Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What Day Is It? What Month Is This?

Last night Derek informed me Caedmon's birthday is this Saturday.  This was astonishing news.

I seriously have no idea how this happened.  I mean, since when are we in the month of September?

Oh, since around two weeks ago?  Great.  Thanks.

The problem is this:  I'm not much of a birthday person.  I mean, I have nothing against birthdays, personally.  I certainly don't mind celebrating a specific person on a specific day.  I've never really struggled with the notion of getting older.

I guess it's not so much the birthday itself as it is the birthday party.  I don't do birthday parties.  Birthday parties are not my love language.  My spirit animal is not a party hat.

The reason this is a problem is that I am the mother of young children.  Um, have you seen the kinds of birthday parties kids get these days?  On a production level, they rival my wedding, in size, budget, food, everything.  It is crazy.  So to be a mom that doesn't really do birthday parties?  I might as well announce that 90% of our kids' clothes come from garage sales, between the three of them they're involved in zero extra-curricular activities, and they never eat organic anything, except by accident.  (Oh, wait.  THAT'S ALL TRUE.)

Strangely enough, however, I enjoy hearing about other people's extravagant party preparations.  You're having a Disney Fairies-themed party for your four-year-old, complete with homemade fairy wings for each party guest and a special activity where they make pixie dust out of glitter and whatever else you make pixie dust out of?  You're throwing a bee-inspired party that begins with an educational but fun presentation for the kiddies on how honey is made and ends with kids donning special pint-sized suits and collecting their own honey from the apiary that you of course have in your backyard?  You've decided to host a Fireman Birthday Party for junior with birthday cake en flambe and a ride around town on the local firetruck?  Bring it on.  All of it.  I love hearing about that kind of crap.  Tell me what favors you're sending home, what games and decorations you've spent the last week preparing, what food you've dyed to within an inch of its life so that it will exactly match the special balloons you bought.  I will listen to all of it.  And if you have pictures, even better.  Just don't expect me to ever reciprocate.

I will cook you a special birthday supper.  I will bake you a special birthday cake/cupcake/pie/giant cookie.  I will sing "Happy Birthday" to you and not change key in the middle.  I might even let you invite a single friend over, providing I know them and have deemed them not-super-annoying.


And I think it goes without saying I will never do this:


(via)
Kids Birthday Party Theme Decoration Ideas photo
What?




Or this:

(via)
What?





Or this:

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Image via Mommy Babble
What?




Or this:

(via)
Image via Amy Atlas
What?




Instead, I'll make you a deal:  I won't spend hours and hours and hundreds and thousands of dollars on these kinds of parties, but I also won't become a crazy person trying to get it all to look just so and make you hate me because I've gone stark raving mad over the fact that Hobby Lobby is all out of sage- and salmon-tinted burlap so I won't be able to execute the perfect pennant banner which means the whole party is RUINED and my life is now OVER.

Which is pretty much the only inevitable outcome if I were ever to try and throw a party like that.  

Our kids should be thanking me, really.

8 comments:

  1. Oh my god, I HATE how competitive kids birthday parties have become! I have been lucky with this (as with so many things), Emma has always wanted her party at our house, and it has involved Emma having friends over to play, and a cake. Blow up some balloons, and those kids are all set to go. This held true even at her last party, when she turned 12. She does spend lots of time planning and decorating, but SHE does it, not me. The decorations look very nice, but I don't think the plans ever come to fruition --once the kids are here they just do whatever, often involving the hammock and swing.

    We also don't do "goodie bags". Many years ago we decided to get party gifts that were more worthwhile --last year the girls got a fashion-stencil-notebook, and the boys got table-top basketball games. One year everyone got journals and colored pens. We hate the little plastic junk that comes in goodie bags and would rather pay for real party gifts than continue to force that junk on other parents :-)

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  2. So if I asked you to decorate for Adi's birthday it's a no? I was thinking the last picture would be really cute :) Or i'll just get the pink plates and napkins at the $ store as planned and the bingo and be done with it :)

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  3. My spirit animal is not a party hat. LOL

    I never did a fancy party. (Were those pictures from Martha Stewart?!)

    When we had dinosaur parties (I have 4 boys) we'd hide plastic Easter eggs and play "Dinosaur Egg Hunt". I'd use playdoh (homemade or purchased) for the kids to build volcanoes with a hole in the center on top of sturdy paper plates, then we'd go in the yard to let them "erupt" with baking soda and vinegar (add a few drops of red food coloring and it looks like orange lava). A large dinosaur drawn on a bit of butcher paper can let you "pin the tooth on the T-Rex". A goodie bag to take home can include little plastic dinosaurs from the dollar store, a sheet of dinosaur stickers, and whatever else. Bake a sheet cake and decorate with (very carefully washed) dinosaurs also bought at the dollar store. This of course is aimed at the preschool set, but it's what jumped into my head tonight.

    My husband hates goodie bags but they seem to be expected. I compromised by only giving them for birthday parties in the single digits. (Once the kid reaches 10 years of age, we tried to have fun without sending them home with junk.)

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  4. I remember a birthday party I went to when I was real young. The basement was all set up with tables and hats and paper plates and cups. I was the only kid that showed up. I have never had any desire to host parties for that very memory. I think my kids turned out fine and you must too cuz you married one. :)

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    Replies
    1. I remember having birthday parties, so I don't know what you mean by this

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    2. Becky, that is the saddest story! Glad at least you were there!

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  5. I love this. And you guys.
    Mrs. Z aka: "Hannah's mom"

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  6. What. EV. er! (eye roll)

    You need to hang out with some different people. We might blow up a few balloons (if I happen to have any) and let the birthday kid blow out candles (unless I forgot to buy some) but then the whole reason we invited friends over is so the kids would all just go and play.

    Whoops, did I say that out loud?

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