Yesterday was the birthday of two important people in my life: the Winged Monkey and Beebs' daughter Taylor. Needless to say, WM is significantly older than Taylor, who just turned 3. With WM being out of town for martial arts training where his friends were taking him out to what h referred to as a mid-shi-shi restaurant and who knows what else, I had the great fortune of attending Miss Taylor's ladybug party. And let me tell you, when Miss Taylor throws a ladybug party, there are going to be ladybugs.

There were ladybug table cloths, ladybug plates & napkins, ladybug cookies, a giant ladybug cake, ladybug tutus, and even real live ladybugs for the ladybug hunt. I'm not kidding about this. Did you know you can buy a bucket of ladybugs for $12? 1500 ladybugs, to be exact, all in what looks like a small, clear butter tub, and which you are instructed to put in the refrigerator until a few hours before releasing in order to slow down their eating. They are, after all, trapped in a small container, and if the food ran out before time, there is a good chance those ladies might turn on one another. What kind of party would that leave you with?

3 1/2 hours with 10 children, all under the age of 4, and their parents was enough to bring me to the conclusion that I am not really all that sorry that I don't have kids yet. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the little munchkins, and I actually quite enjoyed watching them all scramble about looking for the "BUGS!", but, my god, the noise was crazy. And the crying? It seemed like every 5 minutes someone was crying because they wanted a turn playing with Taylor's new pink, battery-operated hair dryer. I want kids some day, but I'm thinking first I need to come up with an alternative to birthday parties because that might just explain some of the crazy moms I've encountered in my time as a teacher. One too many kiddie parties.

I was, of course, the only non-parent/single-type in the bunch, and, therefore had very little to add to the discussions on BMI charts and potty training accidents and pre-natal vitamins. But I did have the satisfaction of getting the best gift reaction out of Taylor. She got so excited over the pig in a tutu pillow I got her she almost forgot about the rest of her unopened presents, choosing instead to hug the pig and lay down on the floor with it.
I may not be a mom, but as an aunt, honorary or otherwise, I rock the kiddie present world!