The President takes an oath of office. So do federal judges and officers of the United States Uniformed Services. Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. I felt it was only right that I take an oath as the preschool room party parent. Not out loud or in front of any witnesses, which I guess makes it more of a personal mission statement, but whatever. I made a promise to myself to do my daughter proud; to be a warm and energetic ambassador of fun; to give my heart wholly to the diligent pursuit of good times; and to be generally awesome, maximizing the enjoyment of every activity (as permissible by school law) while promoting a spirit of celebration on occasions including, but not limited to Halloween and Christmas.
So you can imagine the pressure I was feeling for the Halloween party today. Expectations were high. Given, they were my own expectations, but important expectations to meet nonetheless.
I adorned myself in some festive holiday gear: orange and black striped socks, a Halloween shirt and a cat costume, kind of. I wore cat ears. I decided to forgo the cat tail, because there’s no good reason to draw additional attention to my ass. Its in-your-face enough due to the sheer size – no need to gussy it up with a tail. I did, however, draw a nose and whiskers on my face.
The party began after the kids paraded around the block in their costumes. The teachers just sort of handed things over to me, like I was a guest teacher. My area of expertise: FUN. Lesson Plan: TO TURN THIS MOTHER OUT.
Julia introduced her sister and I to her classmates. Then, we sang The Ghosts Go Creeping, to the tune of The Ants Go Marching and another one where we pretended to be spiders.
And then there was a snack.
I should point out that while the “as permissible by school law” part of the oath is in parenthesis, it is actually a very important part as it is the crux of my party planning challenges. If school law weren’t a factor, fun-making would be easy. We’d just tap a Kool-Aid keg, freebase some pixie sticks, put on some tunes, spin until we got dizzy and enjoy the ride. But there’s this whole idea about being all healthy and responsible. I dig that. I don’t need Julia turning into a sugar junkie who raids my pantry to hit the maple syrup for a fix, because some mornings I want pancakes and it pisses me off when there’s no syrup. And so, I provided a healthy snack: orange jack-o-lantern fruit cups.
That, my friends, is as fun and Halloweeny as fruit can get.
I also offered a sweet treat: Frankenmallows.
Then we made origami bats. I thought it would be a cool, low-maintenance craft because folding is fun and easy. But here’s the thing: that’s not really true. Folding can be hard and preschoolers aren’t really down with folding. Also, the prospect of using scissors is so exciting that it’s overwhelming. Remember Edward Scissorhands and how he’d cut the bushes and people’s hair with his eyes all glazed over and pieces flying everywhere? That’s what it’s like when origami bats and scissors meet in the hands of a four-year old. Preschoolers, however, are down with google eyes. So, the grown-ups helped with the folding and cutting and the kids went to town gluing google eyes.
From this experience, I’ve gleaned a golden rule of preschool crafts: Adhering one thing to another thing is where it’s at.
We followed up the craft with an awesome Halloween mad lib story that Dave wrote for me, because writing mad libs is really kind of hard. Then we wrapped it all up with a build-a-skeleton relay race during which one child placed a bone in a somewhat conspicuous area. (You know, where the boner would be.)
All in all, it was a pretty good party. I know this because the kids told me it was. Some of them even hugged me. And Julia told me that I only embarrassed her a little bit. I’d call that a success.