Thursday, March 28, 2013

Birthday Party Stress

In a few weeks, my oldest daughter Grace will be 5.  FIVE YEARS OLD!!!  I am not even going to try to figure out where the years have gone, there is no point, because it was just a flash.  I've learned a lot of lessons, still learning lessons but I wouldn't change too much - I would laugh and breathe a bit more than I did when Grace was a baby and worry less about her hitting milestones, pretty much how I am with Leah.
I try to make birthdays a big deal because they are to me - it's the day the people I love the most were born, that's a pretty big deal.  The house is decorated the night before so that it's magical when the birthday girl wakes up. I have a tradition where I draw a poster (ok, copy and colour it in) for the birthday girl...last year it was Rapunzel, with her hair draped around Grace's room, this year is a surprise but each year has to do with whatever my daughter is obsessed with.  Other birthday goodies include a special dinner, gifts and of course cake!  But this year, since Grace is turning five, she is having her first birthday party with friends and I really don't know how to do one.  Of course I had birthday parties when I was a kid, but I didn't really plan them.
When it was decided, way back in February,  that Grace would have a party, she would come home from school with a new list of kids she wanted to invite.  I was fearful, since Grace hasn't been invited to other classmate parties yet, if those invited would attend.  I had a party once when I was a kid and no one showed up, (yes I am playing a tiny violin for myself) so you can understand why I would be scared of that happening to my daughter.  So in order to hopefully avoid that trauma, I convinced Grace that for this year she invite her friends, whose mommies are my friends, and maybe invite one friend from her class. 
So now I am in the middle of planning this party with some of Grace's help, who changes her mind every day.  Some days she wants a princess cake (something I have made for her in the past), then the next day she wants multi-coloured cupcakes, or an ice cream cake.  Same when it comes to games or other food (any one have a recipe for rainbow lemonade?).  I ask Grace what she would like and when she comes up with something a little difficult to achieve I simply say "would you like me to surprise you?" and I am glad when she says "yes".  I think sometimes the decisions are too much, they are too much for me too. I need to decide on decorations, what kind of plates, what colour of napkins, should we have hats, what about noise makers,what type of music should be played, and of course the menu.  Then I need to figure out games and if I give out loot bags and what if it rains and what time to have the party? Do I do it before, during or after Leah's nap.  I think my wedding was less stressful, at least I got to drink at it, is it odd to drink during a kid's party?.  It's silly for me to stressed out about all this too since not only is it only a five year olds birthday party with five guests, but also because I've hosted play dates before and in reality this party is just a heavily decorated play date- with gifts and cake.  What kind of cake yet, I have no idea.

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