Before we could celebrate Annika’s birthday Sunday, we got to celebrate her friend here’s 4th birthday the day prior. All in all it was a very birthday filled weekend for our family for sure. Much sugar and fun has been had this weekend!
Saturday was a slightly chilly drizzly dreary day here in Berlin, so instead of the party being at a local park we could walk to from our apartment, we were offered a ride to an indoor playground place with all the other friends. As we were getting ready to head out to the birthday party, I went to go to the basement to get Annika’s booster seat. Unfortunately, Andy was right. Despite the fact that my mother in law and I were both completely convinced that he had flown here with a booster seat for Annika, he had indeed not. (I really hate it when he’s right sometimes!) We couldn’t take the oh-so-nice ride to the party after all.
This is an account of my horrific problem solving abilities here:
**LIGHTBULB** No problem, I’ll just ride Andy’s bike with the kiddy trailer on it to get to the party. I don’t mind getting a little wet.
**DEFEAT** Nana Melch says to me, “You mean the one we tried to ride yesterday and found the chain broken. Wah wah wah…
**LIGHTBULB** No big deal, I can just take a bus or public transportation.
**DEFEAT** Actually it is in the next zone and not included in our tickets so we’ll have to buy 2 day tickets, which I guess we could do, but that just sucks and sadly might be our only option.
**LIGHTBULB** Just call a cab!
**DEFEAT** I am just waaay too cheap to pay €40 for Annika to attend a birthday party. (ASIDE: Need to work on being able to spend money. This is turning into a real problem.)
Sometimes being without a car is really inconvenient, and this was one of those times.
Then my hero Mom of the girl whose birthday it was and who was planning the party texted me that she actually has an extra seat and we could just show up at the original time for the ride. Yeah, she has 3 kids, was in the midst of icing a cake and coordinating a large birthday party with changing locations and lots of kids needing rides all at the same time while solving all MY problems. (Did I mention she has a PhD and wrote it in her 2nd language? Or that she’s ridiculously nice and despite being amazingly gorgeous and tall and blonde and smart that she never makes you feel anything but welcome and wonderful in her presence?) She is my new role model for sure!
After a short car ride, we arrived at the Kinderoase and the kids went NUTS. The place was really amazing and the pictures on their website don’t even do it justice frankly! There were 13 kids ages 3-6 in our group and 4 parents there, which was a good ratio, though still a bit surprising. I never know when the appropriate age to just drop your kids off at a party and then come back to retrieve them is, but propriety has never been my forte anyway. The kids ran themselves silly, ate too much sugar, and played awesome games—several of which I will probably be stealing next time I throw a kids party at home so I will not be revealing them here. The party ended with a Monster Hunt where birthday girl’s mom and sister dressed up like monsters and the kids had to hunt down their skin (green glove), nest with eggs (bowl filled with green bath beads), and then chase the monster and remove the 3 balls attached to her back. The monsters wore green blankets with the balls on the back and homemade paper mache masks that were quite impressive.
Here they are on the hunt:
If this lady wasn’t so funny and nice, she would be the perfect mom that all the other moms love to hate! I most definitely LOVE her!
The party was soo much fun, and I only had to spend part of the time translating game rules an things for Annika. At one point I even turned to the grandmother of the birthday girl after herding the kids and helping make them wait for a whole minute before they could go monster hunting, and I said to her, “I didn’t learn anything like that in German class.” She responded by laughing, patting me on the shoulder, and saying, “Das glaub’ ich. Das glaub ich.” (I believe that.)
The same lovely family that gave us a ride to the party gave us a ride all the way to our house afterward. When we went to get in the car, the nice mother asked me, “What happened, is your car being repaired?” I responded, “No. We don’t have a car here. Our car is in America.” She shook her head and looked like I just blew her mind a little. Then she said, “No car here at all? I didn’t expect that.” Apparently sometimes I do a great job of defying expectation in Germany too, but really only in certain circles.