Sunday 20 May 2007

The social event of the season

We survived the five hour birthday party for Corwin. The padded swords were a big hit — the kids spent about 3 of the hours playing with them. The boys played with the swords (except for eating and opening presents) until it was dusk and I decided having a crew running around in near dark hitting each other with sticks was a bit too much even for me1.

Rather than general melee, the boys divided in to two teams and evolved some elaborate rules for conquering the other team’s base, plus rules for medics and healing and other things I didn’t quite grasp. Other than maintain the most basic rules of mechanics (i.e., what a valid hit was), I stayed out of the whole process because it’s important for the kids to learn to work these things out on their own. Oh yes, it was all For The Children™.

I made a special pole-axe for Corwin, which he quite liked, but Jack decided it was too good a weapon for him. Corwin tried to demonstrate it wasn’t because I could beat him by blocking and charging2 but that was apparently unpersuasive. It might have been related to the way everyone ran in terror whenever I came at them with a sword (I was voted out of the game before the first round). In the end, Corwin was forced to give it up for a few games.

One of the teams also had a strong tendency to over think their strategy, sometimes taking 5 minutes or so to agree on a plan. I favored the “mass attack, kill ‘em all — God will know His own” tactic, but since I wasn’t playing my advice was just taken “under consideration”. Most games would involve a series of inconlusive battles until someone snuck in to take the enemy base. Most of the action took place out in front, even though we had Corwin scoop up all the dog poop in the backyard because we thought that woud be the main combat arena. Ah well, it was a personal growth experience for Corwin.

We only had three incidents. Jake took a shot in the throat, and Charles fell over and smacked his head on the back porch stair edge. But Jack handily exceeded both of those. He ran full on in to one of Mom’s tree’s out in front, flattening the chicken wire around the tree and bouncing off the metal post that held the chicken wire in place. Somehow Jack didn’t end up bleeding more than he had before the impact but he did have to sit out a game.

The computer games didn’t go as well. Although we had tested beforehand, there were still a lot of connection problems with Rise of Legends and a couple the computers would have problems with the graphics after playing for a bit. Still, some fun was had so it wasn’t a total loss.

The food went well. The piles of snacks Mom provided were popular, and the boys liked both the pizza and the cake with ice cream. At one point during food consumption they started singing “Everybody dance now!”. Mom fired up the original song on the stereo which lead to some slam dancing in the living room. That devolved in to a conga line and still later in to pure screaming contests that were so loud even some of the boys found it painful.

1 I recieved several inquiries about playing night tag as they did last year but since it wasn’t a sleep over, it was barely dark enough to play by the time the party was over.

2 The pole-axe has better reach, but it only has a short section that counts for hits, so if you get inside the reach it’s ineffective. However, Corwin’s had much more practice than the other kids so they couldn’t take advantage of that against him.

Posted by Dad about Corwin at 08:50 | Ping URL

Sounds like they all had fun. Thanks again for inviting both boys.…the night off was wonderful! Hope Corwin enjoyed himself.

Posted by: Deborah on 20 May 2007 at 13:52
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