When my older one suddenly decided that he wanted his birthday party to be either at Pizza Hut, or at Dominos' Pizza, we were thrown into a tizzy. Pizza Hut is a known devil- the kids and I have attended several birthday parties there, and they always run smoothly (till the time the pizzas are served, when of course, chaos reigns). But they were booked till the middle of December, we did not see any point in celebrating a November birthday that late.
Dominos Pizza was an unknown quantity. Nobody I knew as much as knew it was a party venue, and the amount of space at their disposal was much less than that at Pizza Hut. Before booking the place, the two of us really grilled he Manager of the restaurant- how many parties had they done, did they have experience in handling kids as young as the ones at this party would be, what games would they be conducting, and on and on and on.
We were not exactly reassured by the answers we got - the Manager appeared confident, but didn't seem to have any answers to specific questions - but we really didn't have much choice but to do the party there.
When we landed up at the venue on the day of the party, we found half a dozen employees blowing balloons and putting up streamers. Will they ever finish on time, we wondered. As usual, I stressed too much- the first guests started arriving before the decorations were up, but seeing the balloons on the floor, the kids invented a game of their own.
Jumping on Balloons, they would have called it, if they could take time off to think of a name.The rules of the game were simple - you jumped on a balloon and tried to break it, the one who did break a balloon had the satisfaction of knowing they did it.
It took him awhile to figure out the rules, but soon enough, even my not yet four year old had joined in the fun.
The game lasted as long as the balloons lasted- which was actually a pretty long time, since the had secreted away many of the balloons and released them only in batches. By the time the last balloon was burst, the party was in full swing, and things only got better from there. It turned out to be one of the best birthday parties I had witnessed.
The guys at Dominos and the children at the party taught me something that day.