It's been a busy summer for birthday parties, I suppose because Alex is at that age where he has real, bona fide friends that have real, bona fide birthday parties to go to.
We had two last weekend, including one for his friend Preston at The Little Gym. It's similar to Gymboree, although I think it may be a little more focused on teaching the technical aspects of gymnastics as opposed to just playing and learning. Alex had a blast, and every time I started to talk to someone and got distracted, I looked over to see Alex walking the balance beam or hanging from the uneven bars by himself. Oops, bad mommy. There were a thousand good photo opps, and I would've caught at least a hundred of 'em if I hadn't left my CF card at home. OOPS, BAD MOMMY!!! Yeah, I was totally bummed. But trust me when I say that he very much enjoyed using his outside voice inside and being able to literally bounce off the walls without getting scolded.
We also went to a farm-themed party at a local petting zoo, which happened to take place at the hottest time of the day on the hottest day of the year. But it was super fun, and there was a lovely and heavily air conditioned party room where we could go inside and get some relief from the heat. The first thing Alex did when we got there was run up to Sarah, the birthday girl, and say, "I got a present for you!" while shoving the gift at her.
The kids didn't mind the heat and they were very good about entertaining themselves while waiting their turns for the pony ride.
He rode the pony at least three times, and he was completely and surprisingly at home with the animals.
At one point, he was crouched down until he was nose-to-nose with a goat and had a kung fu grip on one of the goat's horns. While he was talking to the goat and asking him questions as if he expected the goat to respond, a horse came over and nudged him in the back with its nose. Alex immediately turned around in surprise, put his hands out and said, "Well heeeyyy, old buddy!!!"
As excited as they were about the animals, they were even more excited about cake. And after cake, they got a little bag of party favors that included a bandana and a cow sucker that turned their tongues black. Just what Alex needed to finish off his pirate look!