My sister has a son and the other day he turned one. This post is for her!
I think as parents we all know that a kids first birthday is more about the parents then the actual kid. For what other birthday does literally every single relative you have within a 3 hour drive show up for? The answer… NONE. It’s a good thing kids don’t remember their first birthday and set their birthday expectations on who attends their first. It would be a life full of disappointing birthdays. Just like my life. (Just kidding Mom and Dad, my birthdays were wonderful, except that time you forgot.)
There are two types of first birthdays. First, the type that is just your family and the little tyke turning 1. This usually happens when you have the first child in your family, or the first kid in your group of friends. It is a calm atmosphere and there might even be wine and cheese being served (not to the kid). The other type of first birthday is when there are 5 to 12 other toddlers ranging from ages 1 to 4. This is where the chaos happens! In the first birthday scenario the most exciting part of the party is watching the birthday boy/girl dig into their cake with their bare hands. Possibly even more entertaining is watching the disappointment from Mom and Dad when instead of smiles, laughs and frosting all over their kids face its crying, boogers and tears because your little angel accidentally touched the frosting with her toe. Dad and Mom look like dorks with their camera and camcorder around their neck trying to coax the kid into scooping the frosting in their mouth, which mind you is already full of the boogers. Mean while the poor birthday girl just wants a nap.
Anyway, enough about my daughters first birthday and on to the party we experienced which is scenario 2. Five other toddlers at the party.
The Birthday Boy Could Care Less About His Presents.
What is going through a one year old’s mind when they get the first box thrown in their lap? Everyone in the room is crowding around him, the other toddlers are literally so close to him it might as well be a group hug, Mom and Dad have strategically given recording and picture duties to relatives with different angles on the action, every adult with kids and that one crazy aunt in the corner are yelling at all the toddlers to sit down so everyone else can see, there is a pile of presents 4 or 5 times as big as the kid and Mom is holding him in her lap just so he cannot crawl away.
I’ll tell you what is going through his mind.
‘I HAVE TO PUT THAT SHINY PAPER IN MY MOUTH!’
Half Way Through the Presents Its a Free For All.
Mom and Dad (in this case mostly Mom, I think by this point Dad was downstairs mounting some sort of mammal onto the wall) eventually cease trying to keep the present fiasco organized and simply let all the other kids tear into remaining wrapped gifts. Meanwhile the birthday boy is still chewing on his original piece of shiny wrapping paper while the other kids push the gifts into his face.
“Look what you got, its a tractor, bath toys, a potty chair, books, more bath toys, toy cars, this one moves by itself!”
Eventually the birthday boy has had enough and starts to cry. Mom can barely hold him in her lap anymore and snot is just streaming out of his nose. Because it is far to crazy in the room for anyone to do anything rational like get a Kleenex for the poor boy, mom just grabs the closest plastic sack and wipes his nose.
Where did the Parents Go?
After the final present is finally torn open the next logical step is to hype up all the kids at the party a little more with some cake and ice cream! By this point both Mom and Dad are no where to be seen and for good reason too. Moms in the back taking puffs on her asthma inhaler just trying to calm down a little. Finally after a few short minutes mom and dad emerge to pump all the kids full of sugar.
Other Parents Thoughts of the Presents
If you have been a parent for more than 1 or 2 birthdays you know how fast trinket toys pile up. As the kids are opening the presents I dream of taking the gifts out of their box and dropping them right into the garbage. Just skip all the times I have to pick them up off the floor and put them away. I know my sister (who’s son had the party) was dreaming the same thing! She is an excellent toy tosser.
I will refrain from mentioning specific toys I dreamt of tossing directly into the garbage because I’m sure some of those that attended the party will read this post. If you did attend the party and are reading this… Your gift was PERFECT! Its not about your gift… its about the joys of reducing your kids toy collection. I’m not sure about other parents but I LOVE it.
Finally its Over.
And as soon as it started it ends! Your little boy or girl is 1. Smiles and Tears.