What happens when a then-kindergartener is unexpectedly home from school on her dad's birthday, with way too much time to fill? A bathroom surprise party!
What's a bathroom surprise party? It begins with three trips to the grocery store, each time stuffing the car with helium balloons. We aimed for 38, since that's how old Mr. Great turned that day. After losing one along the way, buying an extra just in case, and some counting errors, we ended up with 40. One for each kid, and 38 for the birthday boy. Perfect!
But where in the world does one put 40 balloons? In a small place where a dad would least expect to see balloons -- the bathroom at the very back of the house!
Once the balloons were contained, we found all the magazines in the house and began decorating party hats. I was proud of how much effort Big Sister put into these. She worked very hard for a very long time, determined to cover every bit of every hat with pictures that would be meaningful for each member of our family. After what seemed like days, we had four masterpieces, each perfectly personalized.
For Mr. Great, a flag, Longhorns, "HIKES," cereal, Cholula, a full bag of money (I wish!), baby feet, weights, mixed nuts, and loads of other things we thought he would like.
Big Sister chose lots of cute and pretty things for her hat -- puppies, butterflies, pretty jewelry, a cheetah.
Little Brother got Batman and Spiderman, of course. And some other masculine things like flags, balls, and dinosaurs.
For me, thread, flowers, babies, and bento lunches.
We all know that you can't throw a party without a sweet treat. So we baked brownies in a special brownie pan that makes every piece an edge piece.
With little time to spare, my little artist decided that a party just isn't a party without a birthday banner.
So she quickly put together a banner of swirls and balloons that still hangs in our bathroom today, months later.
After a very busy day, we picked up Little Brother, had him sign the banner, and assembled all the goodies in the bathroom. Then we closed the door, and we waited. The excitement and suspense was almost more than we could handle.
To pass the time, we tried on party hats, made sure all the blowers worked, and put on funny disguises.
Finally, after much anticipation, we heard footsteps down the hall. Quiet . . . quiet . . . SURPRISE!
We definitely surprised him. Nobody expects to find 40 balloons and a giddy family in their bathroom at the end of a long work day. Party hats and funny glasses? Unimaginable.
I'm pretty sure it was the best bathroom surprise party ever.