This week #SHJM turns three. How the hell do I have a nearly three year old?! When did that happen? I don’t want to be the irritating cliché of a mother that says, “I want time to slow down” and “they grow up so fast”, but hell it’s true! The saying “the days are long, (or nights in our case), but the years are short” completely resonates with me.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been planning #SHJM’s third birthday party. For his first birthday it was unashamedly all about me. My main criteria was a gorgeous venue, which either allowed me to bring my own, or served alcohol. The second requirement was a fabulous cake, (and it was spectacular!), and made with love by a friend, which made it all the better. As an afterthought I invited some of his friends, although it was mostly all about me (and #MJM too…sort of).
For his second birthday it was all about #MJM and me. We decided the best way to celebrate was a long weekend in a resort in Phuket, just the three of us. This time there was no alcohol, as I was 8 weeks pregnant with #ARWM. Don’t worry though, there was copious amounts of cake! And as it was his birthday, #SHJM was allowed to have his first real, sugar filled, ice-cream. This moment in his life, started a slippery slope of trying previous contraband foods, which he unfortunately now knows exist.
As we are being hurtled towards the third celebration, the focus has swung. Not only is #SHJM very aware he has a birthday approaching, he also has opinions on how this should be celebrated. I was moaning to a friend over lunch, about how horrendous I imaged this party to be, and she quite rightly brought me back to reality, by saying, “Isn’t this what a third birthday party should be?”. Of course she is right, and of course it’s right he has the moment of celebration he wants, now he is starting to have an opinion about it all, however I want it too! #MJM and I have been on the journey for the last three years as well, and we want to mark the occasion while we still can, and before the ball is completely in his court, so we have compromised. I appreciate some mums will say I’m being unreasonable (and I appreciate I am to some degree), but I just can’t get on-board with the chaos of an American movie style birthday party, with hundreds of kids (most of which I don’t know), making small talk with parents I don’t really know, and food that is likely to come with more health warnings than nutritional value.
The solution, we (I), have had to compromise…
Food – Obviously there will be a fabulous birthday cake and #SHJM chose the theme. When I say “chose”, I gave him two options from a pre-selected shortlist; dinosaurs or cars. He chose dinosaurs. I have also said we can have “colourful biscuits” (Lolly cakes), which we get as a treat if I pick him up from school at the local café. I have to admit after making them as a trial run, I am horrified about the ingredients, but he has been adamant that they will be at the party, so I will just hope the other mothers going don’t read this blog and google the recipe. Thankfully most of his favourite foods are perfect buffet items so there isn’t too much need for negotiation; a cheese board, homous & crudities and mini sausages.
A bouncy castle – I don’t actually have anything against this. Manically bouncing around knackering himself out means his daily nap happens earlier, lasts for longer and happens with less of a fight so is ideal! It’s win win.
Drinks – Let’s be honest the only way to survive a kids birthday party is a stiff drink. As the party starts at 11am I will be doing a Bloody Mary Bar. They are one of #MJMs favourite drinks and a great way to get the party going.
Guest List – This was a really tough one for me. #SHJM is an introvert and mostly struggles in large group situations like birthday parties. So I have tried to keep it as small as possible. My first list was the kids of my friends he plays with, the second were my friends who had kids (more my list), and third a few people from our condo he plays with on a daily basis. I decided against inviting his class as I didn’t know what the etiquette was about who to invite, so decided all or nothing, in this case nothing, was easier. This should give him about 10-15 friends there on the day which I think will probably still be over whelming for him, but should still be manageable. It also means I can hopefully enjoy chatting to people I actually want to celebrate with.
I’m hoping for a great, tear and tantrum free, few hours celebrating a fabulous little man with our friends and raising a glass to another year of surviving, and more importantly enjoying parenthood. However just in case the newly turned three-nager decides otherwise, wish me luck!
Mummy Milne xx