Sunday, March 18, 2007

Birthday Song Writer Royalties Go Cha-ching!

You know that story about the Happy Birthday song and how the guy (lady?) who wrote is a mega-quadrillionaire because they rake in royalties every time someone somewhere in the world sings their song? How can that possibly be true?

If it is though, then we are certainly making a sizeable contribution to the Birthday Song Pot.

Yesterday we went to a birthday party at Pump It Up. This is a warehouse-looking building that contains two enormous rooms full of "inflatables". Apparently, that is the new name for those rubbery castles full of air that kids can jump on. And now, they aren't just castles, but also slides, obstacle courses and so forth.

When we were invited to the party, I was a little skeptical, but foolishly so, because it was awesome! I thought I would be sitting there twiddling my thumbs while Koji bounced, but it turns out that moms could participate too. YES! Many of the other moms couldn't believe the sight of me enthusiastically taking advantage of the inflatables, but as for me, all that crazed jumping was downright therapeutic.

Interesting cultural sidenote: this party was for a Japanese friend from Koji's preschool. While we were there, one of the workers asked me where the presents were. It took me a minute to realize that it's not normal in these parts for guests to pay to get in to a birthday party, but that's exactly what we did. Rather than buying a gift for the birthday boys (this party was actually in honor of two children), we all paid to join the party. When I first heard of this system, I thought it was bizarre, but now that I'm used to it, I really like it. The parents of the birthday child don't have to break the bank to put on a really fun party, nor are they saddled with a ton of random toys that they have to write thank you notes for. Let's all think about this system, and possibly even adopt it?! What do you say?

Today we went to another birthday party. The location was a church gymnasium, and I wasn't sure how it would stack up to all those inflatables. But actually, I think Koji had as much fun or more at this second party. The birthday boy's parents planned some fun activities (like sand art!) and put out some really nice food; it's cliche but true to say "a good time was had by all".

Another truth: my social life would be sadly lacking if my son's friends didn't get steadily older and invite us to celebrate accordingly!

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