I don't know alot about kids.
I don't have friends that had kids. Before having my baby, all my friends spent their free time drunk at our apartment pool.
Now, I have friends with kids. But mostly kids that are my kids age, because I met said friends mostly through having said kid.
Last year my little one turned one year old. I knew I was supposed to have a birthday party to celebrate. I was trying to wrack my brain to think about how to celebrate in a way that would be meaningful to her, a one-year-old. I came up with nothing. I don't know much about kids birthday parties. Other than, you should have cake. You should always have cake.
Two weeks after our party, complete with dorky jungle theme, a fellow blogger celebrated her own daughter's first birthday. She brought in large group drums and egg shakers, the same kind we use at music class, the same kind that my kid loves, and did drumming and singing, among other cool age-appropriate activities.
I slammed my hand against my forehead. Of course. That's it! I should have had a music-class-like party, since my kid loves music class.
I feel like I'm a step behind on this whole "kid party" thing. I feel like other mamas have been going to - and having - these parties and they're all experts and here I am, shopping at Target and going "treat bags, what the hell are those? Why would anyone hand out dog treats at a kids party?"
It doesn't help that Spring Semester will always be the death of me. No matter how well prepared I am, no matter what kind of students I have, by this time of year I have a creeping exhaustion that no amount of spring break can cure. Why the universe decided that my kid should come at this time of year, and why I will perpetually have to plan her birthday celebrations this time of year, is beyond me. But I'm doing it. By jove, I'm doing it. I got her photo taken on a custom-designed set, and had the photo made into a party invitiation. I got the damn things all sent out, even the two that fell under the couch. I passed out some at her daycare. I'm ordering the cake today. She's getting a awesome present from me, and related items from others, that I think she will love. I've invited 100 freaking people and I'm really hoping the weather is nice so they're not all standing in my living room for three hours. I'm doing it. I'm planning it.
Yesterday at pickup at daycare I saw The Dude's mom. "I have been meaning to call you. I wanted to let you know that The Dude will be at Wee One's party!". "Oh, great!" I exclaim to the leggy, raven-haired, thin, beautiful mother.
The party was just going to be some-number-of-people (hopefully fewer than 100) cramming into my house, garage, driveway, front yard, and back yard, eating some food, bringing some presents, eating some cake. I wasn't going to do games, I wasn't going to do treat bags, I wasn't going to do anything that required organization.
But now that there are Other Mothers coming, and now that there are Daycare Providers coming, I suddenly feel the pressure to have a "real" party. Like, with treat bags and games and shit.
She's two. They're two. What does it matter?
But, what will the Mothers and Daycare Providers think? It has to be organized, right? It has to be age-appropriate, right? What will The Dude's thin, leggy, raven-haired Mother think when she comes and there are 100 crazy people milling around and there is Nothing For Her Kid To Do? Except eat cake.
I do have sidewalk chalk, they can color on the driveway.
I do have a Thomas DVD (The Dude loves Thomas. He even gave Wee One his Thomas to play with one morning. I think it's True Love) that they can watch.
I do have a plastic toddler-sized slide thing in the backyard they can play on.
I do, logically, understand that it doesn't matter a damn.
Then why am I freaking out so damn much about this stupid party?
Gotta run, I have a cake to order ...
Seriously, do I need treat bags? And what goes in them? (Say "treats" and I'll kill you.) What is essential to have at a birthday party for a two-year-old?