Friday, January 30, 2009

The Case of the Missing Jewels

I can't believe Alli is five years old! School is coming: riding the bus, school lunch, and "after school time" are all a few months shy of this moment in time. I have this irrational fear that the age of innocence is ending as well, and all the quiet, controlled mom time we've spent together will be dashed on the rocks of the real world in a tidal wave of "Santa's not real" and "the boys at school told me all about where babies come from, mom." Maybe I'm ready to home-school. Oh, wait. I have no patience for kids.

I suppose Kindergarten will come, no matter what, and it will be a great experience, despite all my fretting. In the meantime, I am trying to savor every "play with me now, mom," and "I'm hungry. Get me some milk, too." Soon her constant energy will be channelled elsewhere, and maybe that will be a good thing for both of us. After all, I can't be her sole source of excitement forever. There's a whole big world out there for her, and she's ready to take it on. There, now I've gone and made myself cry.

So anyway, the point is that we had a great big Alli-pa-looza this past weekend to celebrate her five year old coming of age. It was a Nancy Drew Detective Party, which Alli decided on two months ago. Let me just say that I have a thing for matching everything, and there isn't a single Nancy Drew party item for sale anywhere in the world. I looked. Hard.

So we improvised, and the result was a lot of fun. First Johnny Jewel thief made an appearance and our detectives in training got fingerprinted and donned name badges and "evidence bags" before heading down to the basement to recover the lost jewels, aka craft rhinestones, that were hidden all over the floor. They absolutely loved this, which surprised me a little. After all, I did search high and low on the Internet for mystery games, but all of them required reading skills. When I came up with "let's scatter sparkly stuff all over the floor and let them pick it up," I didn't intuitively know it was a winner.
Next we went on a good old fashioned scavenger hunt using the compass, magnifying glass, and binoculars that I put in the party favor bags. At the end of the hunt they found the party favor "detective paraphernalia," and I pronounced them detectives for real.
My friend Konnie, who is even more amazing than I thought, made a magnifying glass cake for me. Those cake decorating classes came in handy, although I think it takes more than a class to create a cake artist. It was even better than I expected, which is a huge improvement on the last birthday cake I bought from Smith's which was much worse than I expected... I'm lucky to have so many talented friends. Thanks Konnie.
Now the party planner in me can go on vacation for another blissful 11 months.