Pinterest Fail: How I Nearly Ruined My Son's Birthday Party


I very nearly ruined my son’s birthday party with my own grand ideas and a game I found on Pinterest.* Ah, Pinterest. Ever my nemesis.

Yesterday was Tucker’s birthday party: the big 1-0. That’s two full hands, you guys. All ten fingers are now necessary to display his age.

Fifteen boys joined us at Dart Warz, whose party plan I am pretty much willing to mortgage my home for. The boys played 90 minutes of non-stop endless Nerf warfare, and I literally sat and ate gummy worms. I am so endlessly happy to delegate that leadership.

For the last 30 minutes of the party, they convened in the party room for pizza, cake, and presents. Easy enough, right? But I couldn’t just leave well enough alone. I had planned one simple and easy game: I wrapped 200+ pieces of candy into one giant ball of plastic wrap with the idea that they would pass it around the circle in an organized fashion, unwrapping layers of plastic and hidden candies, delighting in whatever landed in their laps and then graciously giving the next person a turn.

Suffice it to say, it did not go this way. And why on earth did I ever even think for one moment that it would? Do I not have enough experience to negate my own naiveté by now?

This is what Pinterest does. It robs you of your own self-awareness and boundaries. And common sense.

Nothing will cause a group of children to abandon all manners and decorum faster than a limited amount of candy and the invitation to compete for it. It was a reenactment of Lord of the Flies. There I stood, holding this ball of maddeningly wrapped candy (as if Saran Wrap is a pleasant experience for me on a good day when all I’m trying to do is wrap muffins for the freezer), trying to keep the peace by unwrapping the very thing I had created, while boys vied for turns and attention and candy.

It was worse than a scramble under a piñata. Actually I felt like I was the piñata. Come to think of it, I now have a deep empathy for piñatas.

Before I knew it, our reserved time in the party room was up, and we hadn’t opened presents or eaten cake. The Dart Warz staff ushered this party crowd right on out the door while I was handing out blanket statements of thanks for whatever unknown treasures lay in these beautiful gift bags for my son, and I was stuffing cupcakes into hands and faces while the boys left the party scene.

Good grief. Why couldn’t I just leave well enough alone?

(Tuck felt celebrated. This is all that matters to me.)

(And I didn’t have to use an epi-pen by accidentally serving lethal peanuts to party guests who come with warning labels. This mattered to me as well.)

(It turns out, apparently many things mattered to me.)


*Pinterest Fail: n. Where good intentions come to die.