Pump, Jump and Slide

Today was the day Little A had been counting down to for months. His first big birthday party. Oh, we've had family parties with cake and a few presents but today was THE party. I was unwilling to submit my house to a few dozen kids. The days of me standing over the mixer and sending BB out to get yet another tub of food coloring paste to get the icing just the right color of red for a ladybug cake or spending hours upon hours preparing all the crafts and games are so, so gone.

This was just fine with Little A, who had decided over a year ago that whenever he did have a birthday party it was going to be at Pump It Up, the birthday party factory. This place demonstrates that economies of scale can apply to birthday parties, except that it doesn't really seem to bring the cost down. Well, a birthday party factory was exactly what I was looking for this year.

One of the highlights of the entire process was taking Little A to the neighborhood HEB to choose his cake. He knew he wanted a Spiderman cake, but just which one? After paging through the catalog of every licensed character PBS, Nickelodeon, Disney or Dreamworks have come up with in the last 10 years, we finally settled on the double-decker Spiderman 3.

This cake was fated to be my near undoing.

When we arrived to pick up this little cake today a full 30 minutes after it's "due" time, they hadn't even begun to frost it...let alone get Spiderman to hang from the special, movable arm that extends from the top of the building. I hadn't built an extra 20 minutes into our schedule to account for this delay so we ended up being late for the party. Being late and crowds. I don't take well to being late for things. This has put BB and I at odds on more than one occasion since he doesn't feel time like I (or most other people, I daresay) do. I have to say this is probably our number one source of disagreements. I like being on time. His idea of on time is getting there before it's over.

Anyway. As I stood and watched our cake being decorated. I fumed. My blood pressure rose. I tried to fight it. Tried telling myself "it'll all be fine". In the big scheme of things.....this is nothing. Then I was angry with myself for setting the pick-up time so close (one hour) before the party. Big E couldn't get over the fact that no one even attempted an apology. Just a blasé answer of "we're running behind" given with a shrug and a "whatcha gonna do??" tilt of the head. Little A was happy looking at all the cakes. Look! The carrot cake again! It has CARROTS on it! Ha!!

We got to the party about 15 minutes late...it WAS all fine. The kids had a great time. We're herded from one room of jumpy things to another room of puffy slides. Then on to the party room. Where my purse promptly slammed into the front of the Damn Cake! By this point even I didn't care anymore. Little A blew out his candles, never mentioned the big gash of smeared icing smack in the middle of the front of the cake. All was happy with the world.

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