Monday, February 6, 2012

A Preschooler's Birthday Party..Amplified

“Exactly what would you like to do for your fifth birthday?” I asked my nearly 5-year-old daughter.  Of course she replied that she wanted to have a princess party.  I explained that she could have a small family party, and then we could go somewhere fun and take a friend, like to the aquarium or to a museum.  Her look of boredom ruled that out.  “Well we could also do a small party and you could pick out a big present.  You know, if you have a big party, they cost a lot of money and you won’t get a lot of gifts too.”  “I want a party!” She told me, nearly exasperated.  “A big one!”
Okay!  I’ve created myself in my daughter for sure.  What is more fun that lots of attention and bling—all focused on you?!  I mean…who cares about a present really…when you can socialize with a group of friends!  So, here we go again, for the fifth year in a row.  We’ve spent too much money, a lot of time and effort, all for this hour and a half party that is going to exhaust us nearly into another vacation.
Just the invites are daunting enough.  Let’s face it friends, everybody hates attending birthday  parties…well, everyone other than the kids.  We are all so busy anyway, so the minute we get that little white envelope, we are already cringing.  Another few hours out of our weekend…no matter how much we love the child it’s for.  Once we get there, we always have fun—it’s just finding the time in our already packed schedules.  So, in turn, getting anyone to actually come to your kiddo’s party is always a stressful event itself.  You invite a million kids hoping that at least a portion of them come.  Sometimes things get crazy, and everyone RSVPS…and you wonder how you will cage the zoo.

Then buying all the groceries, planning the treats, festivities, the snacks…cleaning your house.  Counting and packing the treat bags.  What do you give in the treat bags anyway?  Remembering candy for the Pinata.   Why do we do all the craziness?
Because we have to.  Because our kids love it, and the smile on their faces are worth every penny and moment.  They bring us enough joy to last a lifetime…we can handle planning a party once a year.  If I have to hover over a cake using patience I don’t have to frost a three tier princess masterpiece (or mess rather)- so be it.  The bottle of wine that ensues after the party is over will be well deserved! 

(PS...Grandma ended up mastering the cake.  Thank you Grandma!!!)