The May Queen turns 5 tomorrow, and this weekend we were party central. I found a Cinderella themed party at FamilyFun.com, and thought "this would be fun!" And it was! We had 10 girls in the house - 3 of them were siblings of MQ's school friends, and the mothers said they would be just fine coloring in the corner, but of course we invited them to join the fun! (I knew they would be there before hand).
I kept everything moving with my magic wand in the role of fairy godmother. When the girls arrived I told them that we would be acting out the Cinderella story, and that each of them was now "Cinderella May Queen" and so forth. Of course they all remembered that as the story begins poor Cinderella is forced to clean the house by her stepmother. So I told them that I expected the place to shine, and handed them some rags. They went straight to work, zooming around the room and giggling.
Then the doorbell rang, and sitting on the doorstep was a scroll: an invitation to the ball. Since their chores were done they would be allowed to go, but the invitation said "proper dress required," and all they had were rags! Well, with the help of the fairy godmother and some mice who had worked hard the night before, they went to work making gowns fit for a ball.
Then they went to the ball, and danced about the living room. They had been told that they had to leave before midnight when their dress would turn back to rags, so when the clock (our grandfather clock in the dining room - my husband was behind the scenes!) struck midnight they all dashed into the kitchen, leaving a shoe behind. We took off the gowns and the Cinderellas were set back to cleaning.
But then! The doorbell rang again, and it was the duke (my husband, who was winning points not only with The May Queen and me but with all the jealous mothers in attendance) looking for the lovely ladies from the dance. He had to find the ladies who fit the shoes. He went around the room trying shoes on all the girls, to much more delight and giggling. Of course, eventually, all the shoes found their rightful owners.
To celebrate, we had cake and ice cream, and then opened presents. The girls all had a great time, as did the mommies (me included).
I really enjoy throwing these kinds of parties for The May Queen (Last year we had a Messy Art Party). As I was decorating the night before (11pm!) I was thinking about the time and love I was putting in to making this a fun event for my daughter, and really enjoyed it. It was a bit of work (but I saved a TON of money - I did the whole party for about $65). The May Queen was so excited about it, and she helped me put together the favors (plastic Cinderella cups filled with pencils, stickers, and coloring sheets printed off our computer - as she helped me pick which pictures to print she jumped up and down saying "Everyone is going to have so much fun at my party!"). She helped me bake the cake. She was so excited about what her Daddy was going to do that she sometimes told secrets ("Someone is picking up all our shoes!") I know that this is the sort of thing she will remember for years. Sure, she loves going to the parties the other kids have with the bounce houses or at the gymnastics center. But I get great joy out of planning a special party just for her - not breaking the bank or going overboard, but planning something especially for HER - and hope to do so for as long as she'll let me.
Tomorrow we'll have a quiet celebration at home - eating her favorite food (Macaroni and Cheese, of course!), opening a few gifts, and decoration cupcakes (her request).