My son's fourth birthday party was this past Saturday. We had used two rules of thumb for planning:
1) we have had good weather every birthday of his life thus far.
2) when you invite the whole class to a party, less than half can come.
We were wrong on both counts. The weather was terrible, and every kid we invited came. That meant that we had to have the party inside, and it was going to be crowded.
Because the Barn Babies were coming.
So, come 12 noon on Saturday we had sixteen children (actually more, because some people brought siblings without telling us that they would), a pig, ten rabbits, five chickens, two cats, two puppies, a rooster, and a diapered goat were in my basement.
And it was great.
The Barn Babies people put down tarps and then playpens to contain the pig, goat and puppies. The goat was wearing a diaper (really). The kids could take turns climbing into the pens with the larger animals or holding the small animals. And the genius of Barn Babies, which they should patent, was that each animal to be held was wrapped up in a baby blanket. That meant that the rabbits, chickens, kittens, rooster (really), didn't squirm or kick. There were some great moments when I looked around to see every kid sitting and gently petting an animal.
So Mitchell had a good party. Then the next day we went to see the PawSox play. I have been at football games in January where I was less cold than we were for that baseball game, and I wore a ski mask and winter gloves. But we all got our pictures taken with the two Red Sox World Series trophies, so it was worth it.
(Medieval content will return when I get over my latest miserable illness and get the proofs for Tolkien Studies volume 5 to the printer and catch up on grading).
P.S.: Recorded a new Recorded Books course last week, on Grammar (and the producers loved it -- go figure).