Kieran recently attended his first "princess" party. He was the only boy invited to this "costumes encouraged" party, and he enthusiastically looked forward to making a grand entrance as a prince in costume.
We hit the Ladybug Theater costume sale a week beforehand--perfect timing--and stocked a costume trunk for our little dress-up hobbyist. This is the dress rehearsal for the appearance of the prince:
After weeks of anticipation, when the day finally arrived and we walked in the door of the party house, he had an attack of nerves. He clung to the staircase and would not walk up the stairs to the party (where all the princesses were busy decorating tiaras with jewels and feathers). After letting him skulk on the stairs for a few minutes, I finally was able to coax him into the house by telling him we would leave in 5 minutes if he was not having any fun. But he kept his crown pulled low over his eyes and barely participated in the party activities...a very shy prince indeed, and very unlike my outgoing, theatrical son!
The reading of "The Princess and the Pea," followed by the princesses lying on the mattress to see whether they could feel the pea...and of course, they all could, after which they were bestowed a glittery bracelet and deemed "a real princess"
The party was for a very sweet little girl named Lily, and Kieran chose some yellow (his favorite color) flowers at the farmer's market for Lily. He also insisted on giving her a purple purse for her present (because of the Kevin Henckes' book Lily and the Purple Plastic Purse).
The party was certainly an education for this mom of three boys. Most boys do not sit around in fancy party attire, calmly listening to stories and daintily trying to pin the horn on the unicorn. They do not typically decorate tiaras and try to catch butterflies with nets. This was a very well-orchestrated, creatively planned party. The cake was made in the shape of a unicorn.
Last summer I carefully planned a craft activity for Christopher's birthday party, where the kids were to decorate CD cases with fabric paints. The activity lasted 2 to 3 minutes, if that. The most vivid memory I have of that chaotic backyard party was that one of the kids led the others into our garage, and soon we had a report that someone had locked Kieran into one of our cars!! Certainly no princess party!