Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Princess Party

Have you noticed that I've yakked and yakked around the topic of Mam's party, but not bothered to post anything about the main event? Oh, sorry. You were sleeping already?

For those of you who are still with me here, let's party! Or at least relive Mam's "Dress-Up Princess Party".

For the second time in a month, we were lucky to have a beautiful day. Our plum trees around the front door had burst into fluffy pink blossoms for the occasion.

My logic was that if we did a lunchtime party, I would have to come up with fewer games for 3- and 4-year-olds. Not particularly true, it turns out.

It's something of a tradition for me to be up 'til at least midnight before the kids' birthday parties, hands coated in frosting and food coloring, decorating a cake. Smunch's cake worked out great. I was done by 10:30. Mam's wasn't done until 12:30 and if you've seen the
post about this cake you already understand why. And why I was up even though I'd started work on her cake about a week and a half earlier.

By 10:45 the next morning, Mam was dressed in the princess dress of her choice and was busily posing for photos in front of "the frog."

I had Gram take both kids to the back of the house, so we could capture Mam's reaction to the fantastic birthday cake. Daddy and I brought it in from the garage and arranged it in the dining room.

As if she knew something big was expected of her, when we called Mam out to the dining room, she had a funny smirk on her face. She smiled a tiny little smile, shrugged and declared..."Whatever!" (Hear that tinkling noise? That's my fragile ego breaking into a million sleep-deprived pieces.)

I was putting the final touches on the cake (writing "Happy 4th Birthday") when the first guest princess arrived. I was done not a moment too soon. I still had to run back to the bedroom and change into my own dress-up clothes.

I'd put out strings and beads for making necklaces and princess coloring pages printed from the web. The cake was displayed in the center of the dining room table. There were streamers and balloons (white, pink, lavendar and baby blue).

Sequined tiaras lined the entry hall table. Each of the guests got a tiara and were shown where they could do beads or color. Turned out they needed more direction and help to do any beading, really. A few of them tried. The coloring sheets were more popular.

Once all the princesses had arrived, I started the party with storytime, so that all the princesses would understand the first game and one of their party favors. So, I sat on the sofa, in my regal gown, and read "The Frog Prince" to 10 little kids (including Smunch) who were very attentive to the whole thing. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a version of this story where the princess actually
kisses the frog. In the more authentic version, she throws him against the wall to turn him into a prince. That didn't work so well with my game, Pin-the-Kiss-on-the-Frog.

Daddy drew a super cute frog and printed it out really large. I bought some lipstick-print stickers to create this Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey variation. The girls really enjoyed it. Even those who didn't want to be blindfolded at the beginning were in on it at the end. I gave each one a bracelet as a prize for participating. It made for a cute super-kissed frog at the end!

After the game, we had lunch. I'd made finger sandwiches with white bread without crusts. Sandwich choices were cucumber with cream cheese (least favorite), cheese (Colby jack) and cream cheese with strawberry jam (the favorite). I put out some cheese cubes and Daddy made a killer fruit salad, which at least one guest ate, while insisting that she
doesn't like salad.

When they were done eating, the princesses drifted away, only to be found in various states of undress, having something resembling a pajama party (using princess dresses instead of pajamas) in Mam's room. Several opted for dresses out of Mam's collection rather than the dresses they came in. There was giggling and tickling and general hilarious mayhem. Here's a photo, but I'll need to upload some video if you truly want to appreciate this sight. It was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen.

I rounded up the royal contingent and distributed one small, silky purse (either pink or lavender) to each of them. We talked about what kinds of things princesses have in their purses and I let them loose on the back patio to search for rings, necklaces, bracelets and plastic coins. Smunch, who is a very good hunter, was miffed when I tried to get him to stop taking all the jewelry, but it turned out that all he needed was to feel like he was helping princesses in distress find their belongings. Then he was great. They had a great time and each of them came away with a purse-full of loot.

Naturally, none of this took long enough. There was still almost an hour of the party left when they were done. So, I did what I did with Smunch's party and let the princesses play in the back yard for a while. They had a great time running all over, hiding behind trees, sliding down the slide and swinging in their fancy dresses. As the end of the party neared, I enticed them all to pose for a photo with promises of cake.

You might not be surprised to know that I wasn't overly eager to cut the cake. I mean, I knew I wouldn't get away with presenting the cake, but not letting them eat it, but I wasn't anxious to chop up my masterpiece of a birthday cake. We sang happy birthday, each princess got her choice of white or chocolate cake. They scarfed it down.

Each princess was presented with her own frog and a balloon before she left and just like that, the party was over. And I turned back into a pumpkin...or somethng.


Queen Bee said...

I may die from the cuteness. Seriously. It's this kind of thing that makes me think that I should just try one.more.time....!!

Anonymous said...

My birthday is in October. Will you come out here and throw ME a princess party? Fantastically cute and wonderful party, Momma. You sure do know how to make "magical" childhood memories.