I’ve got a little competitor. Today, we finished the Trike-A-Thon for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. When I asked her to tell me what her favorite part of the Trike-A-Thon was, she said unhesitatingly, “PASSING OTHERS!” I’m sure the thought of helping others was a very close second.
Anyway, even my daughter’s fury (did you see that picture?) wasn’t enough to break that rabbit. A couple of dads who couldn’t take it anymore walked up and broke off all that bunny’s limbs and shook out all the cavity-inducing goodness.
Like, I said. It was an awesome party!