Some days you are the stick and some days you are the piñata!

 

I did not take very many pictures at my youngest daughter's 11th birthday party but I have so many feelings. And this little piñata is the symbol of them all. First of all, tweening is tough, and so is tween parenting. All three of my kids have been tough ten-year-olds and I am happy that we are symbolically marking the next stage for them all now. The last two parties we have had at our house had freeze-frame moments where I was literally crying or screaming because all of the tasks fell to me as my kids listening skills were atrocious. I know they were all excited, I know it was not intentional, but as the stress and weight of time bore down on me I was at peak stress level. 

The week before the 11th birthday party my husband happened to check the kids grades and he found that on the one day a week they visit their birth mother they had skipped their homework for the last two weeks. On top of that we were told days beforehand that projects were due and snacks were needed for parties. As our to-do and to-pay-for lists kept growing I could not help but be angry at the kids birth mother. How could she not handle this for the short time she had them? And when I was venting to my husband about this I realized my anger was an excuse. This was a teaching moment. The kids were all old enough to pick up their pencils and get their work done. 

We had a great family meeting and we created new household rules about projects and food supplies (one weeks notice) and about making plans (if it is not on the family calendar, it does not happen). However, looming in the back of the kitchen were the supplies to make a piñata for the upcoming party. Night after night as they played catchup on their grades we said "we will make the piñata after you are done with homework" but homework lasted until bedtime. So here we were on Thursday, the night before the party, with nothing to smash for candy. 


I had envisioned the piñata to be a fun craft for me and the kids. I loved the idea for an Ice Cream Social birthday party! We had lots of signs thanks to target and Cricut, a full toppings bar complete with old style ice cream hats, ice cream themed goodie bags, an amazing cake, and video game tournaments and nerf wards planned. The centerpiece of the party was the piñata. I had to swallow my pride, and my longing to bond after such stressful weeks leading up to the party. I paper-mached a  balloon with a box attached and it sat in the center of our kitchen table over night. After school the kids painted it and decorated it. To show you how insane my house had been, please note that the stuffing used for the whipped cream was actually from my couch because the day before the party OUR DOGS DESTROYED OUR SITTING ROOM SOFA! 

I may not have pictures, but my kids all had amazing memories of that entire weekend. The party rolled into a sleepover and that rolled into a family party and that rolled into a Christmas music dance party in the living room. Sometimes there are no words more true in my life then the now cliche:
We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.