Yea! It’s Thursday! Welcome back to The True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches series! We are celebrating toddler birthdays!
Co-hosted by Home on Deranged and The noise of boys! We pick a topic each week about trying to figure out just what is the difference in raising boys & raising girls and share our thoughts with you. (See last week’s
disaster…um… DIY birthday baking disaster here!)
Post written by Melissa, from Home on Deranged- author, wife &mom extraordinaire!
Toddler birthdays- Oh sure, they’re lots of fun when you get to go to someone else’s party and enjoy their hard work. But when you’ve got to put together one for your own kid and possibly visiting family, it can get downright nerve wracking. Unless, of course, you have the most laid-back toddler on earth, and then birthdays are just darned entertaining.
Ah, the joy of being a part-time stay-at-home-mom. You have all the time to make birthday cakes from scratch, create fun little party favors, find fun games on Pinterest and just plan to your heart’s content. Um, yeah. Not so much. I realize there are women out there who are perfect party planners. I’ve seen evidence of it on the Pinterest boards. But for some of us – me with hand raised in the air – we’re lucky to get to the bakery to order a cake before the deadline passes, and we’re stuck having to buy the Little Mermaid sheet cake and ask for them to add our kid’s name. I don’t cook, and I definitely don’t bake. I think about it. I even clip recipes and print really nifty ones out I find on the Internet. But the reality is that I’d rather shop at a bakery any day. So when it came time to put together Leelou’s 2nd birthday party, I headed straight to my favorite grocery store bakery. After having asked the about-t0-be 2 year old what she wanted on her cake. And asked again. And then asked again because I couldn’t believe she really wanted a bunny. And then asked again because I kept getting a response of, “Cake!” So I just opted to make a decision on my own. Her recent loves involve the moon and airplanes, but it seemed unlikely that I could find a picture to take to the bakery to replicate. So then I pondered some more and realized she really loves bugs. And has a real affection for ladybugs. She even bravely let one crawl on her arm. It seemed the right choice. Since her birthday was on Monday, the family got together on Saturday. Unfortunately, we had a soccer game at 1 p.m., preceded by team pictures at 12:20. This meant a lot of lazy people in the house on Saturday morning, thinking we had all the time in the world. At 12:15, as we finally left the house, Thomas sighed and said, “I really hoped to leave earlier.” Yeah, me too, but trying to move this herd out the gate is kind of like moving a herd out of a gate. Messy, meandering, frustrating and sweaty. Oh my goodness, it was sweaty. So off we went to the soccer team pictures, and Leelou, having been at all of our practices and games, couldn’t quite fathom why we wouldn’t include her. Fair point. Then on to the game, where my (rarely) enthusiastic little team of 5 that remain needed water breaks about every minute and a half. We did win the game, although who can tell at that age level, so everyone was still in a good mood. Since it was Leelou’s birthday lunch, we asked her opinion. “Noodles,” was her reply. It’s always her reply. Unless she’s asking for candy. Or chips. Or crackers. Or an apple. We headed to our local Italian restaurant, where the food is wonderful, and the service gives new meaning to the term, “sub-par.” The waitress actually scolded me when I attempted to order before the three people sitting in front of me. “Ma’am, could we just go in order around the table?” Oh, wow. You just kissed your tip goodbye. But Leelou enjoyed the heck out of her bread and alfredo sauce appetizer (learned from her Daddy), and then ate her noodles with glee. Here’s where I foolishly thought they would crash in the car on the way home. Oh, silly momma. Since the girls were clearly wired for sound, we opted to open the presents. Leelou has just enough experience to know that presents come in bags. And all of these were for her. No sharing with big sister. She dived in with ferocious abandon. From her parents, a personalized puzzle of outer space, and from her Auntgee, a small stuffed ladybug, a book about the stars and moon, a book about a kitten chasing the moon, a foam airplane, and the prized possession: a moon. This thing is pure magic. It can go through the phases of the moon or simply shine in full moon status. It was by far, the big winner of the day. I know that my days of having family-only parties are numbered. I know that very soon we will be inviting church friends, preschool friends, and other people we know. And, as a former event planner, I will likely be stressed out and yet do absolutely nothing in advance to make my life easier. That’s how I roll. And if you’re wondering about the cake? It was delicious. And, thankfully, stress free. So if you’re not the “ultimate toddler birthday party presented by Pinterest” mom, come sit by me. I’ll save a slice of cake for you.