Our First “Real” Birthday Party

Our First "Real" Birthday PartyMy oldest son is about to turn 6 and is in Kindergarten.  Until now, his birthday parties were as much about the adults as they were about him because we don’t throw a lot of parties and he didn’t have many friends.  This year will be a bit different because he wants to invite most of the kids in his class, and I have to admit, I’m a little nervous. Thankfully, Oilfield Man is here to help.  At least, as of now…  you never know when he might get a call and all our plans go out the window.  Luckily, my son has been invited to a couple of classmate’s parties already, so I have a vague understanding of what is supposed to go down.  So far, this is what I’ve learned:

  1. Theme. Last year one of my friends asked me what the theme of my son’s birthday was going to be.  I pretty much answered her with a blank stare.  What’s a “theme”?  Isn’t the theme of the party “birthday”?   Oh no, apparently not.  I have to find something my kid likes and buy plates, napkins and decorations that match.

  1. Activities.  The kids need something to do. Games, piñatas, pin the tail on the donkey, etc.  This is just totally not my style.  The only party I know how to throw is a backyard BBQ:  We, the adults, will stand over here with our beer and chat while you, the children, will run around and frolic and probably break some of my kids’ toys.  Cheers.  This type of party is great when you know all of your guests, but the majority of the kids coming belong to adults that I don’t know.  I may not want to spend hours with them drinking my booze.  Heck, there’s a good chance I don’t want them to know where I live!  I think this is why most people choose a venue for their party other than their homes like the skating rink or the park.  We just have to do things the hard way, so we’re taking a chance on having it at our house.  I can’t have games and organized activities.  I’m not organized enough for that.  So, I rented a bouncy house……and have promptly realized that I don’t know if I have enough homeowner’s insurance for strange people to come to my home for this party.

  1. Food.   This one is challenging for me.  The party will be at 3pm.  Not dinner, not lunch.  But every other party we’ve been to have served pizza despite being at a non-meal hour.  So, when in Rome….

  1. Cake.  Well, this one is a given, right?   Heh.  Not so fast.  In today’s day of kids being gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and one bona fide peanut allergy in my son’s class, I’ve had to give special thought to the cake. I finally decided that if parents don’t want their kids to have cake, they don’t have to come.  I also had a special cake in mind that I can’t get at my old go-to cake place (Sam’s club).  Well, it wasn’t MY idea as much as people kept posting the same cake picture to my Facebook wall and it looked really cute and like something I could potentially pull off.  I have since chickened out and given the picture to a real bakery.

  1. Party Favors.  Isn’t this a strange ritual?   You come to my party and I’ll feed you and entertain you and in exchange I’ll get a gift from you.  Sounds mutually beneficial, right?  But wait!  We don’t want you to leave empty handed!  Here, have a bag of cheap trinkets that might not last the car ride home and some candy in case you aren’t properly tweaking on cake frosting.  Honestly, it seems strange to me. Again, however, I’ve decided that’s the societal norm, so we’ll give it a shot.

About rheanna

Rheanna is a stay-at-home mom to two children. She is a lifetime resident of New Mexico and her Oilfield Man works on the North Slope of Alaska, averaging 4 weeks on and 2 off. In her previous life she was a bookkeeper and boiler technician for her father’s plumbing company. She enjoys hiking, horseback riding, motorsports and pretending not to kill her garden. Cooking is a favorite past time, but unfortunately a lifelong allergy to crafting supplies and a debilitating ineptitude with a glue gun prevent her from spending too much time on Pinterest.

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