High School Musical party: How we survived

High School MusicalLast week, before my wife left to go cover Sundance, my eight-year-old daughter Neve asked if she could have a "High School Musical party". High School Musical, she informed me, is "the newest DCOM" - Disney slang for "Disney Channel Original Movie". (What was that Orwell said about corrupting the language?) Disney's Web site did more than just encourage kids to watch the film, though: it egged them on to throw their own "Red Carpet Premiere Party".

I don't know what mixture of pity and "there's a sucker born every minute"-ness caused me to say "yes", but last night my mother and I found ourselves wrangling a total of eight kids from 8pm until 10pm. Half of the kids were Neve's guests; the other were my three little ones under age 7, whom we had to keep entertained while the big kids watched their "dumb show". By the time we got everybody out the door at 10:30, the floors were littered with toys and popcorn shards.

Somehow, though, we managed to make it through without once losing our collective sanity. (It helped that my kids collapsed in their beds shortly afterwards.) It was one of those situations where you just have to accept that, for the next two hours of your life, you're going to be swimming in a cacophonous hell. And, hey - if you have to be in hell, you might as well bring a stick and some marshmallows and make a time of it.

And the movie itself? It was cute. Very...musical, I'm afraid, but cute. It centered around an inspirational plot about a science geek and a jock who enter the musical together, throwing the entire social structure of their school into disarray. I'm sure I'll be able to dissect its finer cinematic points over the next week, as my daughter astutely recorded it on the DVR. Thank the gods there's a new Full Metal Alchemist on tonight...

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.