Saturday, February 4, 2006

The Birthday Party

In a couple of hours we'll be heading over to BounceNBob's for Brendan's third birthday party. For some reason, I am way too nervous about this.

As I mentioned in a previous post, birthdays are a really big deal to me. My family rarely celebrated my birthday because it was very close to Christmas. Birthday gifts, when I got them, were often necessities -- a bathrobe or tennis shoes or a scientific calculator. In other words, birthdays were not much fun. So, it has become my aim to ensure that the people I love have really great birthdays and get doted on during their special day.

Last year, Scott and I decided that we would do a party for Brendan every other year. Having had a huge first birthday party, last year was an off-year. I invited a few kids from the neighborhood over to play that day and baked cupcakes. That, in turn, means that 2006 was the year of the party.

After spending an inordinate amount of time debating with myself and Scott over whether we should have the party at home or somewhere else, we decided to do it somewhere else. Brendan, too, insisted that he did not want his party at his house. That's when the insanity really set in.

I must have researched every child-friendly birthday party venue in Atlanta. Seriously. My first choice was Hobbit Hall, an adorable children's bookstore in Roswell. Their parties included a storyteller reading the child's favorite book or books on his favorite subject. Then, the children dress in party hats and parade through the store and the outdoor garden area. Unfortunately, Hobbit Hall closed recently, breaking the hearts of children and mothers throughout Atlanta.

Freak that I am, I created a spreadsheet listing all the features (good and bad) of the five birthday party sites I wanted to compare and pored over it for a week. Ultimately, we settled on BounceNBob's. Brendan has a great affinity for anything that involves jumping, tackling, diving, and running around like a lunatic, so it seemed like the ideal place. Unlike the countless other indoor playgrounds that have sprung up throughout the ATL like mushrooms in a cow pasture, Bob's caters to toddlers and preschoolers with all of their inflatables on the smaller side.

Of course, on Thursday, Brendan tells us -- in tears, no less -- that he doesn't want his party at BounceNBob's. He wants his friends to come to his house. "Too late," we declared with quavering hearts, wondering what on earth we'll do if he freaks out at his party.

So, here we are, ready to go very soon, and it looks as if he's very excited about the whole thing! We'll see how it goes.

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