July 14, 2016 12:00 pm Pinata Party
Billy couldn’t wait for his best friend’s birthday party. He had a little collection of presents and he knew Teddy would love them: a piece of green string, a small white shell, a pinecone, a shiny dime and a small picture of the two boys at a fair, taken by Billy’s mother, Holly. Holly gave him bright tissue and a yellow paper bag that was the perfect size for the presents.
Holly had a book about woodland animals for Teddy. Teddy was crazy about animals, especially owls. He knew how to hoot just like a barn owl.
“Mommy, I’m so glad you found that book for Teddy. He will love it so much. Teddy and I can look at it together. Maybe if I love it too, he will let me borrow it.”
Tying the bow, Holly said, “You are such dear friends. I really love your friendship.”
“And I’m so glad we go to school together and you and Daddy love Teddy’s mommy and daddy. Teddy is never mean. He taught me how to save ants. He waters plants for his mother. He can even peel carrots and crack eggs.”
Holly patted her little boy’s dark hair. “Teddy is a great boy. So are you, Billy. ”
“Let’s find Daddy and have breakfast. Can I crack the eggs?”
Billy cracked five eggs like a chef. Holly scrambled them and they all enjoyed their breakfast. Then it was time for the party. Billy got into his favorite white and navy blue striped shirt and put on some clean white shorts. Picking up the yellow bag, he couldn’t wait to give Teddy his presents.
“Teddy, Happy Birthday. It’s a great day!”
“Thank you. I’m glad you’re here.”
Billy offered the bag. “Presents for you.”
Teddy unwrapped the small pinecone. “Billy, you found this by the pond at Percy’s. You should keep it.”
“I want you to have it. I can see it when I come over. ”
Teddy unwrapped the shiny dime. “This is a lucky coin. Thanks!”
Their friend Laura arrived with a beautiful stuffed owl. “Hi Teddy, Happy Birthday!”
“Wow, I love this. Thank you, Laura. “Teddy put it up to his face. “Hoo, hoo, hoo!”
Charlie and Vivian arrived. “Happy Birthday Teddy. We got you a floor puzzle of all of the owls in the world!”
“Great! Thank you!”
Other children arrived with their parents. Teddy received lots of presents. His mom asked the children to sit down for a magic show. The magician was funny. The children laughed and loved his tricks. Instead of the usual white dove, he made a small owl appear out of a hat. They clapped and clapped when the show ended.
Teddy’s father called out, “Pinata time!! Let’s go outside.”
The piñata was hanging from a tree. The children stopped when they saw it was an owl.
“How about that, Teddy?” his father asked. “It’s your favorite…. an owl! You’re the birthday boy so you get to go first.” He handed Teddy a stick.
Teddy was horrified. “Daddy, I could never hit that owl. “
Laura chimed in. “We know to never hurt anything. ”
“Kids, it’s full of candy. You whack it and the candy falls out. Then you can eat the candy. Who wants to try? Twins?”
“No thanks,” they said in unison. “We’d feel sick if we hurt the owl.”
Billy had an idea. “We could make a little hole in the owl and let out all of the candies. After we all shared them, we could tape up the owl and Teddy could have him in his room.”
Vivian cheered. “I love that idea.” They all did.
Teddy smiled at his best friend. “Thanks, Billy! You saved my birthday.”
The owl came down and the candy was shared by all the children and placed in bright bags. Billy’s father taped the owl and put him next to Teddy. Then it was time for birthday cake.
Teddy’s mother murmured to Holly, “What were we thinking? Asking them to whack an owl with a stick? Ridiculous. Billy’s idea was nothing short of brilliant.”
At the end of the party, the parents thanked the children for the happy lesson they had learned. “No more piñatas!” they called to each other.
All of the children clapped. Billy and Teddy hugged each other.
Note to parents: piñatas now come with colorful ribbons attached. When the right ribbon is pulled, the candies fall out. There is no need to whack that beloved Dalmatian puppy, butterfly, pony or owl with a stick — or risk a child being hurt by an errant swing. The string piñata makes the whole party nicer and reinforces the values we want the children to embrace.
Written by: Anne Martine Cook, Managing Partner & Mom, with 40+ years experience teaching nursery school children.
We welcome your comments and questions.