After our visit to the reception at P&B, we headed straight back to the local nabe for a birthday party at The Little Gym for one of Miss B.'s friends. This party was technically for one of Miss B.'s longest running "friends", having originally met the birthday girl in our "Babies" class at Music Together when the ladies were but wee babies of about 6 months. Ah, much has changed!
Now, hitting the ripe old age of two, we are truly in the ranks of official kid-dom with real birthday parties. If you've never been to a Little Gym, it's an interesting experience. It's more gymnastics focused than Gymboree (even having uneven bars and rings) which for a person like me just screams "mom-unapproved acrobatic activity". Luckily we ended up getting to the party about a half an hour late so we missed much of the acrobatics and instead Miss B. made a bee-line for the giant yellow physioball which she then proceeded to push around the floor even though it was practically as big as she is.
Yup, Miss B. was loving that giant ball, right up until Thing #1 came and ushered her out of the way to start playing with it himself. Yes, that's right, Crazy Mom and her brood were at the party! Not only was her youngest, Bingo there, but so were here other two children: Thing #1 (a six year old boy) and Thing #2 (her four year old daughter). That being the same four year old daughter who climbed on top of one of our armchairs during a play date in an attempt to scale a wall to reach our stuffed deer head. We hadn't had the pleasure of meeting Thing #1 before, we had only heard about him and how he was so excited about getting a trampoline to play with in Crazy Mom's family room.
Not only was Crazy Mom there, but so was her Husband. I wasn't actually properly introduced to Crazy Husband, but in a funny twist of fate I had already heard quite a bit about him. A week ago in our Gymboree Art class some of the other moms were talking about Crazy Mom, her kids and her Husband. (I felt very much like one of the cast members of The Real Housewives as our little coffee klatch was suddenly turning and dishing on one of our own). Turns out I'm not the only one who thinks that Crazy Mom's kids are a bit high strung (specifically, everyone agrees that Thing #2 just can not stop talking. Ever. Not even a little bit. So, I don't know if that means I'm not a bad person because it's not just me who thinks that the kids are crazy, or if we're all bad people... at least we all think alike) and it also turns out that the rest of the group already decided that Crazy Mom's husband is a jerk. Based on how Crazy Husband just basically allowed Thing #1 to steal the Physioball from a two year old and after a few moments of Miss B. chasing after the ball and crying "Mama! Mama!" ever more anxiously, as if to say "that big kid took my toy!" finally, Crazy Husband had a half-hearted, "give her the ball back, she had it first". Gee. Thanks. Your kid is like 4 years older than mine. In fact, he wasn't really invited to this party, he's just here so you didn't have to stay home alone with him.
After that little incident it was time for pizza in the party room. The Little Gym folks made it clear that while it is absolutely verboten to wear shoes in the play area, it is equally verboten to *not* wear shoes in the pizza area. Once everyone had put their foot wear back on it was into the room with little chairs and tables for kid pizza! There were sandwiches and chips for the parents and as the Husband pointed out the kids ate their food in a more civilized fashion than the adults. The parents acted like they were the castaways on Survivor and they hadn't seen real food in a month. We hung out with Miss B. and one of her other friends (and the Crazy family). At one point, because Thing #1 and Thing #2 had pushed their chairs away from the table, Crazy Husband pulled the entire table back towards them, rather than pushing in their individual chairs. This was unique given that now, on the other side of the table, Miss B. and the girl next to her were suddenly no longer anywhere near their plates. Nice.
Also attending the party was another former Music Together student, whose Dad just happens to be a State Trooper. I wouldn't have known this but for the fact that he came to the party straight from work and still had on his State Trooper garb. If you've ever seen a New Jersey Trooper you'll know their outfits are a bit intense. Kind of like something out of the Hitler Youth-- they even have one of those leather bandolier straps across their chest and big riding boots. I have to say, it was a bit intimidating. I mentioned to one of the other moms that it made me a bit nervous because I have to have my car inspected, I also felt like I needed to be worried that he might come up to me and ask to see my license and registration. She countered with not feeling comfortable that he had a loaded gun in a room full of toddlers. I noted that if anybody in the room could disarm him it would be Thing #1.
After pizza, it was a cake explosion! The Little Gym people cut the cake into slabs in sizes equivalent to the kids' noggins. I have to say, while the cake was exceptionally tasty, I don't think any of those children needed pieces that large. I think the size of the cake pieces were directly correlated to the speed with which the party ended right after cake was served. Once you've given that many kids that much sugar, its time to hand them back over to their parents with a balloon and godspeed.
Miss B. did great though, and after the party we headed over to Chick Fil-A for a proper fast-food dinner. Next week we have another birthday party on Saturday. We're hoping the weather will be warm enough that Miss B. can wear her new party dress. We're also trying to come up with excuses around not having to invite Crazy Mom and her brood to Miss B.'s birthday party, but I think it is inevitable.