I’m not writing the post I intended for today. Nope. Sorry. That will have to wait for another day. Today’s post is how irritating it is to plan a child’s birthday. What? Planning a party sounds fun. Especially a child’s party! Like those are meant to be fun, right? What’s your problem?
Well, grasshopper, lemme tell ya…It isn’t all pixie stix in gift bags! Here’s my gripe:
My son is turning three soon. (Like really soon, sooner than I want to admit because I’m way behind getting this nonsense organized!) His first birthday, we had everyone to our house, which was a giant clusterfuck of too many people in a tight space. I had to cook and clean and prepare the house for the inundation of my husband’s family, and try to sell the kid on the idea.
He sat in his high chair, stripped of clothing down to a diaper, while a flaming pastry was put in front of him and everyone began singing. He HATED it! But obligations were fulfilled and we set a bad precedent by which we must now adhere.
The next year, I swore to myself his birthday would be about him. So we had it at children’s museum where we have membership. It was great! His little buddies got an activity and cake and admission to a really fun place, while my son who was two, got to do whatever he wanted (which was run around the museum and have fun). The adults, however, pouted in the party room about how my son didn’t want to spend time with them (implying heavily that we should force him to stop having fun and succumb to obligation).
My thoughts on that was this: “If you want to see him, get out there and go play with him. He’s doing his thing, and does not give two fucks if you’re even here. Make an effort to engage him and make some fucking memories.” But no, no one wanted get off their asses and enjoy this free time with him in his natural environment. They wanted him paraded around like a birthday monkey, which was not happening. My kiddo doesn’t play like that.
This year, the rates have changed at the museum, and while we still want to have a fun time for him there, we feel the pressure from my husband’s family to have a thing that they might actually enjoy. (Here’s where I may lose some people.) Seriously, though, fuck that. Why we have to organize two parties for this kid because some ADULTS are butthurt that a toddler would rather go do his thing than cater to their whims is beyond me. But here we are…
So, now we have two parties to plan. Two sets of invitations. Two sets of RSVP’s to keep track of. A heavily restricted guest list. So many options and stressors, when the the point of this whole exercise is to celebrate my kiddo. I honestly don’t think he cares either way. Given his druthers, he’s happy to spend the day curled up in our bed with his iPad. He’s an introvert, and loves to have his alone time. Obligations are for suckers, and I guess I’m the biggest one out there.