Yes. I am insane.
Connor's plan was to invite several boys over, serve them cucumbers and brown rice, and then play xBox all night. I decided we'd skip the dinner and told him he had to come up with a few activities for everyone, because monitoring kids fighting over an xBox is not my idea of a grand time.
So he came up with Nerf gun fight.
This went surprisingly well, filling the time before dark settled. The boys started by finding hiding spots and then pummeling newcomers to the party with foam darts, until everyone showed up. Then they broke into teams for a few rounds of capture the flag. It involved no intervention on my part (woohoo) and I figured running around outside would make my job of getting them to bed a little easier. I was wrong about that last point, but I guess every parent has to make the mistake of the overnight birthday party at least once.
|This might be the first child that ever hung out in the toy box for even a brief period. I guess he gets clever points, and since he didn't break anything, it turned out fine.|
|What else would a hammock be used for?|
|This playhouse is one trip away from being put to the curb, but every time I get ready to ditch it, kids start playing in it again.|
|Coming prepared with safety goggles was a pretty impressive move.|
|Even the old teepee got a workout!|
Once dark was upon us, we let the kids have at a piñata, filled with a tiny bit of candy - but unbeknownst to Connor, Ed had removed most of the candy and put a clue to a scavenger hunt in the piñata instead. We handed out flashlights, and the boys were off!
This not only used up more time, it was fantastic. The boys ran from clue to clue until finally, the found the treasure.
The big prize was a beywarrior for each boy. I was gifted the Beywarriors Shogun Steel Octagon Showdown Set, and I figured the boys not playing xBox or foosball in my basement could test this toy out for me. It was a huge hit - but probably the best thing about it was that one of the party attendees about burst a gasket when the prize was revealed, running to get the gift he had brought to the party as soon as we got back from the hunt. He had brought Connor Beyblades and a stadium.
It's actually amazing how long this toy can entertain a few boys. At several points, four boys were playing at once, all having a ball. They were taking the Beywarriors apart, switching parts and trying to build the strongest warrior. When I told the mom whose son had brought the stadium to Connor, she told me it was her new standard toy, after going on a long airplane trip with multiple stops with her kids this past summer. Apparently, she toted a stadium as carry-on, and at every airport, not only were her children playing with it, but so were others in the airport. Not bad for a fairly inexpensive toy.
Did the boys sleep? No.
Did Ed say we'd never do this again? Yes.
I was grateful for the extra activities, and I'm actually not as scarred by the experience as Ed. Connor has requested another sleepover birthday party next year. We'll see how long Ed's memory is.