I'm only 3 years into this birthday party planning game and I'm already exhausted. Before you start thinking, 'oh poor her, she loves throwing birthday parties, wah...' Let's be clear: I'm not looking for sympathy because I know that it I have 100% done this to myself. But I can't help it, truly. TCB is my first and currently/possibly only child...which pushes me into this self-induced obsession of a pressure cooker of throwing the perfect birthday for my child. It cannot be undone. It's a sickness. And I know I'm not alone. Maybe you aren't like me (which I envy) but I guarantee you that you know a mama JUST LIKE ME.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at breakfast with a friend and she asked what I was doing for my son's birthday. I looked at her, dropped a couple of expletives and then proceeded to freak myself out on the inside. It was the beginning of March and we still had not decided what exactly what we were going to do. The first two birthdays, I knew where, when, how, theme, party favors... I mean, the first birthday party is actually a celebration of you, your husband/partner, and your child surviving, am I right? Like, a 'heck yes, we did it!' HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND! CHEERS! So that was easy. The second year, they are slightly more aware of people being gathered around/gifts/CAKE but still not so much that they actually care. And honestly, it's still way more about you because you're toasting to surviving the forthcoming year of toddler insanity. This year, the third year, I really was thinking about taking a pass on the big birthday thing. We've had a few things going on family & work-wise so if any year would be the year to pass, this would be it. Of course, this is also the year that Theo is the perfect age to start requesting birthday party themes. And being his father's child, he did not hold back for his first opinion on his birthday party. This child requests none other than a tiger-themed birthday. That's right, anything and everything with a tiger on it. He asked for a tiger cake, for the "real" Tom 3 and for Pouncer to make an appearance as well [Go Tigers Go]. Unfortunately, this doesn't exactly work for us.
You see, we just started Preschool this year and being a newbie parent, I did not anticipate that every classmate's birthday party would be at an actual party location. Somewhere besides their house. Somewhere without booze. Apparently, that's not the thing to do anymore? And my husband, being the smart man that he is, made it clear we were not having school friends and parents to our house. Mostly because renting a location for $250-$300 would be more cost-effective for him than what it would cost for what I would want to do to our house in order for me to be okay with us having new friends over. Insert eye roll here. Whatever. We still need new rugs though...
Anyway, I told myself I wouldn't overdo it this year. It's no big deal if we even skip it this year. No one cares. Not even Theo. I mean, he's only 3. What do 3-year-olds know? He just wants a freaking tiger cake. Right? WRONG. Instead, I lied to myself. Not only are we having a tiger birthday but we are also having a fireman birthday. If you read my intro then you will see that it actually foreshadowed this pattern in my life--I really love to go about things the hard way--never the easy and obvious path. Why would I start now?
So the rest of my week is gonna go a little something like this: I will continue to stress myself out Pinning and Googling things that I need for both parties while trying to sell Theo on this supercool and fun fireman party with his friends on Saturday. Then, I'll have family over the next day (because you know my house will have been kept clean and tidy all week) for his beloved Tiger themed-party. Why in the world would I do this you ask? Because I'm a MOM. A crazy mom, definitely. An obsessive mom, possibly. But mostly because we as moms love our nuggets so much that we will go to great lengths--highly stressful, anxiety ridden, I-think-I'm-losing-whatever-little-of-my-mind-I-have-left lengths, annually, to make their birthdays the best ever. Because they only turn 1, 2, 3, etc. ONCE. You only get those memories for that year ONCE. They are only this little ONCE. And for me, that will always outweigh my sanity.
Now excuse me, as I must finalize my $300 worth of last minute party crap from Amazon (huzzah for PRIME!) before I miss out on the free shipping.