Wednesday, January 11, 2012

so many thoughts, so little time.

M commented this morning about my recent lack of blogging, which I already knew about. I'm the blogger that's not been blogging after all. I told him, "I don't really have much to say right now." He told me that the mundane posts are the good ones. (For him at least as they act as little windows into home in the middle of his days...they are likely just mundane to the rest of you.)


Since that time (approximately 545am), I've had half a dozen things to blog about pop into my head. Here's one.

S's birthday is coming up soon. She'll be five, which is mind blowing. Five seems so much older than four. Four is a little kid. Five is a kid that goes to elementary school. I am simultaneously SOOO ready for S to go to kindergarten and so nowhere near ready for my precious angel baby girl to be gone from me five days a week. Before I ship her off to kindergarten, though, she has to have a birthday party.

She wants a snowflake party. Fine with me. Her requests are usually funny. Like when she tells me she wants a surprise party and goes on to plan it in minute detail. The requests that are constant and real and not to be ignored are simple. Chocolate cake, white frosting, silver sprinkles. Sandwiches. Bell peppers. Apple juice in silver cups. A snowflake pinata. Balloons.

When she decided on the snowflake-themed party, I did what all reasonable mamas of our age do. I got on the internet and started looking for ideas. Lots of ideas. Decor. Food. Favors. Activities. You name it.

Then I stopped myself. Why was I doing this? There are some things about parties that are amazing and memorable, but those things are rarely born of copious amounts of internet research. They tend to be more organic. They tend to be things your children actually ask for. You know what S has asked for? A pinata and balloons. So, that's what she's getting.

When did a child's birthday become a reason to stress out beyond all reason and spend a mortgage payment?

When S and her friends have birthday parties, I don't think the children have ever noticed the decor or lack thereof. They want to play, and they want to eat cake. S and her friends also want to swing sticks at pinatas, which is fine with me. I think parents go hog wild on the parties for themselves and to impress other people. Don't get me wrong, I love to throw a party, and I love to do cute stuff (especially involving my little peanuts), and it's totally cool to go hog wild if you want to, but I'm making an effort this year to just have a nice, relaxed time with my girl for her birthday. I'm going to have the food she's asked for. I'm going to work on making her day about her, not about making marshmallow snowmen with a bunch of kids that are all jacked up on sugar.

What do you think? Were your birthday parties memorable as a child? What made them memorable?


Leslie said...

My brother and I both have September birthdays so we generally had a joint party outside in our backyard with friends and family, hotdogs and hamburgers, and games that were mostly free to play. They were delightful.
You're right: the experience is what you remember, the decorations, not so much...

die Frau said...

We definitely had cake, hats, noisemakers, that sort of thing. When my stepbrother was in town (he lived with his mom in GA), we had joint birthdays because we're both March babies, and we had SPARKLE THE CLOWN! She was very, very nice and fun, not at all scary.

But I think I remember the most just running like a mad thing around our yard with my friends and the spiderweb maze: the parents set up a string for everyone that they've tangled together in a sort of maze for the kids. Once you get to the end of your string, there was some little prize attached. I now realize the genius of it: While the kids were absorbed in this, the parents got to chill or clean or what have you.

I agree, no need to knock yourself out. Also, FIVE!?!?!? Who let this happen????