The Bean is about to turn five, and we think it’s high time she had a proper birthday party. Lord knows she gets three invitations a week to other kids’. Over the years we have been to:
- Tons of “Wacky Warehouse” parties, where the kids run around and go down slides and into ball pits while the parents sip coffee and fail to hide their hangovers;
- A Formula 1 racing party, where the three-year-olds got to drive little cars around a track– or to try, anyway;
- An enormous disco at which there were more than 50 kids AND their parents;
- A “Wild West” party at a church recreation hall where the kids panned for gold in a sandbox and threw hula hoops around horses’ necks (adorable):
- Classic “parlor-games-and-crisps” parties held at actual homes;
- A country park party where the kids dipped nets into a pond and looked at the critters they caught under magnifying glasses.
We have left it a bit late, which means we will probably wind up going with option 1, which is (relatively) cheap and easy. I would love to do a party along the lines of the last one, but the weather in March– even a good March– wouldn’t be ideal.
This will probably not be a good March. So far this year, the Island seems to be stuck at the end of some sort of atmospheric conveyor belt of the Apocalypse that drops an immense storm on us every five days. As I write this, I can see that the Met Office has sixteen severe flood warnings (“danger to life and property”) in effect along the Thames, and, closer to home, over fifty flood warnings in the Midlands along the Severn, the Avon, and the Wye Rivers. Significant portions of Somerset are under water and have been since Christmas, while Cornwall had all of its rail links cut earlier this morning.
We’re not going outside much, is what I’m getting at.
I looked in to taking her to her usual birthday spot at the Sea Life Centre, but I could buy a decent used car for what they charge for parties there. Ideally we would throw a fairly unique party, one that tells you all about Bean. However, in that case, the only foods would be sausages and soft-serve ice cream, and there would be lots of tiny people dressed as Spider-Man ballerinas running around.
Which might be kind of cute.