Celebrating Four With a Little Ninja Warrior Training

Sunday marked the final stretch of the Samuel birthday marathon. Apparently four is the age when children gain full understanding of the benefits of a birthday (presents! cake!). Samuel didn’t even notice that I was too busy to plan anything for him last year, but this year my Mummy guilt kicked in so we invited everyone from his daycare class and a few other friends for a couple of hours at The Playground Gym – we called it Ninja Warrior Training.

Side note: if you live in Portland and you’re looking for a big padded room where small children can run around and burn some energy, then you can’t go wrong with this place. The entire space is reserved for just your group and parents are free to stand around and chat while the kids have fun with free play and a few activities that are set up by the Gym’s “coaches”.

The party was great, with the only wet blanket coming courtesy of the birthday boy himself. Turns out that the only person he wants to play with is his big brother, so he spent a good portion of the party sulking and refusing to play after his friends arrived.

No one else seemed to notice, only his slightly mortified parents.

The coaches set up obstacle courses for the kids and then they were encourage to do the course over and over and over again. Awesome!

At one point Thomas declared the course to be too easy. I think he was looking for more of a Ninja Warrior challenge. Still, it didn’t stop him from doing the course over and over and over. Thomas also made it to the top of their wooden tree for the first time after many past attempts. He conquered a big fear.

We took a short break for birthday cake and snacks. I wasn’t able to get a photo of the candle because I was instructed (by a very bossy four-year-old) to stand right behind him as he blew it out.

And, no, of course I didn’t make the cupcakes. Helen Bernhard has been my dedicated birthday cupcake supplier for about six years. Samuel chose the vanilla cake with a Batman ring while Thomas went for chocolate and Superman.

Then it was back to playing. Thankfully, the birthday boy perked up. It might have been the sugar hit.

Oh, wait. Invasion of personal space alert!

These next couple of photos crack me up. I wish I knew what happened here to cause Samuel to make that face.

Thomas decided his obstacle of choice was the rope. He would have spent all day hanging on this thing if he could.

Finally, a genuine smile from the birthday boy. On the drive home he asked “how many days until my next birthday?” I think that means he had a good time.


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