Hey Hey It's Your Birthday!
It’s that time of year again. Time to plan and execute a kid’s party. This weekend we’re going to be celebrating Vivi’s 3rd birthday. The prepping actually began about two months ago, and I turned to the one place anyone our age does when we’re at a complete loss: PINTEREST
Let me backtrack a minute here and say that last year I had one of my very few crafting surges. I searched pink and gold girl’s birthday ideas and I hit the motherload, as one does. I gathered all my materials at multiple craft stores, and I vigorously made shit at night while the kids were sleeping, like glitter mason jars and sparkly custom water labels. I can’t take all the credit here. I did in fact use my sister as my bitch work laborer for cutting tiny triangle shapes off the ends of some ribbon tape. But where was this energy coming from? I don’t know. Billy was only 5 months old at the time, and I was tying bows around bubbles like a psychopath. I must have been running on pure adrenaline because I don’t even feel like getting up off the couch to shower at the end of the day at this point.
Anyway, the crafting satisfied some weird need in me at the time. I think Vivi couldn’t have cared less about the varying hues of pink I incorporated into the décor. And the end result unfortunately was less cool, hipster décor and more what it might look like if a unicorn threw up all over the backyard.
It was also hot as balls the day of the party, and I think everyone was just regretting the fact we didn’t have a pool to faceplant into.
After a quick peruse through Pinterest, I decided to take a different approach. Because she has her own opinions these days, I asked Vivi what kind of party she wanted to have. She answered with zero hesitation. “A Toy Story birthdaaaaaaay!!” Ehh, really? Alright then. This was actually kind of liberating though because now I didn’t need to worry about making this party look like a “cool” mini wedding with muted tones. Who would I really be doing that for anyway? Kids don’t like that shit! They like tacky. The tackier, the better! The plastic Toy Story table covers and wall art are gonna put a bigger smile on Vivi’s face anyway. And Amazon Prime is hooking it up with the special add-on deals. I resigned myself to ignore the many over the top Toy Story theme ideas on Pinterest like the DIY photo booth and lasso your own horse games. The kids attending the party only really give a shit about cake and ice cream anyway, right? I am throwing in a game of horseshoes and a little table where the kids can color a rocket ship if they want, but that’s about it.
I think our parents had it so much easier. I mean look at these photos of birthdays past.
WTF is even on my cake?! Jiminy Cricket in a sombrero and clogs?? I mean obviously the design mattered little to me, and I’m just psyched for cake. And so are the guests who are descending upon it. And look at that! My mother was still letting the bottle happen. There was no shame in her mother game.
Focus your eyes. That’s a fucking Ducktales theme going on right there. And theme here means paper plates, hats, cups and tablecloths. Again, Karen not giving a fuck about image or special activities other than putting me in a coordinating sweater. Pinterest worthy? No, probably not. But my creepy smile tells you all you need to know about my take on this birthday bash.
And finally example #3
Actually more muted tones than I would have expected from the early 90s. Minnie. Ughh so basic, Brittany, but I’m sure I loved it. And I highly doubt there was an organized sweet table and picture collage of my life thus far. And look, party guests just waiting for me to hurry up and blow out the candles so they can get their grubby paws on one to suck the frosting off of while they’re waiting to fight over who gets a flower on their piece.
Hey and I’m not reeeally trying to knock these over the top parties. I mean, if you can do it stress free without financial strain and you love doing it…my party hat is seriously off to you. But there’s enough pressure to make everything amazing and awesome and I don’t want to have to try to one up myself every year. I think I’m taking it back more to the 80s/90s style for little kid party planning. The kids will get here, pretend to eat some lunch, stuff themselves with chips and treats, someone will end up crying (most likely the birthday girl), we’ll sing Happy Birthday, and Tom and I may or may not come out dressed as Woody & Jessie.
I’m relieving myself of the birthday party pressure. I’m going to just try to keep it simple, keep it corny (because as you’ve seen, they make for way better photos to look back on), and do what makes them happy. Sooner or later Vivi and Billy will think Toy Story is lame, and they’ll want a coed dance party instead. Is that a thing with the preteen kids these days? It was all the rage in 5th and 6th grade back in ’94. For now, I’m hanging onto these days when it only takes balloons and streamers to make them happy. Oh and the Woody and Jessie costumes are happening because as one of my best girlfriends recently pointed out, “If you don’t get to do things like that, then what is the point of having kids?!” Here’s to making weird memories for our kids that make us laugh and cringe for many years to come. And Happy 3rd Birthday to my little girl, Sweet Vivi K.