A brief account of the festivities.

The piñata was one of those pull-the-string dealies, after all. I had no idea. When I bought it I assumed all those ribbons at the bottom were a festive touch. Then I saw the words “PULL-THE-STRING PINATA,” and after a few minutes of sounding it out I figured out what was up. It’s amazing I can get through the day without setting myself on fire.

The actual pulling open of the piñata was anticlimactic. The children quickly lost patience with the idea of taking turns with one ribbon each, so after one round of that we gave up and Henry yanked all of them. At this a small door opened at the bottom and exactly nothing fell out. I had to reach in and fish out the candy and toys. Piece by piece they thunked to the floor. Most of the kids were around Henry’s age or younger, and were impressed with the goings-on but didn’t fully grok that they could take more than one item. They each picked up one sticker or fun-sized candy and ambled away, asking their parents if they could really keep it. Henry grabbed a lollipop and was pleased. The lone six-year-old, the most senior party attendee and apparently a seasoned pro at the piñata, was down there grabbing everything, unable to believe her good fortune. The preschoolers sat back and admired her technique.

After the day was over, we sat down and realized there had been no tears, no bloodshed, no missing limbs. My newly minted four-year-old managed nearly ten hours of festivities (there were two parties in one day: the morning one with the kids, then the evening appearance of the grandparents and aunts and uncles) with style and grace. He greeted his guests with enthusiasm, said “thank you” to each gift, and invited his friends to share his loot. At one point he got a Woody doll and spent the night observing, “I used to have a tiny Woody but now I have a really big Woody!” We all tried not to snicker, and failed. We tried to resist the urge to get him to say it again, and failed at that too.

So in other words, all the misbehavior came from the adults.