My birthdays were always 100% solid when I was a kid. My Pappap made sure of that! My expectations are always stupid high now though and guess what THERE IS NO PAPPAP MAKING SHIT HAPPEN FOR ME ANYMORE.
Just kidding, I’m crying.
Because they were always so special to me, I always try hard to make Chooch’s special and memorable too. Maybe he doesn’t give a shit about it right now, but hopefully one day when he’s older and no one babies him anymore on his dumb birthday, he’ll go home and call up on my blog by pointing at the air in front of him and the words will twist themselves into a holographic recreation of whatever birthday he’s reading about so he’ll get to experience it all over again, even the stench of his shitty diaper at his first birthday party and the sound of my friend Lauren’s son breaking his arm at Chooch’s 7th birthday party at the roller rink.
That’s what I imagine the future will be like, OK?
Just in case it’s like that, here is what we did on his actual birthday, which fell on a Tuesday:
First, we had dinner at Bado’s. Our waiter was a young ditzy boy who might have been still in high school, who can tell these days. He didn’t spill anything on us, at least.
It was also BALLOON NIGHT at Bado’s and at first I thought it was going to be annoying as fuck, but when the balloon lady wheeled her cart of latex (that could have been so much cooler) to our table, she was actually pretty awesome and we had a splendid conversation with her, which culminated with she and Chooch sharing pictures of their cats with each other.
Henry couldn’t have been more uncomfortable, like she was going to ask him if he wanted a balloon thong or VHS porno.
(It’s been a long day.)
Behind Henry was a booth with two guys and their super young kids. It was less My Two Dads and more The Wives Made Us Take the Kids Out with Us, What Do We Do? How About Just Ignore Them.
I thought Henry was actually going to turn around and say something at one point but nope. True to form, he just sighed and mindlessly scrolled through his phone.
The food was OK, though!
Afterward, Chooch insisted on going to Chuck E. Cheese.
“At first I was just joking….but now I kind of want to go,” he sheepishly told me that morning. Ugh, FML. He was all impressed that I was playing games, but it was just because I was trying to burn through the tokens faster so we could leave.
ANYTHING TO MAKE THE KID SMILE, I GUESS, UGH.
That balloon lady was so legit, though.
Meanwhile, we had been planning a surprise party for him on Saturday. If we’re being honest, I almost let this birthday pass us by without a party but then I decided to go the surprise route because we’ve never done that to him yet and I love fucking with the kid.
We kept it small and chill.
Because one day he might want to look up the guest list of some arbitrary childhood birthday party as the determining factor of whether he should a grudge against someone (totally not at all something I would ever be petty enough to do), here is the guest list. If you’re on it, odds are you’re safe. (For now.)
- Blake & Haley (our helpers in keeping Chooch away from the house, god bless them)
- Chris & Monica
- Kara, Harland, Theo
- My mom
- Chris, Kari, Katelyn
- Wonka, Jess, Cosi, Anais
- Ricky & Dawn (they had the fun task of hiding their hearse somewhere Chooch wouldn’t see it lol)
- Henry’s sister, Zac & Brian
My house is super small so that was a lot of people to cram up in there, quietly to boot! I was so nervous because Chooch is a wildcard. You never know how he will react. I was worried he might get upset or punch me so I threw out the script where I cried “Surprise! We’re putting you up for adoption!” and went with the more traditional “Surprise!” /end
I bought a confetti cannon too, and decided that henry was the only one qualified to use it, you know, since he was in the Service and I was just a measly GIRL SCOUT.
Finally, it was 7:30 and Chooch returned home with Blake & Haley…
His froyo, tho!
He was genuinely surprised! We had a few close calls, like when he was watching videos on Henry’s phone and got a notification that I updated his surprise party even page on Facebook…..
I pretended like his dinner at Tillies last week was supposed to be the surprise but then no one aside my brother and mom and Judy could make it. He never mentioned it again.
The theme was “butterflies” since he abhors them. My favorite thing about this cake was not the taste (it was just so-so), but the fact that DeLuca’s Bakery kept the Shutterstock watermark on it.
I even got him a purple tiara with a butterfly on it and of course snapped Mary a picture of him wearing it. I was off my game that night.
I promised that there wouldn’t be any Korean stuff and even put on the Penguins game for everyone. We beat the Capitals 6-2!
The back porch really came in handy because there were so many people crammed into my clown car of a house, so Kara & her kids, Chronica, Haley, Blake, & Chooch migrated out there and watched Chooch put together his Nano Block sets.
I mean, they probably talked, too, I would imagine.
Chooch was really obnoxious and borderline rude when he was opening his presents, which was very early on in the night. I’m hoping it was just because he was still overwhelmed and not because THIS IS ELEVEN. Several times I flat out told him to stop being rude. But then once attention was off him, he seemed like regular Chooch again.
Good, because I wasn’t impressed with his newfound cockiness.
I was going to wrap a box of toothpicks as a gift, but I thought that might push him over the edge. It didn’t stop some of my friends from making perfectly-callous references to it, though. I love my friends.
My hope is that Chooch will look back on these parties and know that he’s loved.
I just told him this was his last birthday party ever and he got really sad, lol.