I am in the beginning stages of planning the triplets’ 7th birthday and I find myself considering throwing a birthday party that I never thought I would, ever again. I can’t help but wonder if we choose to forget the madness of certain birthday parties, kind of like we forget the pain of childbirth (hence perpetuating life).
Four ways throwing a kids birthday party is like childbirth:
- There is a lot of stress and anxiety when throwing kids’ birthday parties, just like childbirth.
- An overwhelming need to take medication during kids’ birthday parties, just like childbirth.
- You make a bunch of plans about how the birthday party is supposed to go, and then things don’t work out as planned, just like the birth plan checklist.
- Kids birthday parties and childbirth both end up costing a lot of money.
Four years ago we had an at-home birthday party for Ava. She was turning 6-years-old and she wanted to invite 10 girls because she has a go big or go home type of personality. Nine girls showed up to our house and the plan was to eat pizza and then (peacefully) watch Cinderella.
Chris and I were the only adults present at this birthday party. This was a big mistake. The party was immediately a disaster. We sat down for pizza and our 3-year-old triplets began to fuss. They were all grumpy. The birthday party girls were not interested in pizza so they quickly moved on from dinner, leaving a gigantic mess in their wake. We put Cinderella in the DVD player for them to watch and they lasted only five minutes before they all got up and started running through the house screaming.
The birthday party had gotten out of control. Mayday. Mayday. My husband and I watched the clock until it was time for parents to show up and save me from their children. Tick, tock, tick, tock.
From that moment on we vowed to NEVER EVER have that kind of home birthday party with little people, even when they try to manipulate us into believing that they will calmly watch a movie and not wreak havoc on our household.
Now the triplets are turning seven and all they want in this whole wide world is to have a home birthday party where they make their own pizzas and then watch a movie. I am a believer that birthdays are our one special day of the year and they should be as special as possible.
I began to entertain the idea. Think how inexpensive it would be? We could knock out three birthdays in one 2-hour evening at home with minimal expense. It won’t be that bad! Just a little pizza making and then we will all sit down for a nice quiet movie.
I present the idea to my husband. It goes something like this:
Me: “I was thinking we could do a birthday party at home this year for the triplets. They can each invite a few friends. Think how inexpensive it would be. And fun too! Yay.”
Husband: “What!?!? No way! Don’t you remember we did that once and it was a complete disaster?”
Me: “Yes I do remember that but we didn’t have any adult help and the triplets were only 3 and they added to our chaos and this year we are going to have your parents to help.”
Husband: “No way. Do you not remember what a nightmare that was last time? I don’t care how much money we have to spend, I am not subjecting myself to that again.”
Then it all came to me in a terrible premonition straight from hell. Pizza dough and flying flour everywhere. Kids fighting over toppings. Me slaving over a hot oven as I try to cook 10 different tiny effing pizzas in my non-pizza oven. Pillow fights and games of chase instead of peaceful movie viewing. Screaming and fighting over Legos. Girls complaining about petty girl shit like “she is leaving me out.”
The Norman Rockwell unrealistic dream of what the triplet’s 7th birthday party would look like was over.
I don’t think birthday parties are like childbirth. While both are equally traumatic, one being emotionally disturbing and the other physically painful, I believe I remember very clearly how much home birthdays suck the living marrow out of us. I just want to give my kids the exact birthday they desire. It’s their one special day. It’s only two hours out of my whole life right? Anyone can survive 2-hours in hell.
But it’s just not going to happen. I booked the birthday party at a local pizza place where they can make pizzas and play video games, leaving their gigantic mess behind for someone else to clean up.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.