By Vicki Scott
To celebrate her birthday our oldest grandchild Sweet Ava Jaymes wanted to spend the night in Nana and Papa’s treehouse (that would be me and my husband Alan). Having lived in Glencoe until recently, this is the first time we were chosen to host a grandchild birthday party.
After praying hard and asking son Joseph’s wife and Ava’s mother Machi (a.k.a. The Greek Goddess), I started to put together a spend-the-night party. I drew up plans for inside and outside activities, including in the treehouse itself. I then arranged for my darling and patient husband to build a fire in our firepit to roast hot dogs and s’mores.
When Ava and her birthday guests were hungry when they arrived, so we roasted hot dog wieners to make hotdogs to eat with chips. We made s’mores for dessert.
The official outside activities were supposed to start with the zipline. The problem was that it is set up where someone must be manning the top and someone the bottom as a safety precaution. The line is high in both places, so the rider must be placed on and taken off. Joseph was late due to insufficient supplies. The children got aggravated, and as soon as Joseph arrived, he was bombarded by five 7-year olds ready to zip. He and Alan got at each end while I sat on the swing watching and listening to squealing girls fly down.
Once ziplining was done, the group instantly wanted to go paint pumpkins, so we went inside to where I had set up each child with glow-in-the-dark paint, paint brushes and pumpkins. Joseph challenged the girls to a pumpkin-carving contest, which was quickly accepted. All of the pumpkins turned out both beautiful and scary. When they were finishing up, a few of the girls saw our corn hole set and started playing while the others were finishing.
We then went back outside to play with poi balls, which are balls are balls tethered on a long string that Hawaiians use as a performing art by spinning them around and displaying a beautiful show, especially at night. Our poi balls are battery powered lights and I tried to show the girls how to twirl them. It was not long before some of the girls wanted to go back inside and play bingo.
Being seven years old, some of the girls did not know how to play the game until I explained the rules. If one of the girls had the number I called, they would yell in excitement they had the number. Then the others would say whether they had it or not, then a discussion would transpire. If one girl did not have the called number, she said as much while the others said what they had and what they needed and so on. After a while, Joseph asked the girls not to talk until they had a bingo. The girls had a blast, and so did I. There were several occasions after the game was over and during the night they wanted to play again. Joseph told me that I had “nailed it” with the bingo. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the game!
When 10 p.m. rolled around, the girls were led up to the treehouse where they played Uno and settled down. In the meantime, my daughter Eva and I organized prizes for all the bingo winners (every girl won something, of course).
Machi stayed with the girls when it came time to coerce them to sleep. They wanted to see the sun come up, but Machi told them that they had to be quiet in order to do so. As soon as the girls were quiet, they miraculously fell asleep!
The next morning, I went outside to find the girls and Machi already up. One of the girls was bragging that she woke up first and woke everyone else up. After breakfast, I played with the girls while Machi frantically tried to get everyone’s things together before she and Joseph took them to Auburn at 10 a.m. They finally left at 11:30.
I had not showered in two days, so I picked up my phone to play music and headed to the shower. I saw a text message from Alan that some friends of ours were coming for lunch. In fact, they were coming down our driveway when I looked up!
Vicki Scott may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.