chocolate chunk cookies and nerf wars

Amys Gluten Free Pantry

Tonight we entered unexplored territory in the form of an 8-year old boy birthday slumber party. Because my husband and I are not saints, and we’re definitely not martyrs, we set the limit to a total of six kids. Painstaking whittled down from a list of 20, these 2nd graders descended like hoards of hungry locusts after a teeth-chattering swim. Clad in flannel pajamas and wet hair, they sat down to a dinner of pizza (gluten-free, compliments of Contes for my son), and went at it like carb-loading army rangers before a drill.

During dinner, there was a hearty competition as each professed their undying love for the pizza they were devouring (the honor is yours, Madras Deli), each proclaiming their love to exceed all others. A love so devout that one little boy announced with pride that when his teacher assigned the project of writing a business letter to the student’s favorite company, he chose to write to Madras Deli. The competitors bowed out gracefully as a winner was silently declared.

Next, they discussed what happened on the black top earlier that day during recess, as one guest relayed how he had been struck in the “tenders” by a wayward ball. Peels of laughter rang through the kitchen as each boy left his seat to demonstrate a blow-by-blow re-enactment. What followed next was a gas-passing, belch-fest of testosterone. With dinner consumed, nerf guns in hand, two teams of three perused dark hallways and pelted each other with soft orange bullets.

But soon the presents beckoned and my son tore through them, one of which was, you guessed it…a nerf gun. Moving back to the kitchen, the kids ate sticky Chocolate Puffed Rice Treats and Chocolate Chunk Cookies compliments of Pamela’s. With the tip of a knife, I made a tiny incision into a cookie and wedged a single candle in it. The boys sang the requisite birthday song ending it with “…and many more on Channel 4, and Scooby-Doo on Channel 2, and a big fat lady on Channel 80, and all the rest on KPBS.” As the song ended, the boy who loves Madras pizza so dearly looked at the group of boys and said, “Okay guys, I’m gonna go shoot something.”

They are now hunkered down in the living room, (because those are the comfiest couches), watching Jack Black in Gulliver’s Travels, and looking forward to the part of the film featuring an “atomic wedgie.” I know what a wedgie is, however I’m not familiar with the context of this particular wedgie, but I know that in an hour and 20 minutes, they will surely tell me. When the movie ends, they will crawl into the 6-man tent my husband and I set up in the sunroom and will hopefully fall into a deep, 8-year old boy, dream-filled sleep.

I’d like to be able to tie all this back to nutritious gluten-free treats, but the fact is, these boys ate pizza and lots of sugar for dessert and are now in a carb coma, blissfully watching a middle-aged man cavort on pay-per-view. And I’ve got to think, it just doesn’t get much better than this.


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