March 17, 2005

Fredrik turns 8

We asked Fredrik what kind of a birthday party he wanted to have, and he thought about it and said that he wanted to have a space party. The party technicians went to work. We sent out invitations with pictures of rockets and Jupiter's giant red spot. Karin cut out rockets with sparkly streamers shooting out the back and put them up in the windows. I printed out a bunch of pictures that we put up around the house-- the Starship Enterprise, the mars rover, drooling alien cyclops Kang from the Simpsons, planets, the space station and so on, and then on Sunday afternoon all the kids showed up. First we tested their space knowledge to see if they would make a good crew. How many planets are there? How big is space? What is the nearest star? We decided they would have to do, and assigned them different posts: alien interpreter, commander of laser cannons, comet stopper, director of space insects, and Fredrik was the space captain. Then we served a microscopic space dinner-- one tiny pill for vegetables, one for steak and one for potato, all of them vitamin enriched (just between you and me, the potato was a Pez candy and the steak and vegetables were thinly sliced red and green licorice). Then we discovered that aliens had hidden pods all around the house and if we didn't find them they would hatch and the house would be taken over by alien monsters. It was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of work to keep track of 14 grade schoolers full of green space soda, rocket cake and ice cream. The kids were impressed by the rocket cake Karin made, and especially by the engine-- an aluminum foil cone with three lit sparklers. Then I rolled out a big piece of paper on the floor, the kind you use to protect the floor when you paint, and drew a huge space station on it. The kids got crayons and set to work drawing parts of the space station, and everybody got to draw their own planet. We played music from Star Wars in the background.

This morning at breakfast we were talking about the party and what Fredrik wanted to do next year. He thought about it, and said he wanted to have a mining party, with pickaxes and helmet lamps. 'Dad,' he said, 'you can start digging now!'


At March 17, 2005 7:35 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

That sounds really fun, especially the condensed food. I could have warned you about hiding pods around the house. My parents hosted a birthday party for me (2nd grade?) and hid peanuts all over the house. The kids tore the place apart looking for those peanuts. I remember shelves crashing down and lamps tipping over.


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