So, Kelly turned 12 on Friday.
I think I wrote about all our nefarious sneakiness leading up to the big day, and how she had no idea there was anything in the works.
So, Friday morning, she wakes up and decides to open her presents before she left for school. The boys were a bit grumpy, but handled it well.
Skip got her sushi earrings.
Nate got her the book War Horse. We want to go see the movie. And while we were talking about the book, Grandma phoned to wish her a happy birthday before she left for school.
We put most of her stuff into two decorator boxes that she can use to organize her room.
She got a good haul. and then she went off to school, where I reminded her that we'd be meeting Dad for an early birthday supper, just her, me, and Ken.
We were a bit late getting to the mall, and Toni had called me to say "Let me know when you get here, so I can get the group ready at the restaurant." Ken was running late on the freeway, and we weren't exactly on time, either. We pulled into the parkade at the mall, and the first thing Kelly said was "Hey! That's TONI'S CAR!"
Whoopsie. I said "She and Carrie must be shopping. I should call her and let her know we saw her here. Too bad we didn't know, or they could've joined us for supper. But I think Dad has reservations..."
So I phoned Toni, and had this LOUD conversation that went something like "Hey! Kelly just noticed your car at the mall! If only we'd known! You could have joined us for supper."
Toni then whispered "Go up to the counter at the restaurant, and say "Parker, party of four", and they'll know where to bring you..."
It was very cloak and dagger. Heh.
So we walk into the restaurant, and I go up to the counter (with the giant long lines of people waiting for a table) and I say the code phrase... "Parker, party of four",.
The hostess looks up at me, down at her computer screen, and says "There's a 30-40 minute wait." And then she looks at the next people in line,.
This is NOT how it's supposed to go. So I lean in, and I wink (hoping Kelly didn't notice). "Parker... party... of... FOUR..."
And she looks at me "The... wait... is... about... thirty... minutes"
So I look at Kelly, who has already said "But mom, there's just THREE of us..." Whoopsie. And I say "Check out the door to see if Dad has arrived yet. There's a glitch with our reservation, and I'm going to fix it."
I lean in "Listen. There's a table with FIFTEEN people waiting for us to show up and yell SURPRISE, so can you point me in the right direction."
And she gets this look of dawning recognition on her face, "oh... you're THAT Parker party of four!!!!! Come this way"
We got to the table, and Kelly was flabbergasted. "But... but... you're shopping!" she said, when she saw Toni. "Mom called you on the phone!"
(a shot from one of the girls at the table) It took her a few minutes before she realized that the party was FOR HER.
And the absolute beauty of the party? One of the girls asked if she could order off of the Kids Menu, and pretty soon all but 2 of the girls were ordering off of the kids menu, and we had a dinner for 15 for under $150. And that includes 4 adults, eating whatever we wanted. With refills on the drinks.
If I could do it over again, I would ask the girls to hand in their cell phones when they came to the table. I was amazed at how tied to the phones some of the girls were. And two of the girls didn't have phones, so there was a bit of have/have-not awkwardness there, although kudos to kelly for not taking her phone out.
(like the bandaids on her fingers? She had her 12 year checkup at the doctor that morning, and had her warts frozen off, and by the afternoon, they'd all turned into these giant blisters. Whoopsie. Hooray for Angry Bird bandaids, though)
After they had stuffed themselves at the table, we vacated the premises. Part of the agreement of the reservation was that we would be gone before 7, so we chose to not have dessert there. that, right there, probably saved us over $100. We went back to Addie's house, where Joan had decorated, and provided ice cream, and lemonade, for all the girls to have a bit of a relaxing time. I had brought a cake over, earlier in the day, along with some horse figurines, so it was a fun and not-time-constrained evening.
(i just realized that one of the girls is missing in this photo. Whoopsie)