Children and Birthday Parties

So, last year I waited until the end of September to start thinking about DD1’s birthday. I learned kid’s birthday parties are sorta like weddings. You have to plan them far in advance.

By the time we started, it was far too late for most things, so we ended up hosting it at home.

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This was extremely stressful, and frankly, the party was only so-so for my daughter and her friends.

October starts my busy season at work. It’s also Halloween, other family members’ birthdays, including immediate family. Yeah, it’s a pretty full month. Let’s just say her party last year was half-baked, but we got away with it because most of the guests were four.

We won’t get that luxury this year, especially as DD1 will be in kindergarten. So, I started planning early.

I’m not Pinterest mom, but we can do better than putting everything together the night before the party. Yeah. We were real organized last year.

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So, so true.

So, here’s what I’ve come up with:

 

Dance Birthday

The dance place she dances at hosts children’s birthday parties. They provide an indoor venue (critical as we can have snow in October), and one of the instructors takes care of entertaining the monsters children. They also take care of the invitations, set-up and clean-up.

I’m leaning towards this because I’m really busy already. I bring the birthday child and cake. They do everything else

 

Water Park Birthday

There is a small indoor water park in our area. They offer birthday packages where the kids can play in the pool and on the water slides, then afterward they had a room for the monsters children to eat cake before I send them home.

However, this would mean getting into a swimsuit to help monitor them in the pool. I’d really rather not, but it’s an option.

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Not this kind, but I’d like it better!

Other

  • I’ve checked the YMCA, but all kids have to be 6 and older.
  • I asked her about bowling, and she said yuck. Didn’t like the bowling field trip at school and quit after less than one round.

 

As I’m offering the two choices above to my daughter, she proposes a third: an at-home Zelda party.

I squirm. I explain to her that our house is pretty small, she couldn’t have nearly as many friends over.

  • Read: I don’t want to clean and prep for the party. Or clean up afterwards. Or entertain monsters children for two hours.

She says she doesn’t care. She’ll just have fewer friends over. I try again, explaining that not many other children are going to know who Zelda is. She says she doesn’t care, they can come as other princesses.

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Not sure why it’s called Zelda when all you ever see is Link.

So, I back off. Maybe we can convince her later if we phrase it right.

We try again at dinner the next day, and I explain that the dance place has themes and she gets to pick the one she wants. She seems pretty happy about doing the party at the dance place and picked the princess theme.

Then, comes an awful, rushed, hectic morning. We’re finally in the car, with everything we need (I’d forgotten something and had to turn around twice), and now DD1 has me again trapped in the car.

You know where this is going. Yeah, like that.

She tells me she really doesn’t want to do a dance party. She really wants a Zelda party at home. I explain again that we can’t have as many friends come if we do the party at home. I explain again that I don’t think her friends will know who Zelda is.

She is undeterred.

She wants a Zelda party.

I told her to think about it. I have a little time yet to make a decision.

She gave me the patented DD1 look and said she’d think about it, but she already told me what she wanted.

*sigh*

How about you? Ever have to throw a child’s birthday party? Any pointers or tips?

7 Reasons Why Halloween Is No Longer My Favorite Holiday

It’s October, and many of my friends and neighbors are decorating for Halloween.

When I was a kid, I freakin’ loved Halloween! I would totally plan out my costume and let my imagination run. My mom did stop me from wearing my Wonder Woman underoos out in 30 degree weather (I wanted to be Wonder Woman for most of childhood years, but we lived in very cold places). My parents didn’t really get into making Halloween costumes, and the store bought Halloween costumes of the 1980s were awful . . .

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But man, when I dressed up like Batman, I felt so cool. And yeah, my Batman costume looked a lot like that Darth Vader one. But without the light saber.

My favorite year was the year I dressed up like a queen and got to wear a fancy party dress and a Burger King crown covered in glitter. I thought I was all that. My mom even let me wear a little of her lipstick. I truly felt royal.

Now that I’m older, however, Halloween has become a season to endure. Here are the top 6 reasons why Halloween changed for me:

 

  1. I Hate Scary Things – No scary movies, scary dolls, or haunted houses for me. I hate being scared, and more than that, I hate the nightmares it brings. Usually for weeks. I chalk this up to the over-active imagination that so many writers have. And, of course, to being a coward. As an adult, trying to avoid scary things during this time of year is always problematic. Doable, but only if you don’t channel surf. Never, ever channel surf during Halloween.

 

  1. Halloween Candy Is Not Longer Awesome – It’s no longer about making sure you hit the houses that give the best candy, then sorting through it and setting aside the chocolate while pawning off the candy corn to the one person in the world who’ll eat it. I know candy isn’t good for me, and I no longer have the metabolism of an eight-year-old to ignore that fact. I have also learned that if something is in the house, I will probably “forget” this and eat it. So, we don’t regularly have chips, candy, or junk food in the house. Except at Halloween.

 

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  1. Gotta share – And if I’m caught eating a piece of candy, DD1 and DD2 each need a piece of that candy. And neither of them can hold their sugar. Minutes after having said piece of candy, both are running around like someone lit their hair on fire. Usually whooping and screaming as if the aforementioned fire had indeed been lit. To which DH gives me a look that says he knows what happened and that the current insanity is totally and fully my fault.

 

  1. See #3 every time DD1 or DD2 gets a piece of Halloween candy they got trick-or-treating

 

  1. Can’t Take DD1 to Certain Stores – I have to be super careful of what stores I go in during this season and where we go in those stores. DD1 will cautiously peek down Home Depot’s aisles at the animatronics and ask me to repeatedly reassure her nothing is real. She still refuses to set foot in a certain store that scared her two years ago. I don’t know how she remembers anything from being that young, but boy does she.  She still points at the store and calls it the “scary place”. We haven’t shopped there since the crying, screaming hysterics when a grim reaper went off as we came through the entrance (and yes, it was her, not me).

 

  1. Can’t Take DD1 Past Certain Houses – One of our neighbors is very festive. They have an amazing Christmas display that is only rivaled by their Halloween display. Which has led me to needing to find creative ways around their house as DD1 flips out every time we drive past.

 

  1. DD1 Yells at Halloween Decorations – In her loudest possible voice. In the middle of the street as we’re taking a walk. In the middle of the sidewalk outside a shop. Or in the stores themselves. Things like: “I’m not afraid of you!” or “You don’t scare me!” Some people laugh. Some people stare. I just keep waiting for November 1st and the Santa decorations.