First Birthday Parties: Yay or Nay?
You’ve made it a year. Your little baby is moving toward toddler status and in order to survive the emotions of that reality you put every ounce of energy toward one thing: the first birthday party.
What kind of a theme should little Tommy have? You know he loves trains right now. What about something more ethereal? We could have everyone take pictures in front of a sky background with the quote, “Dream big, little one.” It’ll be great.
You know what kind of theme little Tommy needs? The kind that says “I’M NOT OLD ENOUGH TO RECOGNIZE OR UNDERSTAND THESE ELABORATE DECORATIONS AND I CAN’T SUCCESSFULLY SWALLOW, LET ALONE DIGEST, ANY OF YOUR PARTY APPETIZERS.”
Now, here is where I should say that I know a lot of parents who very much enjoy putting together a party where every detail is linked to the other and the photo ops reign supreme. I, however, am not that person. And, if you aren’t that person, I want you to know you’re not alone.
I had my daughter’s first birthday party at a bar.
I ordered buckets of beer, bar snacks (sweet potato fries for the kiddos, totes healthy), covered a table with construction paper, tossed around some crayons and my best friend made the cake. Done. It was glorious.
I realize I might be the opposite end of the spectrum on this one. And, as I normally do in these posts, I would like to show my appreciation of the other side. I can understand that putting together the perfect event for your baby is a way some folks express their love. I choose to do that in other ways, such as spending $20 on a single, 4oz bottle of organic sunscreen, which I lather all over my child before I let her swim around a public pool filled with God-only-knows what chemicals. It’s fine.
We’re approaching my daughter’s second birthday and I’m seriously contemplating the following scenario: cardboard boxes and milk cartons.
Each kid gets their own cardboard box and milk carton. We will throw all of that crap in the backyard and let their imaginations decide the “theme”. What’s that Billy? Yours is a spaceship? Super, this is definitely a space party. A T-rex? Awesome, Susie, dinosaur theme it is.
When it’s all over we recycle the entire lot of “party supplies”. The environment wins, my bank account wins, and each kid thinks the party was built around his or her favorite category. I figure I have two more parties left before my child starts demanding I recreate the end scene of Frozen in our backyard in August. And, despite my big talk above, you know I’ll make it happen.