I know you're all wondering: How was Yaakov's my-mom-is-crazy-and-agreed-to-invite-all-35-kids-in-gan birthday blowout bash?
Well, the short answer is that it's Over. And the next party I plan on throwing for him is his bar mitzvah.
That said, it really wasn't too bad. There was a ton of planning and purchasing that went into it, but it turned out well. The one upside to living in Dimri is that there's this "party room" in the lobby which is FREE to building residents! So we had the party there and I was spared having to clean the apartment BEFORE the party only to have to clean it again AFTER the party.
The entertainment - storyteller/magician/comedian - was great, and the kids mostly behaved themselves.
There were a few "moments" - like telling a group of 5 kids (boys and girls) that they could not all be in the bathroom at the same time, in, um, the prepratory stages for using the facilities. Or when a few of the wanderers - these were the kids that couldn't get themselves together to actually sit and participate, and instead wandered around the room - started pulling on the big helium balloon that was on Yaakov's chair and Yaakov saw (he was not in the chair at the time, but still) and began to cry.
Dinner - hot dogs - was a hit, although the kids who were "not hungry" used this as an opportunity to run around turning off the lights and use a chair to see if they could climb out the window. (The room is on the ground level, but still, I thought it prudent to stop them before their experiment reached its natural conclusion.)
Then it was time for singing, lifting Yaakov up on the chair, and feeding everyone cake. Yes, we did this the non-Israeli way, and served the cake during the party,instead of waiting for pick up and then, as the kids leave, handing them a piece of gooey chocolate cake on a flimsy napkin which they can smear all over their hands, their seatbelt, and their mothers.
And we finally got to shoe-donning time. Because somewhere, in the Israeli Birthday Party Constitution, it is written that upon arrival at a birthday party, every child must remove their shoes. I am not lying when I say there was about a foot of sand on the floor. (Well, maybe lying a little.)
Once shoes were donned, each child received a balloon animal, courtesy of our magician, and they spent the last few minutes attempting to maim each other using their latex swords. (Don't worry: No children were harmed in the production of Yaakov's birthday party.) But at that point, I was cool. The party was nearly over, and we had survived!
After cleaning up, I came upstairs to find Yaakov sitting in a sea of presents. (We told him ahead of time he needed to pick a few to donate to "aniyim." Do you think poor kids enjoy playing badminton?)
His favorite gift, by far, was a set of "Cars" cars. But of course, these were not, ahem, authorized reproductions. In fact, although it has the "Cars" logo design, instead of "Cars," it says something random, like "Spacesuits." But don't worry! Because the package promises me that these are "very funny, collect them all!"
And, in a piece of packaging poetry almost too eloquent for the cardboard it was written on,
"Once possess nothing can instead / The trump product, every body like / the best welcome gifts for the children."
I couldn't have said it better myself! No, really, I couldn't have!
Anyway, Yaakov is enjoying this "most newest choice." He also got a package of combat soldier dudes, so he can truly be like Toy Story's Andy. Although Ariella took one look at it and said, "Look! Somebody bought Nazis for Yaakov!"
No more Yom Hashoah discussions for you, young lady.