Mom blog: Birthday parties

My baby turned six at the end of December, just about the worst time for a birthday for any child going to school—holidays are all over the place, friends and family take off, or worse, give one present and says that it’s for both. So far, that gift-giving logic has escaped my son. So what we did after he turned two was give the lucky lad two birthdays a year. Originally we thought the exact six-month anniversary of his birthday would be great, but that’s the end of June, with people taking off early for summer and way too many sports leagues to co-ordinate with.

We were at a birthday party of a friend of his at school this weekend, and the mom and I laughed because her son’s birthday is the day before my guy’s, and they waited until April to have his—it was at The Putting Edge, glow-in-the-dark indoor mini-putt, a BALL! I took my three as a family fun thing to do last year, and it was a hit for all ages, even mine. It is a lesson in holding back that competitive nature, playing mini-golf in a black place with neon fish swimming on the walls and kids showing off white underwear and undershirts—in the black light those kids look ready for lift-off!

Let me preface this by saying we are of modest means. There’s been lots (understatement of the year) of upset and job loss and illness and you name it, so I’m one of those people climbing on top of my debt pile and shouting to anyone you’ll listen, HOW DO I GET DOWN FROM HERE?!?!?! So, when shopping the cereal aisle of Sobey’s, looking for what’s on special, I see a FREE MOVIE TICKET banner across a box of Real Bran(??) Eureka! And the kids’ favourite Froot By the Foot and Fruit Roll-Ups are on the same promo, so we’ve been stocking up the cereal and school snack cupboard, cutting tickets and recycling the rest. We are at three adult passes and nine kids. He has 6 boys and 6 girls on his list, so we are almost at target.

My baby’s older brother and sister made a name for themselves in holding some of the longest birthday parties in the school. It wasn’t unusual to have a party start at 11:30 and continue to 5, or start at 2 and go to 8 I always felt it was very important for my kids to welcome friends to their home for birthdays (i.e.: clean and clean and clean) and be house proud. But there was always so much stuff to do!

My now-turning-14 son would have had a heart attack if we didn’t have his fourth birthday at the CN Tower—back when he thought it was the “see in’ tower” because you could see so far from it!! So we had all the kids meet at our place, we had some parent friends share up the kids, went to the CN Tower, which took three hours all told, then went the Golden Griddle on Lake Shore West (long gone now), then back to our place for a barbecue, pinãta and cake. That was fun, and a triumph. We didn’t lose one kid at the tower, no one was scared of the elevator, no one cried and no one threw up. And I had 2/1 coupons for the tower, and the same for Golden Griddle Score!

Being the party planners we all are, we have all components to his girl and boy loot bags in a box, and they will be good goodie bags, with older sister and brother as consultants. We’ll head out to the see the movie first. Then, back at our place and weather permitting, there’s a pin the tail on the donkey game (my 13-turning-14 got that for his party, more on that tomorrow), and we will hold the Chocolate Bar Detective Taste Testing Assignment that has happened at all three of my kids birthdays for the last seven years. Then birthday boy figures the girls can go with his sister to learn some dance moves, while he and his guy friends hit the X-Box while I lay out the sandwiches. My son has been adamant about the crustless sandwiches. No hot dogs, no hamburgers. He will make a graph of what kind of sandwiches his friends will like, and I will make them exactly what they order—Harper has announced his will be tuna, my guy wants ranch dressing and salad sandwiches. I cannot wait to see this list.

My 13-turning 14 son’s birthday coming up distressingly soon. Seven girls, 12 boys, five not yet decided, at a bowling alley from 7 to 9 on a Saturday night. I think I might go get more Advil now.


2 Responses

  1. Even if there are alot of birthdays and celebrations you can make memories for your child and friends by creating a game of playlet that enables them to dress up, act out favorite characters, show off, make up a few lines of script… and then video the event to share with their parents. We had great fun doing just that at a BD party for boys and girls who were 5 – 8 years old here in Sausalito.
    – another fan of Canadian Living (and Canadian readers,authors and librarians!)

  2. I think I would like to have crustless sandwiches at my next birthday party, but I think I’ll skip the ranch dressing and salad and go for some smoked salmon and cream cheese.

    My daughter has a February birthday and we always took her and a bunch of her friends toboganning. They all loved it. Back to the house for hot chocolate and cake and cookies. Once we did one of those tubing hills and that was a riot too.

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