Today we had Ben’s 3rd birthday party at Chuck E Cheese’s (which my son still calls “Micka Mouse” because I don’t think he yet fully understands that Mickey Mouse and Chuck E Cheese are different characters, but he understands that they’re both mice). He loves going there and he’ll often ask, “can I got to Micka Mouse?” So it seemed like a great place for his party. The party was originally supposed to be March 3rd. We’d planned to have it really early just in case my wife was put on bed rest at the end of the pregnancy but… we all know how that turned out. So we later rescheduled it to today to bring it closer to his actual birthday.
Not to plug too shamelessly here but I can’t really say enough for how happy I am with our decision to have the party there. For a very reasonable price we got to have a party for 11 kids and each kid got pizza, unlimited play for 2 hours, bags of goodies / party favors, etc. Also for a very reasonable price they even provided a great Paw Patrol cake and the kid is obsessed with Paw Patrol. We didn’t have to do anything for the party other than show up and pay the bill at the end. They only charged a small upfront deposit, we were able to reschedule it with almost no effort, we were able to change the number of kids / attendees at the last minute as needed… Honestly, with everything else going on with Sam and everything, especially this weekend, I don’t know how we could have had a birthday party for Ben without an option like this and it was great to be able to have a few hours today to make about Ben with all the craziness with Sam’s birth and care.
This Friday (3/22) was the day my wife was originally supposed to have a C-section birth for Sam. It became the day they scheduled Sam for surgery to put in a shunt to relieve the fluid/pressure build-up in his head. We'd been watching the situation for weeks and hoping it would resolve on it's own but they decide last week that it was time to take action on it. The surgery got pushed back on Friday and he had the surgery first thing Saturday morning. I’m very happy to say it went great, he’s recovering very well and seems to be doing much better. His head looks much better now. It’s been a relief to have it go well. If he hadn’t been recovering well that’s one of the few things that could have made us cancel / delay the party today. With everything we had going on everyone kept asking if the party was still on because they honestly expected us to cancel, but Ben had been looking forward to this and we’d all been talking about this and we wanted him to have his day and celebrate him too in all of this.
We were at the hospital most of the weekend though while Ben spent a couple of nights at Grannie and PawPaw's house and I've spent a number of hours holding Sam this weekend, before and after the surgery.
Now… let me see if I can get back to my original point and what I was referencing in the title of this post…
Ben got a LOT of free tokens for being the birthday boy and other things (like 2500), but, by the time we were trying to pick out prizes (after being there 3 hours), he was tired and grumpy. We couldn’t get him to agree on what prizes he wanted. He’d asked for one of the prizes up high that was about 6000-8000 tickets and he didn’t have THAT many. After he got told no on that he just got grumpy and wouldn’t agree to anything. He finally agreed to let me pick instead. After he agreed to that my wife lead him away to go gather up the last of our stuff.
I picked 3-4 things that I thought he’d enjoy including this little grabby claw that he’s now a bit obsessed over. Then I got down to about 200 tickets and, for anyone that has been in one of these places, ever, you know you can’t get a lot for that.
But then I saw these things that looked like a token for “40 years of Chuck E Cheese” for 99 cents / tokens. I asked the girl at the counter about those and she’s like, “Yeah, but that’s just a little plastic token,” like it wasn't all that great or something. I’m just thinking, “Perfect!” I had her give me two of them – little gold colored tokens inset into cardboard holders. We now have a “Micka Mouse Money.”
I will turn this kid into a coin collector yet! Also – my wife should probably never leave me unsupervised if she doesn’t want to have these things happen, but she’s allowed to roll her eyes and laugh at me.
I haven’t actually shown him or talked to him about the tokens yet. He got a ton of toys today and those toys are all way cooler than those little tokens (I think the kid made out like a bandit. He didn't even want to play in the arcade after he opened presents. He just wanted to play with his new Paw Patrol toy) and so I’m going to have no luck getting something like that to hold his attention for a while with Paw Patrol toys and dinosaur toys and all that other stuff to go nuts over. I may have to give it a few days before I trot them out. We’ll see.
The Zoo and now Chuck E Cheese. If I can just keep getting him to associate all of his favorite childhood places and memories with coins, tokens and shiny round things I might make a coin collector out of him yet.