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In The Grotto

My baby girl turned 6 last week. For months she had been requesting breakfast at Bob Evans for her birthday. I don’t encourage her to set her dining sights too high in our one horse town. She got all gussied up, wearing a new dress that her Nana had just made. For her sister. So it was a little roomy, but had excellent twirling capabilities. Besides, if you’re going to enjoy the fine dining experience of Bob Evans, it’s best to wear clothes that have a little “give.” Personally, I find that stretchypants work best for me.

We were suppose to have her “Mermaid” party that afternoon, but alas, that morning we discovered that 6 of our 8 cousin party guests were unable to make it. So, because we’re flexible, and I was frankly relieved to postpone it, we rescheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Procrastination is my friend.

At last Sunday arrived. I spread tarps all over the backyard. And set a large ring sprinkler in the middle. In essence, forming a lagoon.

By the way, spreading large blue tarps all over your lawn hides a multitude of landscaping sins.

I also had a largish baby pool filled with water, and a slide stationed to deposit slippery party goers into it. There were water balloons, and a finger painting station. I served a mermaid cake and ice cream cones. All in the lagoon. So the guests could be hosed down afterward.

One of my most brilliant moments, I know.

Other than a little rain, which no one really noticed, since the adults enjoyed the fact that their clothes were sticking to them because of the balmy conditions here in Armpit, Florida, the party was a huge success.

“THIS IS THE BEST PARTY I’VE EVER HAD!” exclaimed my Cailey.

I neglected to tell her that it’s the ONLY party she’s ever had. So, comparatively speaking, it really ranked way up there on the party chart.

We start getting all festive with the birthday party business, after the 3rd birthday or so. And unfortunately for Cailey, Jensen came along right about then and life came to a grinding halt.

But no more. We’re fast becoming party animals. In fact, I’m planning a party for Emme who will turn 8 next weekend. Since I survived this one. Mostly intact.

I have memories as a child of my mother giving me simple, but wonderful, backyard neighborhood birthday parties. There were games, snacks, and a gorgeous hand baked birthday cake. And my mother always looked spectacular with her 60’s bouffant hair, fashionable capris, and slings. I have the home movies to prove it. I don’t know how she did it. And my parties were always in August.

My daughter will have home movies of her mother with frizzy (not even my Chi could help me today) hair. The parts of my hair that weren’t sticking straight out were plastered to my pointy head from sweat and wayward water balloons. My mascara was running, and I was soaked from head to toe.

The grotto may have been my downfall.

But my baby girl mermaid had a 6th birthday party that she will always remember. And that’s what counts.


23 Responses to In The Grotto

  • Don’t you love that age where kids still think you are the smartest and greatest MOM in the world?!!!! Happy Birthday to your little one!

    And good luck on the party next weekend!

  • Sounds like a great party! My son requested the same water balloons and water guns in the backyard for 4 years straight. His party was always a huge hit. I love your lagoon idea.

  • “Great job with that 6th b-day party!” She says as she reluctantly moves towards the 15th b-day party scheduled for this coming Saturday night.

    Pray for me.

  • Absolutely. Wonderful job Mama.

  • Great job, Mom! I think the at-home parties are the ones my kids have enjoyed the most too …… Thankfully there are never any pics of the Mom at these (frazzled and pulling her hair out LOL).

  • As long as you throw grand affairs like these, the kids will never notice the frizz.

    The guests? That’s another story.

    Sounds like a great time, Fiddlemama!

  • What a pretty cake. The white icing looks like sea foam.

  • Adorable.

    And you’re right. Her memories are the most important ones.

  • She’ll love you for this memory, no matter the frizzy hair and stretchpants.

  • Well done. These parties are the best kind EVEH!

    We have those same Super 8 videos. IT simply proves our mothers lived in an insane time.

  • Well done. I love the part about hosing off the party guests when it was over. A procrastinator and a practical mom! You are my kind of momma!

  • Sounds like a great day. I’m all about the home party. Actually my son turns 9 this weekend and I said, “You don’t really need party games and balloons, do you?” He’s just going to have six friends over after school for video games and junk food. No presents either.

  • Happy Birthday to your daughter
    pleased she had a lovely day

  • Happy Birthday to your Mermaid!

    Oh, and keep it on the down low that we are still on the lam from the party circuit. The longer I can convince my kids that it’s no big deal the better. But the 8 yr old is on to me, so the jig may be up anyway.

  • Ok laughed at one horse town…

    And blue tarps make wonderful roof decorations…I remember after our 4 hurricanes, flying into Orlando and seeing BLUE everywhere.

    I am so glad to hear she had the “best party EVER!” You are a good mommy.

  • Congrats on Momness well-done. (and a post well-written!)

  • Sounds like such a wonderful day!

    What a wonderful blessing that you have handed down to your children the joyful memories that you also have of Birthday parties!!

  • So glad your little mermaid had a wonderful birthday.


  • Happy Birthday to her! Why was I thinking she was closer in age to Beanie? (who won’t be 5 for about 2.5 weeks.)

    I will say I don’t think we’ll be having an outdoor swimming mermaid party. I live in Nebraska. It would quickly turn into an ice party.

    Now our older children are closer in age…Goober will be 8 in July. Is your Emme still somewhat normal? Goober is..well…not.

  • We just survived our daughter’s 4th birthday party. Simple. Family at home. Homemade cake, which the birthday girl helped decorate with fun sprinkles. (Possibly one of her favorite parts of the party… aside from the actual presents.) We plan to keep our parties small and homespun with few exceptions… 5th, 13th, 16th & 18th being the exceptions. Those seem to warrant something out and about, with more pomp and circumstance.

  • Well that sounds like FUN!!!! I love birthday parties. And mermaids are all the rage these days. 🙂
    Happy Birthday, little Cailey!

  • My youngest just saw the picture of Cailey’s birthday cake and has requested one just like it for her birthday.

    SO if you’re not doing anything in early February….