I really had no desire to do a birthday at Medieval Times, but I also had no desire to plan any sort of party two days after Christmas. (Note to those of you in the family-planning stages: try not to conceive a child in early spring, or they may be stuck with one of those unlucky post-Christmas birthdays, destined for life to have hastily planned birthday parties where they receive gifts in Christmas wrap while half their friends are on vacation visiting grandparents. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. My birthday is tomorrow).
Anyways, enough about my childhood pain and on to how I’m inflicting the same wounds onto Jafta. I had absolutely no energy for a party. We offered him the Medieval Times option by showing him a You-Tube video of the jousting, and he readily accepted, even with the caveat that he could only bring ONE FRIEND. Those tickets are pricey! Lucky for us, his one friend (and his family) had won tickets in a raffle and so they all got to come with us.
Because I am
cheap frugal, I did try to sneak in a flask, which I felt badly about, until I saw this guy:
If you’ve ever been to the pre-show at Medieval Times, you know it’s all just a really big ploy to get you to spend even more money. We arrived early just so I could spend extra time dashing the dreams of my children for not buying them more swords/costumes/scrolls/etc. We also got to watch several Rennaisance Faire regulars get knighted (an honorable status bestowed on anyone willing to shell out . . . you guessed it . . . MORE MONEY). I also got to have several character actors warn me, “My lady, you are not allowed to take photos in this area.” Which is so authentic to the period, don’t you think? To pay them back for their generosity, and further my streak of miserly tackiness, I decided I would just take my own picture of the photo they were trying to get me to buy. IS THAT ALLOWED, MY LADY??? Take that, suckas!
Jafta was so excited once we got into the arena. As soon as the knights were introduced, he started chanting “We will kill you” in this slightly possessed-sounding voice, that was disturbing and comical at the same time. It reminded me of the “I’m Starving” bit that Chris Farley did on SNL back in the day. Lay off me, I’m starving.
Knowing my track record with spillage, I had strategized before the show to try to make sure that this evening would be spill-free. I knew that I would have three uncontained children, and they made us hold Karis in our laps since she didn’t pay the entrance fee. I had packed sippy cups and was trying to be vigilant when they served the hot soup. But pride comes before the fall, and at the top of the show the princess comes out and leads a little toast. India is so excited to see the princess, and so excited about the toast, that she upends an entire mug of Pepsi into my lap. This was not just a little spill. This was a whole mug’s worth, seeping into my jeans. I rushed off to the bathroom and tried my best to dry it by performing a variety of yoga poses under the hand dryer, but my jeans were sopping wet. Then it dawned on me that I was two feet away from a wardrobe of wench costumes for sale. So in order to make the rest of the show bearable, I bought a hideous wench skirt and wore it for the rest of the night. India was thrilled with this, and stared at me like I was a celebrity for a good twenty minutes.
And no, I did not take a picture of it. But these kids were cute:
We were seated in the Black & White knight’s section, and I don’t want to sound judgey but he was kind of a loser. He was the first guy to get killed off! Fortunately the kids didn’t seem to notice, because they were too busy eating chicken with their hands (also a major, major highlight for Jafta). I ordered the vegetarian plate, which came with hummus. Which I love, of course. In case you were wondering which part of this dinner warranted the $50 price tag, let me just tell you that it wasn’t the dessert. Apparently McDonald’s apple turnovers were very popular in the Byzantine era.
Jafta had a really great time, but Karis was loving it, too. She learned how to clap that very morning, and here she found herself in a room full of clapping people. I think she thought they were all there just to play this new clapping game with her. Every time the clapping commenced, she went crazy, laughing and clapping back.
Jafta had a really great time, and he and India have been sword-fighting ever since. I can’t believe my little boy is five years old already! He is such a gift and brings so much fun to our family.