I am a competent cook but a lousy baker, and so my friend Galia, whose talent in creating child birthday cake masterpieces, will be helping me with the birthday cake.
Being a Montissouri Gan, they ask the parents to bring a worthwhile art project for the event, so it is not simply a few songs and some junk food for the class. I had ordered some great stuff off the internet, but alas, it will not arrive in time for the party. Instead, I downloaded various coloring pages along the theme of Succot, and created 18 personalized coloring books for each of the children. The coloring book will also include a page of Succot-related stickers, for use in creating the pictures, or to take home and stick on inappropriate pieces of grown-up furniture.
I have enough balloons, and a somewhat healthy snack bag for each of the kids in Raphaela's class.
This party has kicked my Type-A personality into high gear, and is causing me more stress than I believe it should. Ironically, for an 'educational system' that encourages free expression and personal growth, the competition among parents regarding birthdays feels most inproportionate. For G-d's sake, Raphaela is turning two, not going into the army or getting married. And yet, I feel that I must show the other parents that I can put together a slamming celebration.
All this, and I am trying to plan a more intimate family birthday gathering during Chol Hamoed Succot. I need the letter "M" on my shirt, for masochist.