If I Build an Ironman Pinata, will Robert Downey, Jr. Jump Out of It?

Mbot’s Ironman Action Figure

Because it feels like after all this work, he really should. Or at least send some of his box office proceeds to stuff into the near-life-sized limbs of Ironman, The Killer Pinata.

I’m making it for Mbot’s fourth birthday, and even if Robert just sent a boxful of one dollar bills, it’d make Mbot the most popular guy on the block. Maybe we could invite the neighbor who called not only the animal control people but also the police when she saw Junebug, our twelve-year-old Caninus Benignus, on the grass outfront without a leash. That might soften her up. Or wait–we could put that lady inside the pinata…but that is so unneighborly of me.

Leonardo da Vinci’s other lost notebook. Medieval renderings of an Ironman-like figure discovered within. Not for sale. Bill Gates, eat your heart out.

I have a soft spot in my heart for arts and crafts, but I have never made a pinata, and the last time I did paper mache, I couldn’t yet ride my bike (even though it had training wheels). But I am never as happy as when I face off with an artsy fartsy challenge with no step-by-step set of directions.

I would have prefered to make a much smaller pinata. I would have prefered to make, say a Saturn pinata. Or even a monster pinata, because monsters can be round with party hat horns. But although I did everything but repeatedly whisper these ideas into Mbot’s ear when he was asleep, he refused to change his mind. He wanted an Ironman pinata. And so I searched the internet and there were none (and if there is, I can’t imagine how much it would cost.) And then Gbot and I were in Party City searching for the perfect balloon to use as a form, and there, on the wall of two hundred mylar balloons, was Absolutely Nothing.

We were just about to give up, buy the giant round balloon and paint a picture of Ironman on it. Lame. And that’s when I spotted the giant “It’s a Boy” balloon. Well, obviously, it was made to be Ironman’s torso.

Obviously, this balloon was designed to be Ironman’s torso, only upside down. We could have picked the “It’s a Girl” one, but decided this was more appropriate.

My plan is to make several really small round pinatas, along the way, to ascertain how many layers of The New York Times I will have to shred to make a pinata that breaks under a reasonable amount of pummeling, but that doesn’t break too soon. (If anyone has any idea, please don’t hesitate to chime in. Suggestions would be cheerfully welcome, just please try to refrain from calling me a big fat delusional optimistic over-achieving idiot on my own blog)

Mbot rescued a picture of a baby and a picture of a ballerina from the glue paste. They are now on the refrigerator door. Maybe forever.

I think the test spheres will be valuable because, a few months ago, we attended a party where the Beauty and the Beast pinata withstood no less than forty wallops with a baseball bat. Finally the birthday girl’s father–who if he were given a red and gold bodysuit could reasonably pass for Ironman–had to attack it himself–and it took him about ten swings to finally break the damn thing. It was eighty degrees out and he was worried that the chocolate inside would melt. Husbot could not reasonably pass for Ironman, and it would be embarrassing to have to take a hammer to it. But it would also be unfortunate if it broke on the first swing.

In spite of everything–common sense, past experience, the little voice inside my head (I swear, there’s only one)–I am enjoying the process–the whole process: from discovering the giant bottle balloon to figuring out how to make the forms for his limbs. (After brief internet research, small balloons, printer paper, and masking tape, I think).

Two coats of paper mache. Don’t laugh. I swear it will look like Ironman by June 23. I am in deep doodoo if it doesn’t.

But I am discovering that, like vomiting, paper mache is an activity best undertaken alone. The bots helped me apply the first layer of newspaper and flour paste to the recalcitrant, helium-filled bottle balloon, and it was a thirty-minute exercise in fast-twitch muscle use and multitasking skills. Gbot mutinied after ten minutes, which was almost worse, because I could not physically insert myself between him and danger. I was elbow-deep in pinata paste. The only thing that lends itself less to simultaneous child care is deboning a chicken.

Stay tuned for The Further Adventures of Ironman: The Killer Pinata.

4 thoughts on “If I Build an Ironman Pinata, will Robert Downey, Jr. Jump Out of It?

  1. One of the most important things to remember for a successful pinata is DO NOT OVERFILL said pinata. An overfilled pinata is made unbreakable by the solid mass of candies inside. 🙂 I can pretty much guarantee that was the problem with the Beauty and the Beast disaster.

    • THANK YOU! I had NOT thought of this. Would have been such a shame to do all my strength-per-square-inch testing and then fill it up to the gills. Thanks to you, I will appear much smarter than I am. :>

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