Just kidding. Megan’s 8th birthday party was a hit because eight- and nine-year-olds are easy to please.
The invitations were designed in Photoshop with a free Harry Potter font and free digital scrapbook paper and printed for free at Costco. The pizza was Domino’s. The cake was Betty Crocker and a $5 topper from Target. The decorations and ideas were borrowed from friends and the internet.
When the girls arrived, we had pizza and butterbeer. There were lots of butterbeer recipes online. I did not picked the most authentic one, the one they serve at Universal Studios. No, I heated cream soda with a spoonful of butterscotch and topped with whipped cream from a can. The girls loved it. In hindsight, it was probably not wise to give them so much sugar at the beginning of the party.
The first activity was decorating our wands. I picked up 15 pants hangers from the dry cleaners, removed the cardboard tubes. We put “phoenix feathers” in them, and then painted them. I gave the girls a choice between tempura paint or acrylic (surpringly, most picked the washable paint). There was also glitter paint but we didn’t have time to apply a second coat. Megan did a second coat, though, and I must say, it looks really cool.
After wands, we had potions class. We mixed “toad slime” (vinegar and green food coloring) and “powdered unicorn horn” (baking soda) and four other combinations. None of the potions worked out like they were supposed to, but for some reason, the girls loved it anyway. I had tested the Diet Coke and Mentos earlier in the day, not realizing the bottle of Coke only had one good reaction in it. The cornstarch and water mix was too runny. The lemon juice secret message heated on griddle didn’t brown.
They didn’t care. They loved it, anyway. I can only imagine the delight had the Diet Coke squirted towards the ceiling or the cornstarch mixture been thick enough to pass around or the secret messages actually appear on the paper–like they were all supposed to!
After potions (they were wound up), they settled down a bit for divination class, which was making paper fortunes and writing Trelawney-esque prophecies in them.
Then we did Care of (Magical) Creatures, where they each selected a stuffed animal and created a name, what it ate, special powers, etc. They actually had a lot of fun standing up and “lecturing” to the class.
Next, we had cake, then opened presents. More sugar, more excitement.
Lastly, we played a Harry Potter quiz bowl with two teams and then charades. During charades, the parents started arriving. Two and a half hours had passed in no time at all. During that time, Christopher had fed and put the boys to bed, and they were sleeping soundly despite the constant giggles and shrieks. I couldn’t believe those boys slept with nine sugared-up third-grade girls in the next room.
After everyone left, Megan helped me clean up and we had the place back to normal, except for the paint on the rug and a mess of gifts and wrapping paper in Megan’s room.
I’m so glad I threw Megan another party, at home. Megan is truly blessed with good friends wherever she goes, and I hope that never changes. The eight girls who came to her party had nearly identical personalities to the girls in Arlington who came to her party last year. I could almost match every Atlanta girl with a Virginia one. The shy one, the loud one, the polite one, the genius. I hope Megan can always surround herself with girls like these.