“Oh, the Noise, Noise, Noise, Noise!”

Charlie: You can’t go changing the set-up of the party…you can’t change the plan IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PARTY!

Cassie: But your Dad and I were at a complete loss as to how to regain control. We had to come up with an alternate activity, something other than the video games to calm everyone down. It was all getting out of hand and my Lord, it was all soooo loud! Everyone seemed to like it when we changed gears and watched a little bit of “Ratatouille.” That was a really peaceful part of the birthday party.

Charlie: The plan was we see “Wreck it Ralph,” then we play video games BEFORE the food, then we go back to playing video games AFTER the food. Not another movie. There wasn’t supposed to be another movie. We’d already seen “Wreck it Ralph.” You’re not allowed to switch the theme of the party without telling me.

And Dad yelled a lot. YOU kept making deals with all my friends about coming over for individual play dates. Don’t make deals like that without checking with me first. I don’t want a bunch of one-on-one play dates. I wanted all my best friends here playing videos with me AT ONE TIME! That was the whole point of the party. THAT’S a birthday party. You really don’t know how to do a birthday party the right way.

Cassie: (sighing) Charlie, you weren’t really playing with all of your pals, anyway. Poor Jack was playing referee, organizing the tournament playoffs the whole time and keeping the peace. He was so sensible and smart. I love that kid. Did he even get to play? Once?!

Charlie: Yes, yes. He did. They’re all smart, Mom.

Cassie: Yes. You’re right. They’re all smart. And loud….and funny….Did you hear Jack make that crack about our white couch?

Charlie: No.

Cassie: His comment, when we first went into the living room to set up the video games, was, “You have a WHITE couch. Why do you have a WHITE couch?” Smarty pants.

Charlie: The kids in New Jersey are just as loud as they are here in California, Mom. Probably louder.

Cassie: Yea. I know. Well…all in all, did you have a little fun at least?

Charlie:  Yea.  I guess so.

Cassie: I saw you laughing. It was good to visit with your old pal, Eliot, at the end, right? Dad and I couldn’t have been too mean or strict because Eliot said he wished he could stay here and live with us at our house.

Charlie: That’s because of ME. Not you and Dad.

Cassie: Oh. Right.

Charlie: My friends and I….we’re really close….best friends….and when you’re best friends like that, you have to be loud…to celebrate. I love those guys.

Cassie: They love you too. You’re a good friend, Charlie. And I saw you trying to calm things down a couple of times. It’s hard to be the host of a party…the leader. But you really do have the stuff to make a great leader. You know that, right?

Charlie: Yea. Dad will probably never want me to have a party like that again.

Cassie: He just needs to rest.

Charlie: He can rest for a year.

Cassie: Exactly.

Charlie: Thanks for the birthday party, Mom.

Cassie: You are welcome, Charlie. Happy Birthday!

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