Silicon Valley Moms Blog partied this afternoon at the University Club in Palo Alto. We attended, of course. Party? Kung Fu Panda party? We're in. We haven't seen the movie yet, but our 3-year-old friend Sarah assures us it is a "very funny movie" (she hasn't seen it either).
Lately, I have become bold taking my three kids, 4-years-old and under, to all kinds of places by myself. A year ago, or even six months ago, I would not have attempted this. A year ago I congratulated myself on taking all three kids to get a haircut at the same time - and that was completely contained and full of entertainment (the huge movie screen, the car chairs, the slide, the playhouse, the books, the lollipops...oh, and don't forget the JUMPY HOUSE that is there on Saturdays - it can be tough to get them to leave after their haircuts). Now, after having four kids for a week (when my 5-year old niece, Hannah, was visiting last month) and after gradually braving it to all kinds of parks and stores and what have you, I am pretty confident in my abilities. They all know how to hold hands, stay close to Mommy, and listen (well, a lot better than 6 months ago when then-18-month-old Ava thought it was hilarious to run away from me). So when I asked my husband around 2pm today "We are going to the Kung Fu Panda party at 3:30 - can you join us?" and he responded that he had a new prototype to finish up, I was not frazzled. I assured him that was fine and just to please have a large, nice bottle of wine waiting for me when I got home (I've been drinking far too much Two Buck Chuck lately AND its Friday).
The plan went without a hitch. I got Ben and Lily all dressed and ready to go (Did you pee? Are you sure?) and woke Ava up around 3:15. She was already awake and playing in her crib (I am actually not sure that she slept at all, come to think of it). When I mentioned "party" she jumped up and happily put on her clothes and shoes and collected her bribery bag of Goldfish and sippy cup of milk. "The bus was leaving" and we all headed out the door.
We drove over the "mountains" (read: Palo Alto hills, but we pretend 280 is a rollercoaster to make it more fun) and through the woods (umm...highway greenery) to the University Club where there was. No. Parking. Damn! We had to park down the hill by the tennis courts. No matter - I am confident, remember? Holding hands, we treaded carefully up the hill on the street (no sidewalk) and made it safely in the door. Ben was initially scared of all the people he didn't know, but I assured him that no one was looking at him (this is my new trick for this reaction of his to new people). A little tough to enforce when there are cameras everywhere, but he was buying it. The fun began. We collected masks. We decorate chinese food boxes. We played playdoh. We ate mac-n-cheese (ahem...I had salad and turkey, so trying to be good!), cookies, and chocolate milk. We did cool crafts (you can download them from the HP Kung Fu Panda website, FYI). The giant panda (7-8 feet tall?) came out - here's where we lost Ben, but luckily there was an entrancing boy-heaven section of Kung Fu Panda video game section on the opposite side of the room from the panda, so he just plopped himself down and made himself at home. Lily, Ava and I learned the Kung Fu Panda dance (sort of), Lily got her arm painted with that cute panda, Lily and Ava visited the panda (a lot!), tickling him, playing peek-a-boo, posing for photos. Well, Ava posed for photos anyway. It is amazing how unafraid she is of characters in costumes. And this panda was HUGE. I stood by him to show Lily how cool it was and, I have to admit, I was a little nervous myself.
We almost escaped with minimal tears. On the way out, collecting our goody bag, Lily was given a balloon which slipped off her wrist up to the high ceiling. That girl can scream, let me tell you. Everyone rushed to get her a new balloon so that she would stop that racket! Maybe that's my imagination - it probably sounds worse to me, since she's my daughter and I just want her to be happy. Into the car and home we went. Kids fed and tired - that's my idea of a GREAT Friday night!