Monday, May 28, 2012

Snakes in the Grass

I feel like we celebrate birthdays all month in May. Quinn turned seven last week, so we had his birthday party this weekend. Before we go into what happens when you bring a gang of first graders and their siblings to your house and arm them with Nerf guns, let us first discuss that my youngest kiddo is seven years old.

Seven! (And insubordinate.)

I don't have babies anymore. I don't have toddlers. I don't even have little kids. I have big kids. Thank God Quinn still can't say his "R"s, which makes him sound younger than he is. I'm holding on to that.

Also, he's still enough of a little kid to dress up in a homemade costume for his party.

He saw The Avengers recently. I think it had an effect on him.

We scheduled a company called Reptiles Alive to bring creepy crawlies to our house, but prior to that, we gave our guests a half hour to arrive and arm themselves. At one point, I walked down into the basement to make sure everyone was okay, only to be greeted by this:

They were okay. What's more, they were ORGANIZING.

Clearly this insurrection had to be put down and put down fast, so I gathered them all up and told them the reptile show was about to begin. Now, you should understand that this reptile show came with all kinds of instructions about where to hold the show and how warm it had to be to have the show outside and why everyone had to sit in a single straight line and if there isn't a close parking space, they WILL NOT do the show.

I was suitably nervous. I was also pretty sure I was going to fuck it all up somehow, resulting in the reptile guy packing up his lizards and going home.

They even sent a diagram:
Fortunately, Tony, the reptile guy, was cool. This is what OUR show looked more like:
And even this is probably idealized.

The show was super fun, even if Sam claimed to have Reptileaphobia and bailed, as did a couple other kids, but for the most part, they were RAPT. Tony was awesome. He let Quinn be his helper, a job that Quinn took SUPER seriously.

He very carefully let everyone touch the items he was put in charge of.

He did take a short break to see if he was taller than the snake.

He wasn't.

The reason we hired Reptiles Alive is because they did an assembly at Quinn's school and Quinn was in LOVE. He made us go to the library and check out books about reptiles and he scoured the Reptiles Alive website for videos and information. During the party, Tony brought out some obscure lizard and Quinn was all, "It's a Blue Tongue Skink!"

We were all suitably impressed.

Tony brought lizards and turtles and one non-reptile—this here toad:

He is poisonous, so the kids didn't pet him.

Tony also brought snakes. Because EVERYONE likes snakes. Okay, not EVERYONE likes snakes, but everyone under the age of ten at this party likes snakes.

QUINN likes snakes.

Probably our mice don't like snakes. Especially after Alex kept making jokes about feeding our remaining two little friends to the snakes on hand. They would be pleased to know that the boa constrictor seemed to have similar plans for Alex.

Seriously. That thing was aimed at Alex and kept trying to get there.

 Fortunately, our friend Tony had a firm hold him. And soon enough, Quinn did as well.

I should have asked if I could have a photo with the
snake wrapped around his shoulders.

From there, it was a short jump to beating the hell out of a paper turtle lying helplessly upside down on our lawn.

I aim for irony in my piñatas.

Also, we ended the party scouring the ground outside for a tooth that someone lost. It's not a party until someone loses a body part.

Happy 7th birthday to my baby boy.


  1. Oh my gosh! Parties that include floor plans and seating charts, at 7, that is hardcore. You certainly know how to throw a party :) Between you and Magnetoboldtoo I have my party style guru's sorted :)

  2. That is what I call birthday perfection! I love your parties!

  3. I always wonder how you'll top each kid's party. But the diagram alone of your actual party wins over all else.
    Happy birthday Quinn!

  4. Happy Birthday, Quinn.

    Stimey - the diagram is priceless.  Love it and the fun you have with your kids!

  5. You have the best parties.  Lego robotics and now snakes.  Of course, snakes would *not* be popular at NZ birthday party.  But never mind, we'll come to your place!
    Quinn would probably like to come to my kids' grandparents' place - sometimes you can find a blue-tongue lizard in their driveway.

  6. Happy Birthday, Quinn!! Looks like the perfect idea for your reptile-phile...I'm sure there's a word for that, but sleep deprivation is robbing me of it right now. I love how happy Quinn seems...I also love him in his Avengers cape bashing the heck out of the Turtle pinata. Awesomesauce.

  7. Happy birthday, Quinn! And the diagram and instructions for the reptile guy reminds me of the TV show Parenthood and the bug guy at Max's birthday party.  I had no idea reptiles and bugs had such strict rules. :)

  8.  Dude. Kelley is a whole other creature. I can't compete with HER parties!

  9.  I just hope I haven't set the bar high in my kids' eyes. They're not getting reptiles and robots every year!

  10.  You Kiwis. :) You have a standing invitation to our parties!

    I wonder what would happen if Quinn ran into a blue-tongued animal in real life.

  11.  Reptilephile is a word that makes me really happy because of how it sounds. I don't care if it's a real word. I'm using it! :)

  12.  OMG! You're so right! It's totally like that! That's so funny.

  13. Oh Stimey, what ever would I do without you in my life ?   I was quickly looking through my blogroll this morning before running out but I had to come back and comment.  I keep picturing the photo of the turtle laying in the grass and Quinn standing over it holding the stick and I just cannot stop laughing.

  14. I am impressed!  It looks like a really cool party.  I mean, snakes and weapons, how can you go wrong for seven year old boys? 

  15. Hi, First, what everyone else said, and *especially* happy birthday to Quinn!
    Secondly, after reading an earlier post, I'm not certain I would like to meet Quinn while he has access to a deadly snake.  [DID everyone get to choose their own puppet, or were the puppets assigned?  Because the choices are very funny.]  Thirdly, the Lego Robots party seems much more ... friendly and non-threatening.  Kudos to Jack.    :)

  16. Oh my Gosh that is adorable - minus the snake parts.  I know what you mean. My oldest is 5 and is a big really intelligent 5.  Most people think he is older. While Elijah is only 3, I could help notice I couldn't throw him as high in the pool as I could last summer and I am in way better shape now. 

  17. I love the first picture! And what a great idea for a kids' party! I would probably pass out at some point during the snake petting...

  18. Ironic piñatas.
    They are the very best thing
    at birthday parties.

  19. What an awesome idea for a birthday party!  I totally hear you on the birthday month thing...I only have one kid, but between the daylong odyssey of getting her guinea pigs (and accoutrements) for her birthday, the birthday party itself, and the family celebration this past weekend, I am ready for her birthday to be over, LOL!

  20.  I KNOW. Although I'm still struggling to comprehend the fact that you're a COLLEGE GRADUATE, so...

  21.  Winner, Best Comment: Haiku format

  22. I SO love reading about how fantastic your birthday parties are. And they ARE fantastic!
    I also love the fact that our two are now past the party age and are happy to do something special on their birthdays without having to invite 20 of their closest friends along.
    We've had manic parties with children climbing the walls and cinema parties where you spend the whole film in the bathroom while a child you don't know very well pukes up all over the floor and you're wondering if the other 19 now unsupervised children are actually watching the rest of the film or are instead running wild inside the cinema.
    I love hearing about other peoples parties and I love that we don't have them any more!
    I wish we'd had ones with snakes though. 


Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.