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Birthday Parties and You- Part 1: Keeping up with the Jones’

Its October.

Mini-Master’s 1st birthday isn’t for almost 3 months.

However, on the hallowed ground of birthday land, I’ve broken the first cardinal rule:

  • Start planning for the first birthday the day you conceive.

People have asked me what we’re doing for the big 0-1, but sometimes (not always, mind you, but SOMEtimes) I think its so they can brag about what they did for their kids’ first or to inform me of what they DO have planned.

In a way, I think all this worry about first birthdays is kind of funny.  Its not like they now have the ability to get their driver’s licenses, the ability to vote, to rent a car, drink, move out…  First birthday’s aren’t for the kids.  You don’t hear babies down in the sandbox comparing first b-days and chastising each other because of a lack of bouncers, bands, and



Nope, 1st birthdays are for the parents, family, and friends- to celebrate the day their lives suddenly became governed by another ruler.  Yay for the first year of dictatorship!

So, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that people are shocked that I don’t have anything planned.  Its not that I don’t care, though- its that I’m overwhelmed.

Suddenly, its high school all over again, and I’m the only one without a Dooney and Burke bag.  How do you tell people that you’re planning on making the cake when they ordered theirs from an upscale bakery 6 months ago?  How do you tell people you don’t have a theme when they’ve not only decided on a theme, but found “just the cutest little invitations that so completely match the decor”?

My WEDDING was back yard pot luck style, but now I’m starting to question whether or not I’m insane for not picking a venue with full catering service.

I should probably know by now that none of this matters.  I’ve been here twice before.  Cameron isn’t in therapy because he has regrets over a less than extravagant first birthday bash, and Jacob hasn’t mentioned that he feels something is missing from his life because we didn’t party like its 1999 at his.

But when I go to parties where bouncers big and small grace the lawns; where cakes have monogrammed faces of the birthday kid; where every detail has been covered- down to what the guests are wearing… well, I start to feel like a bad parent and woefully inadequate.

True, I shouldn’t have to try and keep up with all the birthday expectations, but its still quite tempting to do so when everyone is telling the host or hostess,”Such a great party- I especially loved the elephant ride and the petting zoo!”  I know bouncers don’t buy happiness, but I find it to be a completely worthwhile attempt.

So, here’s my goal: a great 1st birthday for the Mini-Master.  I don’t recommend “following the crowd” for everyone, but if you choose to, here are some sites I’ll be checking out.  If you have some suggestions or pictures of YOUR greatest birthday bashes, then let me know- asoto0703 (at) gmail (dot) com.  I’d love to see/ hear about them.  Maybe I’ll show off your idea on here or my Facebook site… giving you ALL the credit, of course.

So, that’s it.  I’ll post periodic updates on Operation Rockin’ 1st and, hopefully, when this finally takes place, I’ll have an amazing post with pictures.

Wish me luck!


4 Responses

  1. Hi Amber! My first time to visit your new home! I like the streamlined appearance. I am also preparing for my daughter’s 2nd bday…so I can relate. I’m planning to invite only her playground friends =)
    I still owe you one!

  2. Janie- Yes, yes you do, lol. Thanks for the compliment- I’m really happy with the new look, too. When’s your daughter’s b-day? I’m thinking I’ll probably just be inviting a couple of “play ground” friends of his, too, since we have quite a few family members that will be attending. Has she mentioned any “theme” she wants?

  3. Hi Amber,

    I popped over from mamawolf’s blog, who I recently discovered via someone else (can’t recall who!) but I’m enjoying it.

    I got a kick out of this post, even though it’s been over 20 years since my last child’s first birthday . . . and I am wracking my brain, but I can’t even remember what we did! That’s awful! And this poor baby is in France right now, homesick as can be, and it’s all probably because we didn’t have a first birthday party for her . . . do you think??

    I do recall her older sister’s first birthday though, and it was strictly family, homemade cake, and pure fun! Everyone (who was anyone important) was there!

    I’ll be back to visit, but I don’t know how to do the link business.

    What surprised me most about becoming a parent? Hard to choose. Probably that I’d become so impossibly dumb (and embarrassing!) when the kids hit their teens! (I’m much smarter now that they’re growing older and they aren’t afraid to be seen in public with me anymore . . . especially when I’m buying!)

  4. Sandi- I’m glad you stopped by! I love getting new readers! And I’m sure that everything wrong in your kiddo’s life is a direct result from a lack of a first birthday, lol. I’m just waiting for the therapist bill to come when my sons are older.

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