Fuck Birthday Parties

16 Apr

This will be a snazzy little double post, where Violet & I share our thoughts on Pterodactyl’s birthday party.. Sorry that we’ve been a bit quiet, sometimes life gets in the way, and until we get paid the big bucks for spewing crap all over the internets… Well, ya know, we have other obligations.

Now, on with the show!

-Daisy

We had Pterodactyl’s first birthday party this weekend. I have two observations to make:

  1. Daisy is a life-saver, and it wouldn’t have happened without her. (Or it would have, but I’d be up in a tree, rocking back and forth, rattling a bottle of Xanax.) (Hey, Pterodactyl is like 1/8th mine, no big thing! -Daisy)
  2. I’m never, ever, ever doing this shit again.

We decided to hold the child’s birthday party at a park. (“We” is a generic pronoun here, since the Army decided not to release Buddy, and he missed his daughter’s first birthday party. Assholes.) The logic behind that decision was two-fold: first, I didn’t have to clean a park like I’d have to clean my house, and second, the assortment of “big kids” in attendance would be entertained by the playground, whereas my house isn’t “big kid” friendly.

Yesterday morning, Daisy loaded her crew into the car at o-dark-thirty and made the two-hour drive to my neck of the woods. My saving grace, she knew that I’d need an extra set of hands or five to make up for Buddy’s forced absence. I decided to run some errands before her arrival so we could maximize our time together. On my way to the store, I drove past the park where the party was going to be held, and found some coke whore lovely lady (Daisy edit) and her kid parked under our pavilion. I pulled over and went into the park to inform her that I reserved that space. An argument ensued, and I had to drive my happy ass home, get the documentation, and return. Long story short, I didn’t make it to the store, and this bitch almost had a tightly-wound Birthday Mommy pounding the life out of her. Fortunately, Terry agreed to stand guard at the park while Daisy, the kidlets, and I took care of party business. ‘We went to the store and accomplished everything we were supposed to accomplish. (While Daisy was rendered useless carrying Pterodactyl around and kissing her, since I hadn’t seen her in MONTHS -Daisy) If Terry had to murder any would-be pavilion-thieves in the interim, I don’t want to know about it. (He didn’t. He was cold, though. -Daisy)

The party went relatively smoothly, except for my neurotic “GOTTATALKTOEVERYONEANDBETHEPERFECTHOSTESS” bullshit. Yes, Pterodactyl smashed a baby cake. Yes, our friends grubbed on pizza and soda and made small talk about teething. It was all very cute. I had the where-with-all to book an amazing photographer, Angel Event Photography, to capture the day, and Daisy thought ahead enough to videotape Pterodactyl’s birthday cake event for Buddy. Relatively speaking, the party was successful.

(Daisy here. In my birthday party experience, it went off without a hitch. The birthday girl hadn’t napped AT ALL and she didn’t have ONE breakdown. That is admirable for a little diaper dweller, in my EXPERT opinion. Auntie Daisy made sure to take her off on quiet walks every so often, hoping that it would help keep her calm. Seems like it worked. That, or the kid is a superhuman being that can turn on the people charm even through extreme tiredness. Diva, Intuitive, and Handsome were on excitement overload. There were SO many babies. They were in heaven. These kids are total baby lovers. (I think they have asked us 7 times since Saturday if we are going to have another baby. HA. If they agree to wake up in the middle of the night to feed the kid, SURE.)

Back to Violet.)

 

Except that this shit sucks.

My house is now a depository of party bags and tissue paper. There are new toys/books/clothes strung all over the place – I have a very generous, very giving set of friends, for whom I’m grateful. I have leftovers in the fridge that must be eaten, and I’m a bit “pizza-ed” out. The stress and exhaustion from the party compromised my immune system, and I’m coming down with something awful. It’s only a matter of time until Pterodactyl picks it up, too.

Daisy and I were discussing this phenomenon. She’s had her fair share of overwhelming kiddie parties, and knows the stress of this all too well. (Yeah, if I were to fill you all in on the politics and sheer HELL that was Diva & Intuitive’s 1st birthday party.. OY. Family issues and stress and I had just found out I was pregnant with Handsome. We’ll save that for another day -Daisy) While figuring out how to simplify this process in the future, we had a collective epiphany: we never have to do this for Pterodactyl ever again, and here’s why.

Every year, about this time, my city hosts the March of Dimes walk. You all remember from previous posts that Pterodactyl spent a few days in the NICU, and Intuitive and Diva had their own mailing addresses in a NICU for several weeks. (Only 8 days. For their gestational age and problems at birth, they bounced back very quickly. Thanks very much in part to the wonderful NICU nurses and staff. Sure felt like longer, though. -Daisy) The March of Dimes is a charitable organization that both Daisy and I feel strongly committed to. We decided that if we have to part with time and money every April, why not give back to that philanthropy, make a difference for thousands of premature babies, and teach our own children about charity, as well?

So we devised “The Plan:” next year, Pterodactyl’s birthday party will BE the March of Dimes Walk. Instead of presents, we’ll request donations to our March of Dimes team. (Because my friends are so generous that the charity will greatly benefit from my child’s second birthday.) In lieu of party favors, we’ll give each walker team tee-shirts. Instead of putting on pounds with cake and chips, we’ll shred them as we walk three miles around the prettiest part of my city. We’ll make sure the children understand the value of this organization (particularly the girls, who all got a little NICU action as newborns), and share the joy of philanthropy. Best part? I won’t kill myself over streamers and cake!

As The Irreverent Reptile reminded me, our culture is so materialistic that we expect children to have birthday parties, and we expect our friends and family to send gifts. That is NOT the message I want to send my kid. The best gift I have received (besides the child herself) was the amazing team of doctors and nurses who cared for her during her stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and this is my way of thanking them.

Daisy, again –

While Violet is exaggerating, and I really don’t feel like I did that much, I’m totally behind her idea for next year. Pterodactyl will enjoy the hell out of the day, party or no party. We will be doing out part to help babies like ours, and we will be spending time together. What’s better than that?

 

 

So, what do you think? Any funny party stories from you guys?

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13 Responses to “Fuck Birthday Parties”

  1. Jenn @ Home is Where You Start From April 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    lovely post! I really like the way both of you chime in with the writing. (I have to admit I lurve the title!) I so agree with you, b-day parties have gotten so out of control. I have 4 kids and gave up on parties a long time ago. We went old-school and now do what both dh and I grew up with: a cake and presents with our family and maybe grandparents. Once a decade I throw a slightly bigger party, like for our dd’s 16th – but it was still low-key and pretty small. We did decorate and take photos. I applaud parents who get off the birthday party crazy-train, I think our culture has gotten way to competitive with the whole party thing.
    I love your idea of the March of dimes walk – awesome!

    • daisyandviolet April 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

      Thank you for commenting!

      The birthday party insanity is getting old! I think I’ll be reevaluating our birthday plans this year!

      -Daisy

    • daisyandviolet April 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

      Thank you! It’s pure coincidence that Pterodactyl’s birthday syncs up with the March of Dimes so perfectly. I’m sure I would have found another way to eliminate the streamers/balloons crap and involve philanthropy if it hadn’t, but this is by far a better choice! Thank you for reading and commenting! -Violet

  2. travelladywithbaby April 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    First birthday parties always seem to be so stressful, and kind of crazy, stupid. Speaking from my inner kid, my parents never threw me a birthday party, and always seemed to organize something they wanted to do in the guise of my birthday. I would go to so many friends birthdays, my parents would complain, and in short, it hurt my feelings. I don’t go all out for birthdays, we have separate birthday parties for friends and then family. I keep it ridiculously simple, and my friends don’t give presents, they donate to the local animal shelter. As much as it seems to be really stressful to parents, those birthday parties make kids feel special, it is their day. 🙂 Just a thought!

    • daisyandviolet April 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      Don’t think Pterodactyl will know the difference at two. But you’re right: I may have to reconsider it when she’s old enough to realize what’s going on! -Violet

  3. I.R. April 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    I did indeed comment on the materialism and helicoptering and conspicuous posturing that are the hallmarks of today’s young’un’s parties. With the ubiquitous exceptions, parents giving parties today seem more and more like those same people who go into hock to lease (not, buy) a car they can’t really afford (even to lease) so that they can be seen dropping their kids off at soccer games or tennis matches dressed in counterfeit Lacostes or Herreras.

    When I was a kid, my parents really kept it simple: just eight or ten at the country club, and Sevruga caviar instead of old ostentatious Beluga. Non-vintage Veuve or Mumm’s. Smoked salmon from Nova Scotia, not pretentious Scotland or Ireland. And the people who served and cleared were emphatically told to leave their white gloves in the pantry . . .

    EyeAre

    • daisyandviolet April 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

      I bow down to you, IR.

      -daisy

      • I.R. April 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

        Cackle . . .

  4. pamalalauren April 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    I’m in the midst of planning my soon to be 2 year old and my soon to be 6 year olds party. Luckily they are only two weeks apart for birthdays so I’m doing a combo party. Plus who is the 2 year old going to invite? So my oldest has decided on a theme, now I have to figure out the details. Good fun.

    • daisyandviolet April 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

      Joint parties are great – benefit of having twins, in my case!

      -daisy

  5. pamalalauren April 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    So seriously I typed a response and then it said (Hey login!) I’m like okay whatever. So I login. And it deletes my post! Really!

    Anyhow I’m currently planning a party for my soon to be 6 and 2 year old. They are only two weeks apart birthday wise so they are only getting one party. We have a theme, now mommy has to figure out the details.

  6. Jennifer Worrell April 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    Hilarious!!!! My dumb ass made and decorated the birthday cakes for my babies’ first birthdays! What a royal cluster fuck! I made puppy cakes for both kids ’cause “dog” happened to be among the first words in each little vocabulary. I forgot with Kid Two the disaster the dark colored icing had been at Kid One’s party. Washing the black and brown icing off both kids was like trying to get Sharpie off a white party dress. GAH!

    • daisyandviolet April 18, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

      Don’t you wish we could go back in time and tell our Past Selves what decisions would send us to the Loony Bin and what decisions were spot-on? Like: “Violet, note-to-self: park birthday parties aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Suck it up and have it at home.” or “Hey, Violet, great idea. Glad you hired that photographer to capture images of Pterodactyl eating the birthday cake!” Thanks for reading and commenting! -Violet

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