When it comes to our children’s first few birthdays there tends to be two camps. The all out, all the money all the fuss birthday party, which actually is pretty much everyone for the first year. I get it, your child only turns 1 once, or 2 or 3, they are the apple of your eye and you want to celebrate them. After all I still want to celebrate my birthdays with others so why I shouldn’t I celebrate my children’s?
There is however a second camp, the camps that legitimise the why we don’t have to celebrate birthdays with an all out foray. ‘They don’t understand a birthday’ ‘we’ll just spend the day together and sing them happy birthday’, ‘big birthday parties are a waste of time and money at this age’.
We’ve all heard it.
You may have seen over on Instagram or indeed this here blog that my littlest toddler has just turned two. Being the cruel mother that I am the day went by without huge celebration. The poor little man didn’t have much of a first birthday either, I do believe we took him to the pub. He enjoyed it though. I am sure. Can you tell what camp I am in?
Before you decide however keep this in mind…
You see the problem with being the often unfortunate second child is that sometimes all the fuss is not made.
We did the big, pointless, first birthday for the first-born. Decked the garden out with all kind of baby paraphernalia and a BBQ invited all the babies and all the family and friends. In reality it was pretty atrocious. My second born was still in neo natal care, despite being 4 weeks old. I spent the entire day running around trying to make sure everyone’s drinks were full, they were fed and happy, whilst nipping out to express my milk every 2 – 3 hours. I didn’t even see a great deal of the birthday girl. It all culminated in me crying at about 6pm as I still had not made it to the hospital to see my boy and I couldn’t bear to think of him let in his incubator without anyone coming to see him all day. With that I was swiftly booted out the door and hot footed it to the hospital quick sharp, eyes still hot from all the tears.
I confess to even having a second birthday party for the first born’s second birthday, despite swearing vehemently that I would never have another party. Again, it is all the effort hosting a shebang in the garden, we hired inflatable things, toys and again got the barbie out. Once more I don’t recall seeing an awful lot of my children, instead running around hosting, topping up glasses and serving food. I assume my children had a great time. Oh and it rained.
So no more I said. That is the end of the birthday parties until they go to school, when no doubt they will have a birthday party from the age of 5 – 21. So be it.
We’re living up to this thus far. The boy did not have a second birthday party. In fact on his actual birthday he went to nursery. It is the one day a week that we pay for. Both children enjoy it and have a good time there doing lots of varied and stimulating activities. I know they will make a fuss of him and he will enjoy it. Judge however you see fit, I don’t care. I picked him up early and we had a small but lovely birthday tea.
He loved his presents, well his sister did. She ‘helped’ him to open them and then play with them.
I suspect she will get the concept of ‘birthday’ when she turns 3 in a months time. He had a big old fuss made of him by all those who attended and he had the mother of all birthday cakes.
So no I may not have gone all out with parties, party bags and invite list but effort was certainly made. Together, with both children we made that bad boy. Yes, you may see him being involved in making his own cake as a negative, he didn’t though. He loved it. It is a very simple Victoria sponge cake, iced and decorated. I confess, we cheated on the icing and brought Betty Crockers pre made icing. Come on I was baking with a then one and two-year old .
It was the decorating they loved most. We decorated with Kit Kats around the edge, but chocolate fingers work just as well. We also used crispy M&Ms and Rowntree’s Randoms and Fruit Pastilles. To say it was an activity the kids enjoyed would be an understatement. My usually stringent ways were relaxed somewhat as the Rowntree sweets we used now have 30% less sugar. I couldn’t help but sample the goodies myself. We don’t often have sweets in the house. I must say, they were good and I absolutely couldn’t tell they had less sugar in them, they were so juicy. It’s the chef’s prerogative right, to sample the goods?
So anyway, no we didn’t have a big shebang of a party with all his little friends, we had a low key birthday tea and cake. I may have overcompensated with the cake to make up for my mum guilt of no party. His reaction to his cake, despite his assistance with the preparation was priceless…
The other 2-year-old of the house is to turn three in just under a month and she doesn’t currently have a birthday party planned either. If my mum guilt gets the better of me by the end of the month I may have a joint ‘playdate/party’ in the garden for them both. I probably won’t.
I’ll keep saving my pennies for when they turn 5 and want to invite the entire class.
What about you? Did you have first birthday parties, and second and thirds? Or are you waiting until they ask? I’d love to hear from you.