Sunday, February 15, 2015

Operation: Birthday

Operation: Birthday was a success.  Ben has been really into spying and detectives for about 6 months now.  He's been talking about hosting a "Spy birthday" for a while, but I didn't get moving on it until about a week out.  Ben approached me and asked to look on the internet for spy birthday ideas. He had a piece of paper and a notebook with a list of the kids he was inviting and then he reminded me his birthday was only 8 days away. 

I feel like I've usually got a handle on his birthday even before Christmas, but not this year.  There we  were scrambling to make top secret spy invitations so he could make sure and deliver them at school.  I added, "this invitation will self-destruct in 3 seconds", at the bottom of the invite and EVERY child informed me today that their invitation did NOT self-destruct.  Nine year olds are funny.

Per our usual, I organized the games and itinerary, but Dean is the navigator.  He was the Super Secret Agent in charge and told all the kids how to make it through the laser net..

jump off high places...

deactivate a bomb...

take a fingerprint and profile a criminal...

Thank you Dollar Tree.  These kits were a lifesaver.
 I went in looking for fake mustaches and magnifying glasses
and came out with enough of these for everyone to take one home.

and finally, how to shoot a rubber band gun. All necessary skills for spies.

My friend is a police officer, She was kind enough to get Ben a real target.  Thank you, Alicia!

Dean cut all the guns from wood we already had.  Then we let the kids decorate them with sharpies.

Ben asked for,  "a bomb cake, mom, and then it can really explode and the frosting will go everywhere and everyone will have their piece and you won't need to cut it.".  Umm, ok... it took some convincing but we finally settled on black cupcakes with sparkler fuses.  

Everyone got a disguise, spy kit, and a badge to take home.  I once read an article that suggested that everyone would be less stressed if dad's got to plan birthday parties.  They maintained that a couple of pizzas and a game of red-rover is all kids really need. The cutesy, froo-frooey stuff mom's do wasn't what kids want at all, and it just causes stress.
 While I certainly agree with keeping it simple, I know these boys really did enjoy coloring their guns and having target practice.  They even went back out and used the yarn laser web while they were waiting for their parents. They all wore their disguises home and showed their parents the target in the garage.  So, maybe there is something to be said for some organization or at least letting the child take the lead in planning their party.
All I know is that Ben is already perusing Pinterest for ideas for his next party.  Can you blame him? I think this one turned out pretty well...


  1. Love it!!!! Yes I know that really all they need is fun, but I like planning parities, and the kids seem to enjoy them, and I know that someday my kids will look back (they could be 30) and say 'Hey Mom, do you remember that one year you made a roller coaster in the backyard for my birthday..... that was amazing!', and leaving with that kind of memory makes me happy.

    1. My kids still talk about the roller coaster you made in your back yard, not to mention the ghost town, zip line, etc.. But maybe someone will remember the yarn laser net under the trampoline. Whatever they remember, I know they will know their birthdays were special, and that's what matters, right?

  2. This party looks so cool. I hope one of my kids will do a spy party one year and then I'll steal all of your ideas. I love the bombs! Good job! Byrdie went to a party recently where an older sibling planned the whole party and she came home super disappointed. She said it was boring and it didn't have a theme and they didn't play many games. Whoever wrote that article about "red rover" being all they need, just doesn't like to plan parties and is trying to feel better about herself. Kids notice details and they know when something is well planned out and executed. Not that we all have to have a Syrina quality party, but I think your efforts are certainly worth it. And a lot of good things we do in life will cause stress--having children for instance. I'd feel much worse if, to avoid stress, I didn't celebrate my child how I wanted to. I bet Ben had a great time and all the guests too.