When I asked my 3 year old child what type of party he wanted for his 4th birthday, he clearly stated: Godzilla. You heard me: He said Godzilla. He practically annunciated it. If he could spell it, I assume he verbally would have slowly to ensure that I was under the impression that he was not playing with me. I could do nothing but stare speechless. I was suddenly living in the movie Rush Hour as he was basically asking me "Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth".
Fine, I thought. You are only 4 once. I'll get all of the hideous decorations at the local party store and we will be set for a day of stomping and mayhem. I then found out how unique this theme request was as I called every party store in the tri-state area to find that none of them carried anything related to Godzilla. N-O-N-E O-F T-H-E-M.
I panicked. I questioned him: Are you sure you want Godzilla? How about Paw Patrol, Batman or TMNT?! He stared at me with a blank face. I knew the answer but still wimpered: Spiderman? He waked away clearly disgusted as only a 3 year old can do, leaving you feeling like a failure as a parent.
FINE. LETS DO THIS. I started thinking about what boys may like and how to dress it up for the ladies attending. I racked my brain searching for ideas for who to hire for entertainment...by the way, if you are looking for a Godzilla character to show up to shake hands and "kiss babies" that doesn't exist. Likely for the better because kids unfamilar with him may pee their pants at the sight of Godzilla entering the room anyway.
I panicked again. What the hell am I going to do to fill 2 hours without "assistance" or decorations?! I looked at my child again and on cue, he said: Mom, Godzilla right? And with that I sent out the evite.
To my horror, people started accepting. I think more so to see this train wreck in person. I can't argue with it, I would have totally done the same.
Think. Think. Think. (And work full time, run errands, do the laundry, get ready for Easter and "mom") I started to consider what I would like if I was 3 going on 4. Here's what I came up with:
Godzilla coloring pages: One cute cartoon and one ugly regular godzilla cartoon to color. Print, add crayons - Boom - activity 1.
Godzilla Nest: Made from a large flat plastic sweater container, a lot of black crinkle paper (literally, this is what its called) and colorful plastic Easter eggs filled with dollar store valentines day tattoos and tootsie rolls. Who doesn't love bad tattoos and tootsie rolls? Boom - activity 2.
(I had a glimmer of hope at this stage)
Paper Godzilla Dolls: Found the print outs, printed out....cut out (I now know what I assume arthritis of the hand feels like) - and boom, ugly but cute activity 3.
Paper box city: Found on Pinterest, I can't take the credit for this idea but we stole with pride. And it was awesome for stomping and Godzilling. Boom - activity 4.
(This may be pretty awesome afterall)
Godzilla Pinata: Enough said. Boom - activity 5.
(Because a good beating seemed appropriate)
I noticed my son started checking my work along the way. He was interested to see what I was doing and had had his red inspectors marker out ready to judge me. To my surprise, he liked my ideas.
But what about decorations?! I researched napkins and laughed out loud at the price. Then I searched more niche party sites...same price. $16.00 for packs of 8?! (I was up to 25 RSVPs of "yes"...that's a lot of napkins!) And they don't come with plates?! You don't even want to know how much the plates cost. I ordered 2 packs of napkins and decided to go black with the plates from the "over the hill" section at the party store. (I figured I might as well get familar with this section as this party was sending me into an early grave). In an effort to lighten it up, I tied in lime green forks and knives. Be still your hearts, I know.
Now for the decorations....there are ZERO ready made decorations outside of the pinata. What is wrong with my kid?! I thought a few (100) times. Surely the party stores would have "A" Godzilla balloon. Nope! That's right...not one Godzilla balloon could be found in the area I live in. (Pretty sure I heard the party gods laughing at me over my inquiry) Instead, I had to special order a pack of mylar Godzilla balloons. Kill me. Luckily, I found a kind woman on Etsy that must have gone through the pain I was experencing and had a Godzilla file for sale containing a banner, sign, water labels and thank you cards that she customized with my sons name on it. I could hug Samantha from RiverMamaDesigns for the file she sent. Here is her link if you ever find yourself planning a Godzilla party (have mercy on your soul) (https://www.etsy.com/listing/190648052/printable-godzilla-birthday-invitation#) I also found a cartoon city photo banner that I plan to repurpose in his bedroom (maybe one day). Bonus: I remembered that we HAVE a bunch of Godzilla action figures (that we *like* to trip over daily)...and incorporated them into the party.
Finally for the take home gift. I am a big fan of using the take home gift at the party. I think its more fun and gives purpose to the trinket. My cost was fairly low so far so I splurged on Dinosaur Tails and called them Godzilla tails that the kids wore (and destroyed a few... Boys + Godzilla = holy s%i+) at the party. Pretty cute overall.
I was still less then confident on game day. Let's face it, even with my plan I had no idea what was actually going to happen. I thought to have kids move from activity station to station but organizing kids at this age is like herding mini Godzillas. Instead, I just let it happen. And guess what? They figured it out. They colored, they paper dolled (which we hung for additional decorations) and stomped through the boxes destroying them exactly like Godzilla would have. It was wild at times, but they were having fun and really - thats all that mattered.
Leason learned: My kid actually had a good idea for a party and when I relaxed from trying to type A the entire thing, I had a good time too.
Here are a few photos from the day. Of course I ran out of time and didn't get pictures of everything but I promise, its all true.