My baby is four. I won't go into the weeping that this fact caused on my part, but I will tell you about the party we threw her.
In all honesty, I've never thrown such a laid back birthday party before - and it was awesome.
In the past, I've spent weeks with each kid, planning their birthday parties down to the nth degree. We would have a theme with matching paper goods, decorations, party bags and parting gifts, games, a project and, really, at this point, only G-d himself knows what else.
This time, a quick trip to the 99 cents store, a super fast in and out in Walmart and we were set.
I won't lie, the party did have a theme, but it was totally chilled, like the party itself. Ready to hear what the totally-made-up-by-the-four-year-old theme was?
CupcakesHeartsBalloonsSnowmenChocolatelolliesAndCircus. With such a broad theme, I felt comfortable with the leeway I had in picking up the supplies.
We started by handing out blank paper and crayons to the kids. Cost: free. ( At the time, we had it all in the house although now it's looking like it's going to cost me $50 for a new case of printer paper; it seems we're all out now.)
From there we moved on to playing in the backyard - a major benefit of a winter birthday in Florida.
We played, we did some Pin the Sprinkle on the Cupcake, and some more running around the backyard.
There was a piñata, probably the biggest expenditure of the day. And because we're huge nerds and because we could still get away with this with a bunch of four year olds, we stuffed the piñata with granola bars and fruit strips instead of real candy. I know. We're awful people.
The woman in the party store steered me towards a piñata that had pull strings. That way, she explained, you don't wind up with any crazed kids running around with a bat. Sounded good to me.
This was to be the chilled out version of a regular piñata. Apparently, every kid is supposed to get a turn pulling a string off the piñata and one string will open the whole thing up. Sounded like a plan to me.
Except that's not what happened. After some prodding, the birthday girl stepped right up to pull the first string and she did a bang up job. The next little girl stepped right up - but instead of daintily choosing a string as girls tend to do, she grabbed ALL the strings and yanked as if she was trying to keep a hot air balloon full of Hershey kisses from floating away.
The rest of the kids were horrified, as was I, and we watched as the whole thing came ripping off the handle that tied the pinata to the tree.
By now, you'd think there'd be granola bars everywhere! But no, the piñata itself was still intact. So Josh picked it up and kind of shoved it back onto the tree by impaling it on a branch and one of my boys ran for a bat.
And those kids tried so hard to hit the piñata but it would not open. Finally, all the little kids backed away and it was Josh and my boys hacking away at it until finally, finally, thank goodness, a piece if Minnie Mouse gave way and it was fruit strips for everyone!
Towards the end of the festivities, everyone made birthday crowns and wore them for the eating of the birthday cupcakes. And then they went home.
Two things I learned here:
1. I'm obviously an idiot for always going to great lengths for birthday parties when the kids were just as happy to play in the sandbox and climb on the climby toy.
2. My fourth child is no different than my other children - they all hate being the center of attention, evidenced by the fact that the little girl spent most of the party on Josh's lap.
And I can't say I blame her or that I don't understand my kids. Cause I do. I hate things like this. I begged my mom to let me wear any color besides white to my wedding, so horrified was I by the thought the everyone would be looking at me.
And I've passed that lovely gene down to my poor children. When my second kid turned five, we made him the exact party he described - a donut birthday party. And when it came time to sing about how old he was, he almost melted into the floor. He was lucky; his big brother was standing behind him and sang for him. And the big bro was able to do that for him, only because it was not his own birthday. Don't ask, we have issues.
Josh, on the other hand, loves being in the middle of everything and thinks we're all weird.
Some party pics: :
Happy happy birthday my four year old princess-ballerina-minniemouse-icecreamcone!