Recently, a little Miss Somebody turned two at our house. She is my youngest and as much as I love her, I do find myself sometimes fighting that "been there done that" feeling and maybe being a little too practical. Like last year when I did not give her a 1st birthday party at all. I mean, I have been around the block enough to KNOW that not only will she NOT remember it, but at age one... she could care less. Not to mention, the month of June is the last month of school here and super busy and I just did not need anything else on my plate.
Well... I instantly regretted it big time. I needed to celebrate surviving that first year. I felt awful about it. I even broke down and bought her stacks of birthday gifts four months after she turned one and vowed to give her a real party when she turned two! I am happy to say that when the time came, this "old mother" did find a good balance between CELEBRATING and being practical and she had a lovely 2nd birthday party.
Tips from an 'Old Mom'
1. THROW the party. It might be my sixth "2nd Birthday" party to throw, but it is her first... and her only. She may not remember it, but she WILL see the pictures (granted not in a scrapbook like her older siblings). Further more, it is that one time all year when you really pause to celebrate in a very visible way the treasure that individual is to you. It is important... not just for the child, but for who you are as a parent and as a family.
2. PLAN (time does not grow on trees and so a good plan is essential). Enter PINTEREST... truly a fantastic time saver for party planning. My eight year old daughter and I created a board called "Miss June's Party" (click to view it) and being a "modern" child, we let the toddler sit on our laps and point (she thinks every picture is an 'APP' anyway). The hilarious thing is that she was SUPER opinionated. She knew exactly what she wanted and in the end an interesting "theme" emerged... STRAWS.
Not kidding. So funny. It makes me smile every time I think about it.
3. Looking at her board, we made a "to-do" LIST, and gave ourselves one week to EXECUTE. How did I ever manage without an 8-year old girl in the house? She made almost all of the giant tissue paper flowers.
4. We kept the actual event super, super SIMPLE:
decorated only 1 room (3 banners, 12 giant tissue flowers)
invited only 2 guests + their families
party for 1 hour
yes, you read that right, 1 hour
4 very brief activities...
colored on paper taped to the table
danced to one song
ate a cupcake with strawberry lemonade
goodie bags: crayons and bubbles
The best part was the little miss sang "Happy" to herself for the rest of the night. She still beams from ear to ear when you ask her about her party. She does not need to know that I spent a full month preparing for her oldest brother's 2nd birthday party and that it was a full on production. I liked her's way better anyway!
(throw - plan/pinterest - execute the list - simple)