Birthday parties are difficult to plan. Couple that with a spur of the moment surprise birthday party an hour and a half away from home for Kid #1, and you can imagine the stress.
My husband—and the initiator of all things spur of the moment—grabbed our son then left the house Sunday morning with an excuse: present shopping. (Kid #1 recently got into trouble—big time—so his planned present changed dramatically, but he still deserved something, right?)
Johanna Pitcairn was in town, so while we waited for my wonderful MIL to show up with her minivan, we played Twister with Kid #2 and Kid #3. Abby thought it would be hysterical to ensure her mother's doom in the game, all while being super sweet to our visitor.
When my MIL and SIL walked through the front door, I'm pretty sure one of my arms was threaded around my ankles, while the other sweat profusely because ninety-percent of my body weight was on it. Yeah, Johanna was sipping cocktails the whole time.
I'm getting way off topic here . . . .
Okay, so we piled in the minivan, and after an annoyingly long stop at the gas station, we were off. I drove, my MIL texted with my hubs, my SIL sat pensively in the middle while Kid #3 slept, and Johanna and Kid #2 played I Spy . . . a lot. Who knew a cloud could truly look like an alligator?!
As we neared the exit for Dave and Busters, I realized I had no idea where this place was located. Thank God I'd loaded my map first, but as usual with all things Google Maps (sorry, Google), the stupid thing was wrong and led us to an abandoned lot. We eventually found D&B, across the street, using our EYES. Can you believe that?
Guess we can find things without technology!
Then came parking. Oh brother. I'm not sure I want to share this with you. But, the husband saw us, texted and told us to turn left and then park near Mimi's.
"Umm. That's great, but where the heck is Mimi's?" Annoyance rippled through me. I hate driving. Really. Is over one-hundred miles a day not enough?
The husband called. "Hey, so Ethan is hungry. He wanted to go to Dave & Busters, but I told him you'd kill us if we went there without you. So we're just going to eat at Mimi's and then head home. Okay?"
"Mimi's sounds good," I said, keeping up the pretense of the surprise. Oh, God, if I only knew where that place was!
Someone in the backseat may or may not have added to my annoyance when she thought we were actually going to Mimi's.
We circled around the quaint little urban-development area that I wanted to scream at, eventually parking wherever-the-hell-we-could, then tried not to melt away in the out-of-nowhere heat and humidity on our walk to Dave & Busters.
When Kid #1's saw us his face was priceless! He laughed hysterically and then jumped up and down when he realized we were finally taking him to the restaurant where you play games. It's like a grown up Chuck-E-Cheese.
We breezed through dinner then set out—all three kids, the husband, Johanna, MIL, SIL, and me—to take over D&B. And boy, did we?
Ethan hit the 500 and 1000 ticket jackpots—as did many of the rest of us—and we had multiple cups overflowing with tickets. We were bound to get the biggest and best prize in the whole place!
Well, that's what we though until it was finally time to cash out and go home. For 4000 tickets, you could either get coasters or a giant banana.
Yep, you guessed it, folks. Kid #1 chose a giant banana for his gift.
I'm sad to report that I don't have a picture of this ridiculous gift that took up the entire backseat of my Jetta, but I think you get the idea.
In the end, we had a great time, Ethan was genuinely surprised, and we spent the whole evening singing, "Peanut butter, jelly time. Peanut butter, jelly time."