Party Pooper

I’m away this week on a family vacation in CA/AZ, so I asked a few friends to send me guest posts. Some are new and some are golden oldies, but all are as fantastic as the women who wrote them.

Today, Jill from Scary Mommy tells us about her love/hate relationship with birthday parties (you may remember this one from last year). Jill isn’t afraid to show her scary side when it comes to motherhood, and she does it with a rare combination of grace and humor.

Welcome Jill!

You should know that I love birthdays. Truly. I love the never-ending countdown until the big day. I love to spoil my children rotten, waking them up with pancakes and balloons and making them feel like it’s the best day of the year. I love buying them gifts, wrapping them and hiding them, eagerly anticipating their reactions. It’s so much fun. Having said that, I’m not a big fan of birthday parties. As a host I find them draining, expensive and stressful. As a guest they rank pretty low on my list of what I’d like to be doing on a Saturday afternoon, slightly above a trip to the pediatrician and several notches below spending a rainy day at home.

For Lily’s third birthday, I handmade every stupid invitation from scratch, slaving over them for weeks. I cut, I printed, I drew, I glued, I tied. It was work. And they were good. A few days later she found a cheap Cinderella fill-in-the-blank in her cubby and asked why she didn’t get to have the beautiful princess invitation too? It was so much nicer that what she had. Lovely. Her most recent party was a joint effort during which I learned that I am way to much of a control freak to ever plan a party with anyone again. Ever.

When one of the kids get invited to a party, it’s rubbed mercilessly in the others face for weeks. Once the big day comes, the cheap trinkets the attendee brings home are suddenly the most desirable toys in the house. The fights over them can last for days. Balloons inevitably end up in the ceiling fan and the sugar crashes far outweigh the high that preceded them.

And what about the blowing out of the candles? I think this is the oddest of traditions. When else is it considered acceptable for a kids to spit all over communal food? After I’ve survived the pure chaos of a party, your kid needs to spit all over the cake that mine is about to consume? And then take another deep gasp and do it again? And again? How difficult is it to blow out five candles in one breath? And this is after the icing has inevitably been taste tested by a slew of grimy pre-school fingers. Yuck.

Am I the the only one gagging over spit on cake, or do I have some company here? Or have I just forever ruined birthdays for the rest of you?

Thanks for dropping by Jill…and for ruining birthday cake for me. You’re the best!

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