Yesterday we celebrated E’s first birthday, even though it’s not until next week. B is about to leave on an 11-day business trip, so we had to throw E’s party a little early.
For two months, I’ve been in party planning mode. I made a Pinterest board for the occasion, and I’ve been Googling and brainstorming and fantasizing about how adorable E’s birthday party was going to be.
Friday night rolled around and my mom came by to help me construct the party favors. My first bit of advice to anyone planning their first one-year-old’s birthday party is that any ideas you have that have to be “constructed” should be tossed right out the window.
The party favors, although they turned out quite adorable, fell apart the second the air in the room moved just the right way. My mom and I were silent as we put them together–they required maximum concentration–except for the occasional “shit” and “DAMN IT” whenever one of them fell to pieces and we had to start from square one.
My next error was that I was unaware that handling a good-quality balloon (i.e., NOT the dollar store) full of helium is no easier than handling a balloon greased in butter. I had big plans to turn five balloons and baskets into little hot air balloon food holders, but in the end I settled for two. The other three balloons floated randomly around the house for the duration of the party. The kids enjoyed this, so I don’t consider it a complete failure.
I’d also planned to bake some cinnamon pastries, but I put this off until the night before the party (because who wants a 2+ day old pastry?) and ended up with so many other things to do that I ditched my plan to make anything myself and bought Valentine’s cookies from the grocery store.
The morning of the party (scheduled for noon) rolled around and I got down to business as soon as E went down for her nap. Within 30 minutes I realized I had no idea what I was doing, I’d worked up a sweat, I was stressing about every little thing, and I was arguing with B over stupid things. I took a step back and asked myself if having the party I’d envisioned was REALLY worth it.
It wasn’t. But I still stressed anyway. #momlife
By the time the first guest arrived, I’d scrapped a few minor things I had planned. I’d realized I forgot some of the major things I’d wanted to do. I hated the way certain things turned out compared to how I had envisioned them. Yet E still had a great time. She had no idea that all of those details had been a massive headache for me. She didn’t care that we only had two balloon baskets instead of five, or that I forgot the hummus for the pretzels or that I forgot to make a poster all about the words she can say and how many teeth she has.
After the party ended and the cleanup was over, I was exhausted, sore, and starving. E had an incredible day but I had to ask myself if it was because of all the extravagant things I’d planned, or if it was because we had good company and lots of presents. I told B that next year, I’m buying some streamers and cheap balloons, because E is going to love it just the same.
One thing that did require extra work and planning (but not on my part) was E’s cake. Your average baby isn’t restricted to a vegan cake for their first birthday. My wonderful friend, who was a vegan once upon a time, made E a special little cake that turned out beautiful and ridiculously delicious.
E only gets a first birthday once, so I don’t regret everything I did for her special party. But I also won’t be quite so creative for her second birthday.