This weekend, we celebrated Bean’s birthday with a few of his friends. He invited five friends over on Saturday night for pizza, a movie, and spending the night (well, except for his longtime bestie, Layla, who is a girl, so we dropped her off at her house after the movie). Their parents dropped them off at our house at 5:00 and we had pizza and birthday cake. Then, we loaded the kids up in our cars and headed out in the rain to see the new “Captain Underpants” movie.
It was pouring when we got to the theater. Like, cracking lightning and booming thunder pouring. And, of course, it was a Saturday night at the movies, so the only parking we could find was super far from the theater. The kids loved running through the rain in the parking lot, but all I kept thinking of was the cars backing out in this weather and I kept yelling out, “BE SAFE! LOOK AROUND! WATCH FOR CARS! STAY ON THE SIDEWALK!” and basically embarrassing the life of out of Bean.
Because that’s what good mothers do.
We got to the theater and somehow miraculously found nine seats all together, which was incredible considering the theater filled completely up by the time the movie started. Chris and I left the kids in the theater once the previews began and went to the concession stand where we ordered SEVEN kids packs, which included popcorn, a candy, and a small drink. You should have seen the poor kid behind the counter when we placed our order. He must have said at least four times, “And you want SEVEN of them?”
We made it through the movie without any incidents, another miracle considering we had so many kids with us and only Chris and I to wrangle them. But they were really great, and so was the movie! Even Chris and I laughed out loud quite a few times!
So, the movie ends and we were bummed to find the weather had not let up at all and it was still really stormy outside. This time, I ran to get the van while Chris stayed with the kids inside the theater. I was going to bring the van up, load everyone inside, and then drop off Chris’s carload of kids at his car with him. Only, when I got to my car, it wouldn’t start! I tried over and over, but it was very clear that the effing car battery was dead.
In the pouring rain.
On a Saturday night.
With SEVEN CHILDREN waiting.
I called Chris, and he and the kids came running through the rainy parking lot (“BE SAFE! LOOK AROUND! WATCH FOR CARS! STAY ON THE SIDEWALK!”). We piled all the kids in the van and then Chris and I sat there, trying to figure out what to do. My van was blocked in on both sides and in front by other cars, so we couldn’t get Chris’s car anywhere close to jump it. And then, just as we were deciding we would have to take multiple trips back to our house with the kids in his smaller car, another miracle… A parking spot opened up in the busy parking lot right behind my car.
We put my car in neutral and, with all the kids loaded inside, we pushed the car across the parking aisle and into the other parking spot, so that the hood of my van was accessible. The kids thought this was the most exciting thing in the entire world. They alternated between dramatic pandemonium (“You know, we can die in this car without the windows open…”) to extreme excitement (“Let’s take our clothes off and be Captain Underpants and rescue the car!”). The entire time, Chris and I were standing out in the pouring rain, trying not to electrocute ourselves in the rain while we used jumper cables to start my van.
We finally made it home, wet, soggy, and cold. But it didn’t seem to phase the kids at all. They stayed up for another two hours, playing video games and board games and having Nerf gun battles downstairs. Chris and I kept turning to each other while we watched TV upstairs and saying, “I’m so glad we have that room!”
At 11:00, we had the kids get in their PJ’s and Chris and I helped them get sleeping bags all set up in Bean’s bedroom. Some of them slept in his bunk beds and some slept on the floor. And be “slept,” I mean they stayed up whisper/laughing until after midnight, when Chris and I finally went in there and told them they had to be quiet because we were all going to bed. We turned out our light at just after 1am, and the boys had settled down at that point. They were up again this morning by 7:00, and after a quick run to Dunkin Donuts, we loaded them all up in the van and I delivered them to their houses (all close by, thankfully!) on our way to church.
I felt a little guilty for a while because Gracie got a big, official birthday party with invitations, decorations, goody bags, and all the works. But once it was all said and done, Bean’s birthday was just perfect for his age. They had a great time, it was a lot cheaper than a big party out somewhere (I think we spent $170 total on pizza, movie tickets, and concessions for all of us), and the kids had a great time. I am definitely looking forward to more of these slumber party birthdays in the future!