A party for four friends and eight gate crashers - Noodle's Eleventh Birthday

Our party table
Happy Birthday to my firstborn today! Eleven years old today. I still remember the vital stats, ten fingers and ten toes, blood type B, 3386 grams, 51cm and born at 4.22 pm! My brother always jokes about this and likens it to men talking about their cars, V8 engine, turbo-charged whatsits.

So Noodle had his big day and lucky for him it fell on a Saturday this year so a party seemed in order. Nothing too fancy for this shy boy, just a casual get-together, mentioned in passing to a couple of friends. Given that he's eleven, and you know, prone to being embarrassed by the spotlight I wanted to keep it low-key.

I suggested a DVD afternoon with a couple of friends. I searched online for something suitable and was recommended National Treasure (starring Nicolas Cage) not new but with the promise of action and adventure I thought it sounded perfect for a few 'tween boys. I watched the trailer and looked online for party ideas. A pyramid cake and gold treasure was mentioned a few times so I decided to do that. (You can see my cake, in the end a 2D pyramid as I only had two eggs = a small cake).

I grabbed a few packets of chips from the supermarket. I baked. Mr. Mee a Bee helped with the decorating, he did the hieroglyphics on the pyramid. Then last night I decided to watch the movie, just to see if it would be OK. What a bore! No action, just a two minute flashback to the Egyptian times. A quick scene of knights. One explosion. It was ALL talking and way too complicated a story for a bunch of ten or eleven year olds. Time for Plan B!

In the meantime, Noodle had invited about five kids. So I decided to bake a few extra things, cupcakes, afghan biscuits. A couple of pizzas arrived in my groceries, some heat n eat rolls. In the end I had quite a spread which was just as well since one friend told another who told another and we had TWELVE kids here! and Little Guy! I was feeling a bit panicked as more and more kids kept rolling up on their bikes. When three girls arrived I thought I might faint, we'd had that trouble with girls before.

Happily the party went off without a hitch. Everyone had a great time. Most of the food was eaten. The house was only trashed a little bit. Most of the mischief was at the hand of Little Guy, he needs to be the centre of attention all the time. The girls were lovely as were the boys. Noodle wasn't shamed out by his mum.

Tips for a 'tween boy party? As much of the party as possible should be hosted outside. The kids at ours loaded up their plates and sat on the deck. I don't think a lot of posh food is necessary, chips and popcorn served us well. Admittedly Japanese children seem to like savory food a lot and are also unfamiliar with the usual western kid's party fare. (One girl exclaimed that it was like being at buffet dessert bar, another said she had never seen such pretty cupcakes in real life, only in the movies!) Amother tip, if parents are not going to attend then do your housework AFTER the party! Another adult would have been a big help for me today, I felt just a little out of my depth a couple of times with crowd control. Set some rules about 'out of bound' areas - our garden shed, the boy's bedrooms, I really wanted them all where I could see them. Obviously you won't need to play 'Pass the parcel' but both boys and girls really went crazy with the Nerf guns which Little Guy 'helpfully' dragged out. I would have felt more comfortable if this had been better planned as shortly after the nerf wars I had to kick them all back outside!

All in all, a success I think!


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