Strawberry Piñata - april 24, 2010

My son loves strawberries. They excite him more than anything else in his life - more than ice cream, more than Elmo, more than Dora, even more than Thomas the Train. Only Lightening McQueen even comes close, but in the end he always loses to the allure of a strawberry. Today we celebrated my son's third birthday and, as you may have already guessed, the theme was strawberries.

We began talking about his party weeks ago. As a second child, my son does not have many friends of his own. He has plenty of pals who are younger siblings of his older sister's friends, but that's about it. And when I asked who he wanted to invite to his birthday party, he told me "My family. Mommy, Daddy, Lily". Which, of course, is very cute, but not particularly useful when you've rented the local party space and ordered a big cake. So for the next few weeks I spent his captive moments in the car talking about who he might want to have at his party - specifically which siblings of his sister's friends he actually sees on a regular basis or has begun to develop a personal relationship with. 

Even before we talked about party guests, we had discussed the party itself. "Piñata" he told me. "Strawberry piñata". The food was to include strawberries. For the party favor he specified "strawberry car" and for the cake he waffled between strawberry and Lightening McQueen which was, inexplicably, to contain raspberry filling. And so I began a quest for the largest strawberry around. 

After much surfing of the web, I settled on Romeo Osorio's Piñata Art Studio Gallery, because it had a nicely designed website and good photos. So the kids and I traveled out beyond Cesar Chavez Street one sunny afternoon to purchase a piñata. As expected, they were quite excited to walk into a shop filled with magical paper characters. There were Princesses hanging from the ceiling and Power Rangers dangling in the front window. There was a mermaid and Snow White and Cinderella. Mickey Mouse waved from the corner, dancing next to his pal Minnie. Even Thomas the Train and Lightning McQueen were there, sitting on the floor, humongous and within easy reach of giddy fingers. My son wrapped his squishy little toddler arms around Lightning, lifted him high into the air and spun around with joy. 

But there was no strawberry. On that day (which happened to be my birthday) luck was on our side, and with only four days notice Mr. Osorio promised a huge strawberry would be waiting for pickup that friday. Forty dollars sealed the deal, and we picked up two giant bags of authentic piñata candy, complete with several different styles of the foil wrapped strawberry candies I always get from my dry cleaner's treat bowl. It was, truly, the perfect thing. Though I probably should have done the math on eight pounds of candy divided between nine kids. 

The piñata was magnificent. Huge, bulbous and red, just as a strawberry should be. We packed it up with candy and let the kids beat it with a baseball bat - fabulous! 


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Love your blog, Heather! You are a wonderful writer.


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