It’s my party and I’ll plan it like I want to…
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I’d like for you to meet Angie B. Angie B. is a sweet, sweet friend that I hope will be a regular contributor here on She Wears Many Hats. Please welcome her and make sure to leave a comment. Hope you enjoy! ~ Amy
I love birthdays, I really do. Gifts, cake, a whole day celebrating one’s arrival on the planet, what’s not to love? Birthday PARTIES however, are another story. The kid’s kind, I mean. The planning and hosting of.
I know there are those moms out there (I call them “Martha Stewart moms“, you know who you are) who really do a fantastic job at this. You can tell lots of thought and planning go into their parties. There’s a creative “theme” and all the decorations, plates, cups, cake, and even the games follow the theme. They have the parties at their spotless, well decorated homes, perhaps their husbands, older children, and pets dress up as characters and participate. Yep, happens every day, all over the world. I know it because I’ve read about them in parenting magazines and on websites, complete with pictures of the smiling cherubs on their special day, next to Spot in his superhero cape.
Then there are moms like me (There ARE others aren‘t there?) who somehow manage to overlook the fact that their child’s birthday is approaching until about a week before it arrives. (“Are you kidding me? Has it been another year already??”) Then it’s a scramble to get their friend’s addresses for the invitations, order a cake, find somewhere to have the party that isn’t already spoken for at this late date, and convince the husband that it’s reasonable to pay out good money to hold your party somewhere other than your own kitchen, which he points out (quite unreasonably) is free.
It usually works out though. Kids are wonderfully easy to please, I‘ve found. If there’s cake, ice cream and other kids that’s pretty much all they need to have a good time. When I say “kids”, I do have a particular age group in mind. I usually don’t plan (and I use that word loosely, obviously) a real “party” until my kids are five years old. At that age, they start school and find out that there is such a thing and that it is more than your grandparents coming over and having cake after dinner. Then the cat is out of the bag. Darn loose-lipped public school kids.
I did actually plan a party for my firstborn on his very first birthday. New mom craziness, I guess. Had it at my house even. Made little cupcakes and thought I was really clever arranging them in the shape of a “1”. Yep, Martha Stewart mom I am NOT, but I did hang streamers and put a bouquet of balloons on his little high chair. I even had my husband borrow a video recorder to document the historic event. This was back before everyone had the little palm sized deals, this thing went on your shoulder like you see on TV camera crews. He was not thrilled but he agreed.
Now, I don’t want to complain but the footage was, well, let‘s just say he‘s as good a cameraman as I am a party planner. He went out to greet the first guests. Wish I could remember who they were, what we later saw on the tape was the ground and Ben’s right shoe. Later, as we sang “Happy Birthday” to that precious little angel, I’ll bet his face was alight with joy and surprise. I’ll bet he looked curious and excited. I can’t say for sure, but I can tell you that the camera shot of the stove directly behind him was nicely framed and in focus. Thankfully, we do have some still camera shots of that day. It looks like everyone was having fun but that was it for me. That marked the first and last pre-school birthday party I have planned.
When they get to be around 11, they usually decide they’re too old for that kind of party (okay, maybe I float the suggestion…is that wrong?) and we go to a much more laid back kind of plan where they invite 2-3 friends and we take them bowling or to a movie and then back here for pizza. Very low-key, no planning involved. I can do this.
However, due to the 10 year age gap between our first two children and our last two (Yes, I know what you’re thinking, I do family planning as well as I do party planning) I only got to enjoy that respite for a couple of years. My oldest daughter turned 5 last year so I dutifully called the skating rink and arranged for all her little friends to meet us there and a rollicking good time was had by all, judging by the pictures. And as I write this I am pleased to say we just celebrated her 6th birthday and, despite the fact that it was arranged approximately 7 days beforehand, she pronounced it the “best party ever!”. Take that, Martha!
Now, before you send Amy hate mail (Yeah, please don’t send me hate mail – I love party planning. I do tend to go overboard though. ~ Amy) for posting “anti-party” pieces dissing the world’s most beloved entertainment diva, let me say that I really ADMIRE those moms who put in the effort to make their kid’s parties so special. I’m a bit envious, truth be known.
~ Angie B.
Everybody’s got their own style when it comes to celebrating, what’s yours? Do you enjoy planning elaborate, themed parties or are you more of a “call a couple of friends & pick up a cake on the way home” kinda gal? Share your favorite party planning tips!
OR is there a time when you went over the top with some crazy party plans only to realize later that the guest would’ve been happy with Twinkies and “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”? Please do share.