Concerning Birthday Parties
September 19th, 2011
Buggie turns one on Friday. Miss Mouse will be three next month. Inquiring minds want to know: what sort of festivities are we planning for these momentous occasions? Will there be parties? Balloon animals? Themed cupcakes, pinatas, and goody bags?
It turns out that, as much as I adore parties — preferably with themes — I’m just not on board with birthday parties for babies and toddlers. I can’t muster up the enthusiasm for a no-holds-barred fete for my son, who won’t remember the event, or for my daughter, who doesn’t know she’s “supposed” to have a birthday party and thus won’t miss it.
I’m not a scrooge. We’re having Buggie’s godmother and her boyfriend over for dinner on Friday and there will be cupcakes for him to smoosh.* We got him a couple presents, too, but we’re keeping it pretty low key because…he’s one. How much stuff does he need?
Birthdays have been simple affairs for Miss Mouse, too. True confessions: last year, we didn’t actually give her presents. Wait! Wait! I can explain. I bought her a couple presents. I did. But then she got so many “congrats on being a big sister” presents just a few weeks before (and a great birthday gift from my parents), that we never got around to giving our presents to her. She was still enjoying her other presents so much, that there didn’t seem to be any point in adding to her haul. We saved them for Christmas.
This year, we’re still not doing a party for Miss Mouse. At least not an official birthday party. This weekend, seventeen (yup) of her friends from school are joining us on an outing to a local pumpkin patch. It’ll be great fun. She’ll spend time with her friends in the great outdoors without being inundated with gifts she doesn’t need sporting characters from television shows she doesn’t watch.
We’ll do birthday parties some day. As soon as she asks for one, I’ll be happy to oblige. My goal is not to deprive my children of joyous birthday memories. I just want to avoid the consumerism of the parties as long as possible.
*Which is more than can be said for my first birthday, upon which occasion my parents gave me a Twinkie. I was in heaven. Which really just illustrates my point…