A week or so ago, I whined about planning a kid's birthday party or, more specifically, my triplets' birthday party (parties) and how demanding they are and how they each want their own party, in its own location complete with three totally distinct cast of characters that they call "friends". True they walk all over me but I don't think it's my fault. My mother used to tell me that when I was in kindergarten she asked whom I would like to invite to my birthday party to which I responded: "My class."
"Who in your class?"
"The whole class. It wouldn't be nice to leave anybody out."
Before you mistake this for a heartwarming story, you'd have to have known my mother and her wind-up to the story every time she retold it:
"So I, like a moron, invited twenty-three 5 year olds to my house."
This is why I don't take the blame for being my children's doormat. Clearly the problem is genetic. Or maybe my mother started sending me subliminal messages when I was in kindergarten:"Your kids will one day do the same to you. Your kids will one day do the same to you."
Planning A Kid's Birthday Party: The Eats
Back when I made one party for all three, there were still disputes... Over the pizza for instance:
"Can you get Domino's?" That's my favorite.
"I don't like Domino's. Can you get Pizza Hut?"
"I like Papa John's, but Mommy doesn't like Papa Johns' politics."
Since Little Caesar's was the cheapest, I brought a stack home and tossed it onto the counter:"Here's what I got. You wouldn't know the difference if you didn't see the box. If you don't like it, don't look at the box."
Planning a Kid's Birthday Party: The Cake.
Two like chocolate. One doesn't. Does she really not like chocolate or does she just like to be difficult? Everyone agrees on ice cream cake but my husband and me. Sorry, we can't be that precise. If you don't time ice cream cake exactly right you need a chisel to cut it or a straw to drink it. When they were four, my husband gave BJ's bakery a photo of the kids that they "painted" on the cake. It was lovely until my son yelled out at the party:"I want to eat Hayley's eye! Please can I eat Hayley's eye?!!" (Should I be concerned? Maybe it's a common trait among psychopaths and cannibals: When they're little, they all beg to eat their sister's cake eye.)
Planning a Kid's Birthday Party: The Presents.
Then the kids urge us every year to let them open their presents at the party in front of their friends. No way. I'm not getting suckered into that. That's all I need. A child tearing into a gift, holding it up and announcing in front of every invitee and their photo-taking parents: "What the fuck is this supposed to be?'
(The above photo is not us. We have never looked like this. I especially, have never looked like that. Ever.)
So instead, in the privacy of our own home later that evening, we gather in the living room in our jammies where we sing songs in rounds, laugh, and drink hot cocoa with mini marshmallows while the adorable trio gleefully open their gifts on the floor and proclaim:
- I already have this. Can we take it back?
- Why did she get one in blue? Blue's my favorite color.Who doesn't know that?
- Oh no! I broke it when I pulled the paper off!
- I don't care that I got 22 presents. I didn't get anything good.
- I already opened all of mine and they have one more left. Now I have nothing to open. How's that fair?
- Mommy, could you put this together now? Mommy?...Daddy?
- Hey! He took my blue one. The blue one was mine!
- I'm so bored. Can I go on my tablet?
- This was the worst birthday ever.
- Oh, my show's on. I promise I'll clean up the wrapping paper in the morning.
Thanks a lot for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at your child's expense, please consider signing up for my newsletter at the top of my home page and checking out the new edition of my little eBook especially for parents at this trying time of year.
http://laughingisconceivable.com (home page)
And if you missed part 1 of my triplet birthday saga: http://laughingisconceivable.com/planning-a-kids-birthday-party/