My daughter Janice is four. Her best friend, Elizabeth was turning four and her mother had the cutest birthday party for her.
We received a small package in the mail from Elizabeth. Inside was a bottle with a rolled up piece of paper and some colored sand at the bottom. The note was an invitation to Elizabeth's birthday party. The theme was "Tea Under the Sea." Place, date and time were listen along with instructions to bring a bathing suit. Janice was really excited.
I don't know how Betty, Elizabeth's mother found time to decorate, but her living room and dining room to look like an underwater scene out of the Little Mermaid.
She had strung strips of crepe paper in shades of blue, green, aqua and purple just below the ceiling to look like the underside of the surface of the sea. She had painted colorful pictures of coral, kelp and sea life on cardboard and propped them up against the walls. Betty put blue and green light bulbs in her track lighting, making the effect underwater world more realistic. Colorful fishes and mermaids were hung from the ceiling, throughout the house, with fishing line . Betty had brought Elizabeth's sand box inside and set the large jukebox inside of it along with an old tire and some rusty tin cans as if it had fallen into the sea and had sunk to the bottom. The jukebox played a variety of the girls' favorite songs.
Betty collected Elizabeth's gifts and put them on the table next to the cake. Betty led the girls into the living room. A make-up artist, dressed as a mermaid, painted the girl's faces with whatever they liked. Janice wanted giant pink and orange starfish on her cheeks and she told me it was so much fun I should have my :face painted. After I had a seahorse painted on my cheek a couple of the other mothers decided to give the face painting a try. Each of us had our picture taken with our daughters.
There were lots of games, but my favorite was the Buried Treasure hunt. The girls were divided into teams and were given clues they had to work together to solve and find different things hidden around the house. The team who found them all first would get a prize. It was great to see eight four-year-olds working together without fighting. The prize was a treasure chest filled with strings of brightly colored beads, fake pearls and plastic jeweled rings. The winning team got to pick what they wanted first. the losing team then would get a chance to pick what they wanted from the pile. The girls loved the shiny stuff, but I think they enjoyed solving the mystery more than the prize.
After the game was over, it was time to eat. The paper tablecloth, plates, cups and napkins all matched the sea theme and on each plate were plastic tiaras for every girl. Elizabeth sat at the head of the table, and looked very much like the Queen of the Sea when she put her tiara on. Lunch was fish and chips. The "tea" was blue Kool-Aid served from a teapot that looked like a nautilus shell. There was champagne or soda for the adults. After lunch Betty put candles on the cake. It was decorated with sea-green frosting with a plastic coral, a little plastic golden palace and tiny plastic mermaids. Everyone clapped when Elizabeth blew out the candles and the mothers took pictures of the cake before it was cut. Janice could hardly contain herself when she saw the blue raspberry ice-cream that was being served with the cake.
Once the girls finished their cake and ice-cream, Elizabeth opened all her presents and thanked each of the girls for their gift. The girls changed into their bathing suits, to the backyard and jumped into the pool. There were pool toys of all shapes and sizes: Sebastian the crab a giant starfish, and enough foam 'noodles' for everyone to have one of their own. The videographer Betty hired captured the girls swimming and playing Marco Polo. Janice had so much fun she didn't want to get out of the pool and go home when the party was over.
Janice was so tired out she went to bed early that night. Her lips were stained blue and she was still wearing her tiara on her head. Later that week we received the video tape and now Janice can't wait until she can have her own underwater party.