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BIRTHDAY PARTY DOS AND DONâ™TS

This past weekend I threw a birthday party for my 3 year old. And did I learn a lot...

Do not procrastinate sending out the invites because you could not find the right ink color to use on them. You will end up making a lot of calls. And people will not believe you when you tell them they really were on the “A” list.

Do employ a bouncer at your venue. Otherwise you will be host to many brothers, sisters, uncles, grandmas and children of family friends “only here for one night from Ohio” especially when you have to pay over $12 per person over the set amount. Pizza doesn't come cheap at a child party venue. Nor does it come with caviar on top, as you might have assumed by the price.

Do make sure to have a theme that pleases both boys and girls if you’re inviting both. Even 3 year olds know who should and should not be wearing the tutus.

Do order foods that are not messy. And make sure you order enough. Order two juice boxes per child. One for spilling/losing the other for drinking/spilling.

Skimp on the fruit salad and splurge on the chicken fingers.

Do not serve anything a child can choke on – grapes, hot dogs, etc. You want your party to be remembered, but not for that.

Do make sure to keep the cake out of the reach of the kids until after the candles unless you have a good sense of humor. I had to laugh at what the cake looked like and my child’s dress. That's what Photoshop is for.

If you give out goodie bags or gift items, make sure they’re useful. I gave out stuffed animal Beanie Babies. Perfect for catching the dust around the house. Make a few extras for the extra kids.

Ask others to take pictures. I hardly had time to really take in the party let alone frame the perfect shots. It as whirlwind as a wedding, though, thankfully I didn't have to stand around like a Disney character in a poofy white dress.

Invite the whole class if possible. Even the hitters (mine) and the biters. Their parents will be around so they’ll be perfect angels.

Enjoy and remember... they'll only be this age once.

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