Why hello there! I am sure you have been wondering why I have yet to share with you Emma’s birthday party plans for this year as with previous years (being a Type A nut), I have had everything planned out and crafted by mid-January. Well, for everyone biting their nails out there in anticipation, wonder no more. Behold my yearly ranting about toddler birthday planning.
Due to several unforeseen circumstances this year, I was side tracked and unable to follow my type A heart in January to figure out what I was doing for Emma’s bday in June. Part of the reason for the delay was that I wanted to do something different this year, something low key and simple. Basically, I was looking for a local rec center to rent out next to a park (preferably a splash park because I love difficulty). I did a bunch of research, made some calls, and finally resorted to scouting some areas because the permit form was really confusing labeling the same park site with A, B, or C locations to rent. I had to figure out which location was where (pavilion A, B or C, A being a 15 person pavilion palace and C being a park bench next to a trash can). For the most part, if I wanted an indoor, air-conditioned (cause let’s face it the way Global Warming is headed, June is becoming the new August) space, I had to be football fields away from the actual park. This was disappointing. All I wanted was a building next to a park.
From there, I ended up scouting out a few indoor pool options at different locations from last year. I kid you not, one of the locations had the party space literally FEET from the pool and the spray fountain in the pool was so loud I couldn’t hear the tour guide talk (although maybe it would be a bonus not hearing the kids scream during the party?) The other unsettling thing about the space was that no candles are allowed anywhere in the facility. Um ok people, so you’re going to give me a slab of concrete right next to the pool to set up my party and tell me I can’t have a lit candle for like 25 seconds? I mean if the situation really does get out of control I can always heave the flaming cake into the pool. I mean I cannot even dream up a safer location to have a small lit candle other than next to an open fire hydrant but ok. It’s sad because that pool was really awesome but I couldn’t handle not hearing my own thoughts and not getting any embarrassing pictures of my kid all puffy faced blowing out her candles.
After decoding forms and visiting every kiddie entertainment space in town, I finally decided to suck it up and make our guests walk half a mile to get to a park from a rec center if they so desired. And after all of that back and forth and scouting park sites……..I was denied the permit for the rec center. Turns out, you DO need to reserve rec space in January or it is booked for the entire year. Great.
Finally, after weeks of anxiety ridden time put into securing a party place, I made the decision to just go with the same place we had it at last year. I am a little bit wiser on how things will go down this year though. For starters, I picked an afternoon slot. I know there is always the off chance of crankiness in the afternoon but I am willing to take my chances for this reason and this reason alone: I will not be providing lunch!!!!! Of freakin happy day! That’s right, no lugging 200 pizzas, salads, and other food stuff in and out of a room! We will have cake and fruit for those with allergies, and maybe, just maybe some popcorn or pretzels if I’m feeling up to it. Less is more. And with less, there is LESS of a chance to screw anything up which will be awesome since this is the year…
This is the year I invite Emma’s friends from school to her birthday. Realistically, since hopefully we will be in the middle of moving, we will not have a house for them to come to (thus the location scouting) and since all Emma can talk about is having her friends at her birthday, I have decided to just go for it. Of course at the beginning of the year, there were only 8 kids in her class and now there are 12 but it’s fine. They will swim and eat cake, and hopefully I won’t have to deal with my social anxiety talking to the parents because I will be running around doing things. I just hope they come since the place is a bit far. I also hope they don’t think I’m trying to be flashy by having a party at a location other than our house. While I’m hoping to be knee deep in boxes at that point, if we aren’t I just don’t feel comfortable inviting more than and handful of people over to a house with only one bathroom (especially with potty training toddlers in abundance.) I’m sure the other parents will have no idea how much I loathe having to remember to pack up every single thing we will need for food consumption (and thus would MUCH rather have a house party). The year before last, I forgot the knife to cut the bday cake, like pretty much the most important thing at the entire party. Had I been in the comfort of my own home, I could have solved the problem by walking mere steps to the kitchen, but being in an outside location at a county facility where sharp objects are frowned upon, did not leave me in a good position. Have no fear though, once we get a house, we will be having house bday parties there for years to come with fully functioning ac, no forms to fill out, and hopefully more than one bathroom to use. Here’s to hoping anyways.