Olivia will be seven years old on Wednesday. But because of the mid-week birthday, we had her party this past Saturday.
During her days at home with Tom last summer, Olivia saw some commercials on our local PBS station for a place called Jungle George’s. The commercials tell kids to have their birthday parties there. Olivia decided she needed, desperately to have her birthday party at Jungle George’s. She told me this back in July.
I decided that since O has never had a destination party it was time. I mean, Ayssa’s had a roller skating party and a gymnastics party, it was sort of O’s turn, right?
So I started planning. I contacted Tom’s older kids, who have children just a little younger than Olivia and asked if the Saturday before Thanksgiving would work for them. Jungle George’s is actually closer to them than it is to us, so it made sense to invite them.
Everyone was available and a party was planned.
And it was awesome. This place was cleaner than I expected, the crowd that was there that day actually parented their children while they bounces in any one of the bazillion bounce houses around the place. The kids all seemed to have an awesome time and, best of all for me, Tom’s youngest grandson only wanted ME to hold him. Ha! Hahaha. He was so flipping cute and snuggly and he wanted me to hold him.
Ahem. Yes, this was Olivia’s birthday party.
A couple of months ago, she arrived at my mom’s house one afternoon clutching and American Doll catalog in her greedy little hands. She opened to a page where a model and a doll were wearing matching clothes. She declared to her Gram, “I need you to make me some clothes that match a doll’s clothes. And I need you to get me a doll that can wear the matching clothes.”
That was all it took. My mom sewed her little fingers to the bones over the last month or so, scoured the stores for the perfect doll and when Olivia opened the presents while at Jungle George’s the first thing she wanted to do was go to the bathroom and change clothes so she and her new doll, Meredith, were wearing matching outfits.
After two hours, we were all ready to be done and the party broke up.
Olivia clutched Meredith the entire way home and during one of the FIVE times she woke up between 8pm on Saturday night and 6am on Sunday morning, she cried out that she couldn’t find her doll. When I picked it up from RIGHT BESIDE her and handed it to her, she settled back to sleep.
It was worth the ensuing less than perfect night, though. It really is awesome to watch a bunch of kids enjoy themselves so much.