The birthday celebrations are over. My girl is now completely ten.
Her first-ever birthday party was on Friday. I think she had a good time.
I was a little worried that we didn’t plan more activities for them to do, but every time I brought it up to Mr. Handsome, he’d just wave at me like I was a gnat and say, “They’ll just go play. It’ll be fine.”
He was right. As soon as the girls arrived, they all holed up in the clubhouse and it was perfectly quiet.
Which was a startling contrast to my son’s party where all the boys ran around waving sticks and yelling. They played hard, threw popcorn, gorged on candy, and were sound asleep by 11:30.
The girls, on the other hand, were generally quieter though a little screamy, perhaps. They made up organized games, play-acted intensely (when delivering some popcorn, I unwittingly interrupted a childbirth), had deep discussions (“Isn’t it ridiculous how women used to be treated?”), pooled all the pinata candy and then divided it out evenly, and stayed up till two and got up at 5:30 (and a couple of them reportedly stayed up all night).
The birthday supper was a little controversial. My daughter wanted fried chicken and corn-on-the-cob, but I had a better idea, I told her: raclettes! Having never eaten them before, she was noncommittal. And after showing her the one I was borrowing from a friend, she remained apprehensive. “I thought the birthday kids get to choose what they want to eat,” she said sadly.
Despite my certainty that my idea was a good one, I started to doubt myself. Mr. Handsome was no help. “You’re going to make them cook their own supper? Are they even going to want to do that? Wouldn’t it be easier to just feed them hamburgers or something?”
“Oh, come on!” I huffed. “Of course they’re going to love it. They get to sit around and cook. It’s the perfect meal for a bunch of little girls!”
And you know what? I was right! The girls were totally enthused. One of them kept saying, “This is the greatest meal! We get to cook whatever we want!” I think she said that fourteen times. At least.
And when my daughter told them what they would’ve eaten had I not gotten the raclette maker, they said, “That would’ve been good … but this is better.” My daughter was visibly (to me) relieved. I think she was a little nervous about what her friends would think of her mother’s weird idea.
What I gave them to cook with:
Fat: butter, olive oil
Veggies: onions, garlic, steamed broccoli, boiled new potatoes, tomatoes
Dairy: two kinds of cheese
Meat: eggs, chicken, beef, sausage, ham, bacon
Condiments: barbecue sauce, soy sauce, fresh basil, ketchup, S & P
Also: a double batch of breadsticks, which was really smart (if I do say so myself) because it takes a little while to cook and eat, cook and eat, and the girls needed something to munch on while they were waiting for their food. And munch them down they did, every last one of them.
Later, when I was cooking my own dinner, I pulled out the heavy whipping cream. My garlicky chicken simmered in cream with basil and bacon was super-duper lush.
(The next evening, after the house had been cleaned up and everyone had baths, we had a relaxed family meal with the leftovers, of which there were many. The kids are head-over-heels in love with the new discovery. I’m thinking we may need to make an investment…)
After supper was cleaned up, there was the cake and presents.
She had requested a mint-chocolate cake. The dumped ice cream cone was my own personal touch.
Then there was the long night where I slept a little and the kids slept even less, and the next morning there were mountains of blueberry (and plain) buttermilk pancakes, sausages, and milk before the parents arrived to pick-up their bleary-eyed little girls.
I always feel semi-guilty, sending home such exhausted children. Like I should slip an apology letter into their backpacks—something that says, “Your kids are going to be bears for the rest of the day and I am so very sorry. A long afternoon nap and lots of vegetables may help.”