It's birthday party season - accelerated. My daughter is in a class of older 3 year olds so all the parties are between now and the winter holidays. That make about 17 of them. Plus we have two parties for her cousins. And I'm throwing a party somewhere in there as well.
I have birthday party anxiety. I don't know what to buy or what to wear. All my mommy birthday party clothes already have pizza and cake stains, as do my daughter's party clothes. Thank goodness grape juice is now white so we just smell iike giant artificial grapes. Thank goodness I'm not too uptight and I'm fine about wearing pre-stained clothes. I just make it a point to head to the food first and then pretend it just happened.
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And then if it’s a boy party I really don’t know what to buy. What do 4 year old boys like? My daughter already thinks boys are kind of icky.
This past Saturday the birthday theme was Star Wars. Do 4 year olds really like Star Wars? Do they understand the themes like the value of loyalty, the importance of being true to and trusting in one’s self, and the merit of hope. Or do they just think the light sabers are cool? I couldn’t follow the plot of Star Wars when I first saw it when I was 7. I still can’t. All those spaceships look the same.
I don’t quite know how to behave at these parties either. Should I socialize with the adults or make sure my daughter doesn’t plunge head down from the swinging bars. I get the anxiety twinge knowing I am going to see so many moms that I never see at school pick up and drop off because I don’t drop off or pick my child up. So instead of a regular day of school with a celebration, it feels like prom night. Or a party where I am praying someone, somewhere will want to talk to me.
On the flip side, these parties give me the chance to spend quality and quantity time with my daughter and her friends. I get the chance to see how she interacts with her peers. I see that she suffers from none of the social anxeity I do. She doesn't wait to ask if she can go on the bounce house, eat the pizza, stick her finger in the cake frosting, or pull the pinata strings. This past weekend I also saw we need to work on sharing. Sharing the spotlight that is. She’s generous with everything money can buy but she must learn that she can’t blow out the candles on anyone else’s cake but hers.