So we survived our first kid birthday party! Or rather, I survived it, since I was throwing it myself this morning, when Christopher was at work. I host this same group of three other moms, their three toddlers, and their three babies every couple of months for playgroup, so I'm used to the COMPLETE AND UTTER CHAOS that comes with eight children under three in one small house. No matter how well I prepare, inevitably something gets broken, something gets spilled, and someone gets stepped on. Add cupcakes, candles, presents, and balloons into the mix and--well, you can imagine.
But it's a rite of parenthood passage, isn't it, the first real birthday party? And this was a low-key, keep-it-simple one, with no formal games, no food other than one cupcake and a few apple slices apiece, and a 90-minute time limit. But still, people: mass chaos.
Given that, it was still a smashing success, I believe. The theme was Sesame Street (actually, more like just plain Elmo, since I couldn't find general Sesame Street party decorations--with Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, etc.--anywhere), and after three days of soaking rain the weather was absolutely stunning, so I peppered our yard out back with all the outdoor toys we have, and the kids ran around outside after cake and presents. Julia got two games--Hi-Ho Cherry-O (so old-school! love it!) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game--and a book called "Ten Minutes Till Bedtime." Structured, thought-centered activities and reading material; you'd think these other mamas who picked out these gifts know my daughter really well or something! (Love you, other mamas!)
Oh, but during all the joyous hubbub? When all the almost-three-year-olds were stuffing their faces with frosting and screaming about balloons and goody bags? Who was that over there in the corner by herself, in the high-chair, eating peas? Perfectly quiet, straining her neck as far as it would go to see over the dining room chairs to the kiddie table and the source of the happy ruckus? Swilling water from a sippy instead of an Elmo cup? Yeah, that would be Genevieve, second child extraordinaire, (almost) forgotten and ignored once again.
I promise, baby girl, when you turn one it's ALL ABOUT YOU.