Must we do this to ourselves? Must we?
Every year, I say, "That's it! No more complicated, expensive, stressful birthday parties for the kids. We're keeping it simple!"
And this year, I thought I was. For Holland's first birthday, we were keeping it cheap and chill! We decided to hold a picnic-style party at our local Coronado Concert-in-the-Park. It's basically a mellow night of music (played by musicians and bands of varying talents ranging from Pretty Good to Totally Shitty) on Sunday nights at our local park. Everyone brings wine and snacks,and the kids run around and cause a ruckus where the parents sip and pass judgement from a distance.
We would offer guests champagne and cupcakes, sing happy birthday, and that's it! Everyone would bring their own food and bevies, and they could hang and enjoy the music.
Could it be any chiller? Why yes, it could.
Here is what the birthday girl's face looked like for the duration of the party:
Need I say more?
To be fair, this was not my fault, nor was it due to some grotesque error in party planning. Poor Holland (who is usually quite a jolly, happy little baby) decided to get her canine teeth in (or suffer the brunt of the pain) on the very day of her birthday. Her afternoon nap was short and screwy, and for some reason she decided to scream in horror whenever her beloved Gampy approached her at the party. WTF?
So yes, I was a STRESSED-OUT SPAZ at my child's birthday party.
I was already mildly stressed and tired from packing up all the champagne and cupcakes and trying to make sure that all needs would be accounted for in the park, while my husband decided to NAP ALL DAY.
And yes, Ian dutifully helped me load the car up and get things organized when it was time to go...but still...HE NAPPED ALL DAY. He shouldn't be allowed to do that while I'm packing up watermelon in tupperware and filling a cooler with juiceboxes and booze. He shouldn't be allowed to SLUMBER while I'm wondering, Do we have enough cups? What if no one comes? What if we run out of cupcakes? What if I slice off my finger cutting watermelon?
Thank goodness my mother-in-law was there to help me (and yes, Ian pulled through at the end) but I was still a spastic mess.
And, for whatever reason, this was the face we saw for most of the party. (I'm showing it to you again in case you missed it the first time.)
So I'm feeling like shit because my kid is clearly NOT enjoying her party. Whenever someone over 3-feet-tall approaches her to wish her a happy birthday, she bawls in horror.
Then big-sister-Marley, who was having a great time, representing for the family, spills the bubbles out of her bubble wand, then promptly sits down in the bubbly grass. She leaps up screaming "NOOKS AND CRANNIES!!!! MAMMA MY NOOKS AND CRANNIES! THEY ARE BURNING!!! MY NOOKS AND CRANNIES!!! FIRE!!!" So we had to haul ass to the port-a-potties to make sure her nooks-and-crannies were ok, despite the stinging interlude with the bubbles (they were.)
Yeah. Well, it WAS great to see all my friends and their little kiddos, and Marley had a blast. Even Holland perked up when she got her cupcake.
But at the end of the night, I was sweaty, exhausted, pissed-off, and drunk from pounding champagne in plastic cups to block out the sound of Holland's crying.
Whew....anyone else do this? Get stressed out throwing their kiddos parties, even when they're trying to keep it all mellow and SIMPLE? GAW!!!