sábado, maio 03, 2008

Ju is now 3 years old. Time just flies by, doesn't it? We had our normal big hoorah on Thursday - a feiJUada. About 50 people came with kids of various ages. There was feijoada, salad, rice, kibe, pao delicia, brigadeiro, bonbons, etc. I spent some 3 hours putting up my home made train decorations (I spent an entire Sunday making engines and cars that had 3 and Ju all over them out of paper and colored puffy paint) all over the walls and by the pool, blowing up balloons and making the quebra-pot. Part of the simple beauty of the decorations included strips of crepe paper in purple and blue. They blew in the wind in a relaxing way and made the whole area look very festive. As an after thought, we added pieces of it to the backs of the chairs as well.

About an hour into the party, a sudden cloud passed over and it rained all over us for about 5 minutes. The kids were all playing train by crawling through several boxes taped together and they stayed inside the "tunnel" for protection for the duration. I didn't think much of it as it was happening, but as the minute passed, I noticed that the color from the crepe paper was running down freshly painted white walls all around us. At first I laughed until the possibility that the dye might STAY there was mentioned and then I promptly began worrying about the cost of having to repaint the entire outside walls of the condo. This basically dominated my thoughts for the remainder of the party as I followed Ju around, cleaning up trash as I found it and trying to keep Ju's toys from being lost in the condo as our living room was invaded by the party and the kids discovered them and consequently began wandering around outside with them. A kid I don't even know but who came with one of the kids we invited wandered around and had torn down almost all the decorations before I saw what was going on. No adults stepped in to stop him, of course. This made me incredibly sad.

At about sunset, I couldn't stand it any longer, found someone else to keep an eye on Ju and started looking for ways to remove the dye on the walls. I quickly discovered that there was no Veja or bleach or even Q-Boa in the house (how did that happen?), so I took out a bucket and dish soap and a dish scrubbing sponge and a bit of water and started scrubbing away. Surprisingly, the dye did actually begin to come off with a lot of effort, and I was quite relieved. Someone came by and said something to the effect of "good thing you're doing it now, if you left it longer it might not come off" - which unfortunately killed my plans to quit until the party was actually over, so I kept on scrubbing. I was soon joined by the nanny of one of Ju's friends and my nanny's sister and my friend the Lion who was nice enough to bring me a Guiness but I had not been able to stop and enjoy it with him. We continued to scrub our way across the wall for about 2 hours, and with the help of some borrowed Veja someone got from another household and some steal wool (which I think actually took a lot of the paint off the wall along with the dye), we managed to get most of the marks off the walls. At least it seemed that way in the dark, and I actually haven't had the heart to go out there and see if it's really gone in the daylight. After the walls were done, we had to do the chairs as well.

This entire process meant that I didn't socialize AT ALL, for the entire party. It seemed like every time I started talking to someone, Ju would wander off, or someone else would show up and need to be greeted, or someone else's kid would be trying to throw more of Ju's toys into the pool (where do these parents get off to when the kids are invading someone's house I wonder). At least Ju had a good time. The party only really got fun for me when most of the guests had left and the remaining few and their kids all crowded into our living room to watch Woody Woodpecker and play in a more controlled manner. Some of the people I love the most were those who stayed, so it was nice to have their company and relax at the end of the evening (the older kids even helped Ju finish opening his presents, which was fun for everyone).

Things I learned from this birthday -

NO crepe paper on the walls, no matter how pretty it looks - it has ALWAYS rained on Ju's birthday, every year.

Purple crepe paper dye is easier to scrub off than blue (which leaves behind a pinkish tinge) and black.

Do not leave the house open, as it is next to the pool, the party will inevitabley spill into it if I don't lock the door.

Hide all toys and objects that I don't want to wander around with kids.

Don't expect parents to keep an eye on their kids or ask them to not do things like tear down my sweat and tears hand made decorations. Or better yet, don't hang them low enough for kids to reach.

Since eventually the majority of the party goers were in or around the pool, concentrate things in that area next year to save time and clean up area.

Don't stress about not getting to talk to many people because I think I am just not meant to socialize until Ju is older. How much older, who knows.

The sad thing is, many of these things I should have learned last year. This year was supposed to be easier. About the only thing that was easier was the setting up the decorations.

7 comentários:

markuza disse...

Wow- doesn't sound like that was much fun- at least for you. I hope Ju had a good time. Whenever I've been host I've found it difficult to actually enjoy the party, but I've never had to scrub walls while it was still going on! Actually, I don't think I've ever scrubbed walls after a party either. I hope you showed the decoration-destroyer the door, or at least tossed him in the pool (shallow end of course)

pamo disse...

wow, happy birthday ju. but i'm very sorry about how everything else went! sounds really stressful!! every year i try to tell myself "simplify, simplify"...but i never do, and i wish i would...

scrubbing walls all night? i bet you could not have imagined that's how you'd spend your time at the party.

A.L.R. disse...

Yes...indeed I think the universal rule has been flushed out, and that is: Going to parties is fun, but hosting them kinda sucks. And not to dash anyones hopes, but don´t expect them to get to much better (teenage parties? errr uh, vomit?).

But at least there was guinness...and cake (carrot cake hell yeah!), and I think you guys did a stellar job. Yes indeed.

Corinne disse...

I can definitely relate to kid´s birthdays!! I love your blog!! I was randomly surfing trying to get some advice about putting my son in bilingual school and how cool to meet another American in Brazil (I am in BH) with a young kid (mine is 18 months)!! I could SO relate to so much in your blog (and I confess I read almost ALL of it!!). Look forward to reading more.

AkuTyger disse...

Thanks for the sympathy guys (and gals) - and welcome Corrine! Always glad to support another American woman in Brasil with young kids. I have another friend of that sort in Rio who I finally met a couple of months ago after having been in contact for more than four years online. Please let me know any questions or advice you might want. I love to talk kids with other moms.

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