October 15, 2010

Too Many Secrets

Ever see the movie Sneakers?  The clue to unravelling the case were the words "Too Many Secrets"  Well, too many secrets is what we had down in our neck of the woods this month.  We were planning a surprise party for my soon to be 14 year old son.  I just thought that a surprise party would be fun for a teenager.  I mean, we are pretty much beyond theme parties at this stage.  So a surprise seemed to be in order.  I had thought everyone was on board with the big surprise.  Apparently I spent a bit too much time priming the younger siblings on ways to keep things hush hush and not enough time with the friends and brothers.

We managed to keep him in the dark until the day before the party when he came home from school with a serious look on his face asking T and I "are you guys planning a surprise party for me?"  We played dumb and asked him why he would think such a thing.  I guess word got out at the school that there was a party on Saturday night, and some girl came up in the hall and asked him why she wasn't invited.  Whoops!  We were sufficiently confused to where I think he believed it to be an unfounded rumor.  Later we went and popped in a netflix video that evening.  Just Middle Boy, Little Boy, and myself.  It was one of the movies that we had planned on possibly using at the party.  Oh, btw, we were planning an outdoor movie shown with a projector on the side of the garage.  The weather was cooperating beautifully.  Maybe you read my dilemma about what movie to choose in my previous post.  We ended up going for Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein.  It's pretty much a classic.  Not sure if all the teens appreciated it as much as they should have though.  The Village would have been pretty sweet outside but I didn't want to be responsible for anyone's nightmares.  Anyway- I digress.  So in the DVD player goes the movie Dial M for Murder and out of my 11 yr olds mouth come the words "aren't we going to watch this at the outdoor party on Saturday?"  I could have killed him!  I gave him a look and he just repeated the question in front of Middle Boy a second time.  I think louder.  I walked out of the room and nodded my head for him to join me.  Like I thought this would keep it secret or something.  Middle Boy has always been my most observant child.  Why did I think I could pull this off anyways?  So after our little pantomime in the hallway we come back in the room and Middle Boy says "I see I'm having a surprise party after all eh?"  I tried not to be too hard on Little Boy.  He claimed not to even be aware that it was a secret.  He, being my least observant child can't really be blamed.  So we made a pact, the tree of us, that this would be our new secret.  The fact that he knew.  I of course told T.  But I felt that my little girls were too invested in the surprise part to not try and keep up appearances for them.

Next in the tangled web I wove was what to tell the family who had agreed to take Middle Boy for the day while we set up.  They were taking him home with them after a piano recital that both Middle Boy and their boy were in.  The plan was to keep him until 6:00 so we could set up.  Being the honest person that I am, I mentioned to the parents on the phone that he may have a pretty good idea of what was up due to a slip of someone's mouth at school.  I also told his friend outright that Middle Boy knew.  I suggested to him that he not let on that he knew about Middle Boy knowing.  To test Middle Boy, I asked his friend to report to me later on what he said or didn't say.  Tricky eh?  Like I said, too many secrets.

The last layer involved my husband. While T was setting up helium balloon clusters in front of the house he seemed confused when I told him that wouldn't work.  "Why, he already knows" was T's reply right in front of Big Girl who was suddenly devastated.  Thanks T.  I guess he didn't know she didn't know. Sigh!  Why can't my family just read my mind?  Sheesh, do I have to tell you everything?!  This was really getting silly.  I mean how many secrets can be broken in one day?  We calmed Big Girl down by telling her all the stuff he didn't know about yet.  The snacks, the outdoor movie, the decorations, what guests were coming.  Soon she was alright about the situation.  Whew! (Some of those were not really secrets any more btw.  Don't tell her Internets-more secrecy!)

So we pulled of a fake surprise and had a good time.  He never revealed his awareness to anyone at the party or to his friend and his family during the day.  Here are some photos to document all of our doings.  

Happy Birthday Middle Boy

Setting up in the back yard

Middle Boy's fake surprise face... Pretty convincing!

Blowing out his candles

Have you ever known a teen who loved a Snuggie?  We know one

What's in here?

A pillow with arms!

With a pillow with arms and a blanket with sleeves... He should be set!


Cherie said...

I loved your play by play of how everything backfired. That is the same kind of stuff that would have happened at my house! It is hard to do a surprise anything but I am glad it all turned out! Your boy looks very happy and I love that he has a Snuggie!!

Connie said...

Oh, the joy of (not) keeping secrets! There's always a mole somewhere!
It looks like it was a fun party. I hope the girl at school got invited!