Who knew that taking 8 boys to a movie theater could be so exhausting? As we found out Sunday at Brendan’s birthday party, it kind of is. To be perfectly honest this was one of the easiest parties we’ve ever done. We didn’t have the added stress of getting the house perfect like we do at a home party, and a movie is a nice quiet activity very unlike some of the other parties we’ve had.
The theater we used really made the process super easy. As we arrived they gave us a sheet to fill out with what all the kids wanted in their kiddie combo and a space to provide what the adults wanted from the snack bar as well. Once we had the bulk of the kids there they went to the snack bar and filled all our orders. The kids got to carry their own snacks into the theater (thankfully at 10 they’re able to do that without too much popcorn hitting the floor), though Matt did opt to carry Cameron’s for him since my little gas molecule would have bounded his way into the theater without any regard for how much he would be spilling.
We had an entire row of seats reserved for us, so finding seats for the boys was no problem at all. Matt and I briefly considered seating ourselves amongst the boys, but they were all sitting so quietly that we just plunked ourselves down at the end of the row and vowed to keep an eye out for any trouble makers.
And there were none. Our biggest concern was with Cameron and my two nephews only because they are 6 and 7 instead of 10 and they tend to feed off one another. But believe it or not even those three were good as gold. Once the movie started we didn’t hear a peep out of any kid all the way down the line. The movie was a full two hours long and still they sat through the entire thing with no complaints, no fights, no messing around. All I saw were slack jaws and glazed over eyes, with hands methodically moving popcorn from their kiddie box to their mouth as they watched the film.
As for ourselves, Matt and I can not say that the movie was awesome. We went in with high hopes, the kids love the little Lego shorts that are on Netflix and we find them to be pretty humorous ourselves. So we figured if they can get it right for those, and especially for the series Ninjago that the movie was bound to be a hit. And it did have some amusing parts (which I won’t go into here since the movie is new and there are likely people who haven’t seen it yet) but overall it just didn’t capture our attention.
Maybe it was the fact that we weren’t engaged in the movie that made us so sleepy, or maybe it was the fact that the theater itself was so warm. Whatever the actual reason we walked out of the theater at 4:30 feeling like we’d just run a marathon. And we still had the hardest part of the party to get through, cake and presents.
Brendan’s cookie cake went right along with the theme of the party, and his friends enjoyed getting to chow down on pieces of the giant cookie. Only one of his friends wasn’t able to enjoy the cake. We felt so bad but there was nothing to be done. This particular little boy is allergic to…everything. There was nothing on the movie theater menu that he could have, not even soda (corn syrup allergy). His mom sent him a specially made cupcake that he was able to eat while the rest of the boys pigged out on cookie cake.
The poor little guy looked so forlorn at not being able to partake in the actual birthday treats, and he admitted to me that it can be hard for him sometimes to be in situations like that where other kids are eating in front of him. It made me with there were something I could have done but that’s something he will have to live with for his entire life.
Once the cake was consumed we moved onto presents. I laughed as each present was opened because it was apparent that Brendan’s friends know him pretty well. His presents could all be put into two categories. 1) Legos. After all, if you get invited to see the Lego movie what else would you buy? 2) Skylanders. Evidently these are the boys with whom Brendan spends every single recess pretending to be the different Skylanders.
We were concerned that we wouldn’t get everything finished in the time we were allotted the party room. We only had an hour in there and figured we’d be cutting it close with serving cake and opening presents. Especially since Matt had to go get the cake out of the car after the movie which ate up a good 10 minutes of our time. Boy were we wrong. The boys consumed their cake and Brendan got through all of his gifts in just 25 minutes. We had a little under 30 minutes left before the end of the party and nothing else planned. We honestly hadn’t thought to plan games because of how little time we had in the party room.
Thankfully Matt’s parents were there with my nephew and they helped us provide a dollar for each kid to go play a couple of games in the arcade across the theater. With games costing 50 cents each we knew that the money wouldn’t last them very long, and were surprised when the boys all managed to make their money last another 15 minutes. (It helped a little that there were only about 4 games in there and they had to take turns). With just a few minutes to go we packed up our stuff and moved out into the main entrance of the theater to wait for the kids parents.
The last kid was picked up right on time at 5:30 and we left exhausted but happy with how the party had gone. With that now out of the way it’s time for me to start focusing on Cameron’s birthday party which he has already decided he wants to be held at the local arcade…for the third year in a row. Well, at least I know what to expect right?