Monday, October 25, 2010

Freak Week

In honor of Halloween, I'll share some scary tales--and present October's FABULOUS all week long. This first story kept me up at night, because what's more bone-chilling than a Halloween-themed party for over a dozen boys--and the weather forecast is for RAIN! That's right--I had Mr. B's party all planned and prepped, but the bulk of game time was to take place in the woods and in our back yard. The thought of all those boys trapped in our basement for 3 hours? Yeah, I shuddered with fear, too.

But Saturday morning the rain came and it poured.

And poured.

And kept pouring.

Come Sunday morning I frantically made back-up lists of indoor games to play--balloon relays, musical chairs, mummy wrap. But I aptly predicted the collective restlessness of a room full of little boys jacked up on sugar. They had more fun popping the balloons and fighting over who cheated and who played fair. Not the image Martha Stewart projects when helping me plan the party:

I mean, come ON, Martha. At our house they'd be holding the kid's head under water, trying to drown him. No WAY would that game really work with REAL, LIVE children!

After an hour and a half (and all the indoor games, lunch and cake) I desperately begged Mr. D to head upstairs to check the sky. If it was even misting lightly I was game to kick the little buggers out of my house--muddy feet and wet costumes be damned. I was more terrified of their pent-up energy than I was of their parents' irritation at their muddy shoes and rain-drenched clothes.

They played the world's fastest game of Capture the Flag--no kidding, 2 minutes flat. When both teams go on offense, leaving no one behind to guard their flag? The game ends in a draw. I sat the boys down to explain the finer points of strategy--who guards your flag? Who scouts for the enemy's flag? Who's your decoy to distract from your offensive maneuvering? After absorbing my tutorial on Flag-Capturing, they played for a good half-hour. Sweet peaceful shouting and rollicking in the yard and woods.

Then Mr. D came out to command the Zombie Soccer Game. The boys responded well to Mr. D's Alpha Male-ness and I nearly wept with gratitude. They got a "kick" out of playing that, and the game lasted until their designated drivers arrived. Only then did they uncover the hidden cache of Halloween candy--all hell broke loose, but I think their parents got the brunt of it--soaked and fuel-injected with HFCS, bouncing around the back seats.

I slept well last night, my slumber uninterrupted by nightmares of sheer terror: a house overrun by hyperactive 7-10 year old boys. But they had fun, and that's really all that matters, right? Even if it was a zoo...

And speaking of zoos, that brings me to October's FABULOUS: Lemur Troops and Critter Groups--a sweet and entertaining tale about animals by bloggy pal Rena Jones. Rena lives on the edge of wilderness and experiences her own kind of 'zoo' every day out in Montana. My back yard has nothing on hers--even when my yard is overrun by boys. Lemur Troops and Critter Groups is a book just right for any kid interested in animals--and what they're called when they're in groups.

How can you win a copy of this darling book for your favorite child? Leave a comment in the comment box--I'll pick a lucky winner Sunday. Each comment is an entry to win October's FABULOUS, Lemur Troops and Critter Groups by Rena Jones.

Spill it, reader: What gives you chills?
Tomorrow: the scary thing I found in my back yard.


  1. I will admit it, while I'm intrepid in some areas of parenting, birthday parties give me the chills. The scenario you described would have had me in the fetal position under a table.

  2. So far, I have managed to avoid them, but when Lola turns four, I'll have to organize a birthday party for children. And it's in April, so we will most likely have to do indoors...

    I should start planning now.

  3. Your story of spazzy boys running rampant gave me chills. Seriously. You are a brave woman.

  4. Great minds think alike! When I saw that apple bobbing pic, I thought yeah, right! My boys would be pushing the other's head under!!!

  5. I once gave an overnight birthday party for eight, eight-year-old boys. Once. We've had multiple overnighters for the daughter and her friends. Girls are MUCH easier!

  6. my mom must have been a saint...I remember at least a couple great sleepover parties I had in my small bullethood with amazing cakes and fun activities, she didn't fuss or cry dreading it...a scavenger hunt, fingernail painting and late-night teevee watching...but I am a girlie, born in December...and it was the 70's

  7. Oh no, a boy's b-day party and it rains? Yikes. Sounds like yours went great! Congrats! May you recuperate with some girl-time fun of your own.

  8. It's a good thing you had an alpha male to help out! I never understood what was fun about bobbing for apples. You endure water up your nose and wet hair and people laughing at you, and what's your reward? A freaking apple? No thanks.

  9. Stepping on the scale ;)

    But 2 minutes for capture the flag - WOW!

    And great pic of the bobbing for apples :)

  10. The party you describe humbles me forever as a parent who has to brace herself (and contemplate tossing back bottles of wine) to have even a handful of kids over to play predictable, non-creative games. You set the standard, girl.

  11. That would give me chills. I'm not good at entertaining kids, that's why we usually don't have their parties at home.

  12. My class gives me chills this year. Seriously. Nightmares. Who thought teaching was a good idea? Oh, yeah, it was me.

    But the book sounds wonderful.

  13. scary movies....even the the music in scary movies freaks me out!

  14. Oh HELL NO! I can only handle that many young sugared up boys in my house every 3 years or so and I've got at least two more years to pass on yet!

  15. Birthday parties are the stuff of high anxiety. We've reached the point where we sometimes have co-ed partygoers of teenage years. Those are willing to entertain themselves, but that's a whole other scary story.


Spill it, reader.