First, I will go ahead and say it, so you don't have to: #firstworldproblems.
Okay, now that that's out there, here is the tale of two back-to-back 4-year-old Frozen-themed birthday parties that I attended last month with my daughter... and what I learned.
The invitations suggested that the guests dress up. Now, as you may recall, this past Halloween marked the Elsa-pocalypse as late-night hosts joked: "Drink if you see an Elsa come to your door!" (Raise your hand if you got tipsy handing out candy.) It was, indeed, Elsa, Elsa everywhere! In fact, half of my daughter's preschool class dressed up as Elsa. My daughter actually didn't dress up as Elsa this year, but a quick jaunt to Target and I found the iconic pale blue costume half-off. (Yeah!)
Again, we were to attend not one but TWO Frozen-themed birthday parties in one weekend. Can you feel the intensity burning? A quick note about toddler/preschool birthday parties: if you have kids this age, you know what to expect. If not, well, it's pretty much chaos. CHAOS! Picture this: several Elsa's running around the backyard screaming "Let it Go!" Add a bouncy house, cupcakes, make-shift photo booth, face-painting, magic wands / swords -- and it's a supremely exciting, exhausting event.
What I didn't expect was that each party would have a real-life Elsa appearance.
(Wait... a what?)
A. Real. Life. Elsa.
(Yes, apparently it's a thing.)
At the first party the real-life Elsa was in FULL character. I mean, she could have been straight out of a Disney park. My mom friend shared with me the following exchange when life-size Elsa appeared at the door.
Real-life Elsa (perfectly braided wig, flowing dress with a loooong train): "Good afternoon," she said whimsically. "Thank you for inviting me to your palace!"
My mom friend: "Sure, come on in... the kids are out back. Can I get you anything?"
Elsa: "No thank you, your Majesty. I ate earlier in Arendelle."
My friend: "Mmmm-kay, Got it. We're going full character. Okay, this way, Elsa."
Upon seeing real-life Elsa, the little girls naturally screamed and started asking a zillion questions -- to which "Elsa" had all the answers:
"Because my magic powers only work in Arendelle," and "Yes, there is no stronger bond than that of a sister!"
When it was time to sing Happy Birthday, real-life Elsa turned to my mom friend and asked, "Your Majesty, in which KEY should we sing?"
Dumb-founded, my friend cracked a smile and nudged her hubby, asking him to choose.
Hubby: "Um, D? "
My friend: "Sure, let's go with D."
Elsa: "Excellent choice!"
Again, the first "Elsa" knocked it out of the park. I was a believer. She was COMMITTED -- I mean FULL ON character. Granted, I haven't been back to Disney as an adult (yet), but if this is indicative of how devoted they are to their personas, I can see how it warrants a two-hour wait. (Kinda.)
The next day we were getting ready for our second Frozen-themed birthday party and we were having a difficult time getting motivated. (Well, maybe it was just me.) Right off the bat, we were running 30ish minutes late. Then, to make matters worst, as I finally buckled the kids into the car and started driving off... we heard a thump, thump, thump. (Please let that be a hubcap rolling off, I whispered). Nope. It was The Present. As in... The. Wrapped. Birthday. Present. (That apparently was still on the roof of my car.) Crap.
Pulling a quick u-turn, I punched on my hazard lights, holding up the traffic behind me. Throwing open the door, I ran out in front of my car. Drivers behind me compassionately watched on, praying for what lie in the road. I bent down and scooped up the silver present, shoving it triumphantly in the air. I HAD SAVED the present! It hadn't been flattened! Momma had saved the day!
And thaaaaaat's when I started laughing uncontrollably. Like doubled over, can't-catch-your-breath-side-ache-laughing. The absurdity of it all came crashing down. I felt relieved yet humiliated. Had I just stopped traffic to save a present?? Yup. Apparently so.
"Let it Go" hummed distantly in my mind...
And so we set off.
When we finally arrived to party number two, I re-told the story to the host, who graciously laughed and comforted me with a "Honey, we've all been there..." side hug. Honestly, if you're going to 1) show up late, and 2) bring a present that looks like it's been gnawed by wild animals, it's best if it's for another 4-year-old's party, right? (After all, we've all been there before.)
So that's the story of my two back-to-back Frozen-themed birthday parties. Was the second real-life Elsa as fantastic as the first? Not really. Did it matter? No way. My daughter had a BLAST at both parties. She loved getting dressed up. She also TRULY believed that she had met real-life Elsa and fortunately never asked details like, "Why doesn't Elsa remember me from yesterday?" or "How did she have time to go back to Arendelle?"
And so, dear readers: should you ever find yourself at back-to-back weekend birthday parties (and you will) and should they happen to be Frozen-themed (and they will)... be prepared to possibly see a life-size Elsa.
And when you do... LET IT GO. (Oh, and make sure NOT to leave your present on top of your car.) xoxo
Jennie Sutherland lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and their two young daughters. You can catch more satire at @jenniesuth. Check out another funny blog post here: Why I'm Still on Facebook
Photo: 4-year-old birthday party, used with permission of the guests' parents