This past weekend my oldest was invited to a birthday party. The day before we hosted a Canada Day party and I may have had a few too many celebratory cocktails. I peeled myself out of bed an hour before the party started, and wasn’t feeling 100%. Attending a child’s birthday party hung over is not my favourite activity. But it was all in celebration of Canada so what can I say.
We attend children’s birthday parties many weekends of the year and they all start to blend together but this one was different. I was intrigued to what a crabbing party involved so instead of dropping off my child and picking him up a few hours later I stuck around, and I am so glad that I did.
Rarely have I had the opportunity to learn anything at a child’s birthday party. We met the host family at the Sidney Pier, in Sidney BC. They came prepared with two crab traps, raw chicken and lots of rope. Sounds fun already, right? After putting the raw chicken in the traps with the help of the children they tossed the crab traps into the ocean and tied the ropes to the pier. Now we wait. I thought that it took days to catch crabs, but within the hour we caught 6 crabs. I learned that the females had to be released back into the ocean and how to tell the difference. They also had a gauge to ensure that the crabs were large enough to keep. We repeated the process three times over the course of the party, and caught 9 or 10 crabs, although a few needed to be returned to the ocean.
It was a great experience for me to learn how to crab, so I imagine that the kids also learned something. In addition, instead of cake we went to an ice cream store for dessert. Aside from the obvious panic of the ice cream servers, it was a great alternative and perfect compliment to the party.
The best part was that they gave away crabs instead of goody bags. Kidding, sort of. The kids got goody bags but the two parents in attendance took home crabs. Which in turn also made my husband very happy. Dinner that night was freshly caught crab, and even my son that attended the party ate crab for dinner. Nothing like working for your dinner.