So without further ado:
Yep, I really had 36 kids in my house. At one time. With their moms. Voluntarily. With the idea that they were going to hunt eggs. And silly me, I decided to add more to the festivities because hunting eggs would be done so quickly.
Apparently, my logical mind failed me when I set this up. Every year, my babysitting co-op does an Easter egg hunt. Last year was the first year I was in the co-op, so it’s my only comparison. It was supposed to be at one of the social chair’s houses, but it snowed last Easter. She didn’t want to do it inside (wimp!) so called the park district in a panic and they let us use their gym.
When I went, there were 20 kids or so, and it didn’t seem that bad. They all brought their own baskets, they hunted for eggs their parents had dropped off with no squabbles over some kids getting too many eggs and others not getting any. We then had the Easter Bunny come, and kids got their pictures taken and got a basket of cr@p from him, and they went home after around an hour.
The only issue was that this cost $12 per kid, and this year it was going to be at least $13 or $14. I only have two kids, and I objected to that. Since I’m one of the social chairs this year, I get a little sway. We decided to skip the bunny and just do it at my house. And since we weren’t getting the basket from the bunny, I decided to have the kids decorate cookies (hey, if I did it for Mister Man’s third birthday party, I can certainly do it for older kids!) and we’d order pizza since the hunt wasn’t going to start until 4:30.
Brilliant! Lots of fun! And I could put it on for only $3 (anyone else love the $5.99 huge pizzas from Dominick’s?).
What I didn’t count on was everyone else thinking it was brilliant. And cheap. Needless to say, 36 kids signed up. Literally, three families didn’t participate, all because of other conflicts. Whoops.
And of course, someone found the bunny costume for $75 that the co-op decided to buy for use every year (cheaper than the $95 one company wanted for a rental of a near-identical costume). Dear hubby agreed to wear it and be the bunny for us, so everything was going to be perfect! No, I didn’t say that with a straight face.
Since I was still feeling a little off from the flu earlier in the week and hadn’t yet baked the cookies, I decided to take Wednesday off work. Good idea, me! That meant I was able to get the house straightened up, make all the cookies, restraighten the house, and call the moms who had yet to drop off their eggs to remind them that I needed the eggs the previous Saturday – although I was far nicer in my reminders.
Somehow, I still ended up hiding the eggs as people were arriving, but since no one can be on time, it worked out fine. Some of the moms helped me, while I did two areas – one upstairs for the truly little kids and downstairs for the kids 4 and up. Gotta love the moms who help.
The bunny arrived right on time, and the wee ones flew to the bunny to give him hugs. Seeing the bunny in person, I realized the costume was a bit creepy looking, but my kids loved him at least. Most of the others did, too, and there was quite the conga line to sit on the bunny’s lap. A few kids had the good sense to not want to go near the creepy bunny, and they stayed away. Mister Man, on the other hand, kept getting candy from his now filled bucket and trying to share it with the Easter Bunny who had no pockets. Too cute, but he was so disappointed when he found the Easter Bunny had dropped some on the his way out.
After the bunny came the cookie decorating. I somehow managed to make enough eggs and bunnies for each kid to decorate 3, plus extras for breakage and other issues. I’m still not sure how that happened, since I started off with the goal of one. Fortunately, everyone enjoyed making them and several enjoyed eating them, too. Mister Man didn’t want to make his around everyone else for whatever reason though, and his was decorated after everyone left and he realized he’d missed out on something.
Then the wait for the pizzas started. I had ordered them to be ready at 5 and sent my dad to pick them up – Dominick’s is 3 minutes away – at 4:55. Cookies were all decorated, and the kids had started to tear into the toys and do the usual destruction of the house that occurs when children walk through the door. No pizza. I started to hear questions from the moms. No pizza. Finally, I called my dad to see what was up. Apparently Dominck’s had messed up and had to remake pizzas so he was waiting but would be home shortly.
Five minutes later, he arrived home with nine pizzas. I found out that the problem had been that Dominick’s had burned one pizza, which they gave us anyway. Trust me, I would never have guessed which one it was had I not known one was supposed to be burnt. If it had been me, I would have just left with the other pizzas and gone back later if we still needed the last one, but my dad is too good a guy.
You’d think that 9 pizzas, 36 kids and 14 adults would be a pretty good ratio. Suprisingly, it wasn’t. We had almost 4 pizzas leftover. I tried sending them home with anyone I could, and we gave one to a next door neighbor, but we still had over a whole pizza left at the end. Better too many than too few though!
And the best part – by 7:30, the house was back to normal. Even my husband said it wasn’t too bad to clean up. Little does he know I’ve already been volunteered to host this again next year…. Now, if I can just track down the last two parents who haven’t yet paid for the party….