You know those memes that poke fun about how differently you parent your first child to any subsequent ones? They are all true.
And it’s never more evident when it comes to birthday parties.
When my first was the only little person on the scene, I played birthday party like a competitive sport with the Pinterest boards to prove it. I once made a huge cardboard Lightning McQueen that could sit two children. There were weekends of spray-painting and modge podge. That thing was awesome. My game has nose-dived.
My youngest is lucky if I remember his birthday.
Here are the key differences…
My eldest’s parties were planned months in advance, Pinterest ideas were gathered through out the year and numerous themes were discussed. Now, my eldest is likely to point out that his younger brother’s birthday is coming up and shouldn’t I do something about that. Normally a week or so out.
I used to hand-craft invitations, on theme and pretty enough to ensure that they would have pride of place on the fridge. Now I send panicked emails (see above). But they are to the same people who used to receive pretty fridge invites because my youngest’s friends are all just my eldest’s friends siblings. I was too lazy to get new friends for the smallest one.
I used to have birthday parties at our house. I have recovered from that insanity. All the youngest boy’s parties have sensibly been held at local parks with a BYO marquee so that I’m not fighting 5am Grandpa for the best spot. It’s always Grandpa doing the spot minding, looking bewildered and reading the paper.
Oh man, the decorations I used to make. Flying dragons. Octonaut seascapes. That fine, fine car. You know what’s great? A few balloons from Spotlight. I don’t even buy the helium anymore.
Why did I even try to get two year olds to play pass the parcel? At my youngest’s third birthday party we had a treasure hunt (and all the older kids found everything and left the younger ones in tears) and a piñata. The older kids belted the piñata, belted each other, narrowly avoided the toddlers and there was an almighty scrum as all the lollies fell out. Totally appropriate family fun for a three year old’s birthday party.
Kids won’t leave without a party bag in hand, but who wants a kid sent home with a sugar top-up when they are already high as kites? I have discovered the best party favours are those $1 bubble wands. Cheap, parents are happy, kids are happy and it takes zero effort.
Cake (and candles)
I can honestly say that cake has always been beyond me. I’m just not great with the whole baking thing. I used to out-source and then moved on to buying cake from Woolies and topping them with on-theme cardboard cut-outs. For my first born, buying the candles would be a carefully thought out process. For my youngest’s third birthday party I just grabbed the candles in the drawer and assumed they would be fine. I did not realise that they were actually the trick kind that re-light. My poor boy didn’t have a chance of blowing those suckers out. And I still think it’s hilarious. Mother. Of. The. Year.
Blogging about it
My youngest had his birthday party more than two months ago. Enough said.
Has your party game plummeted since your first child?