To party or not to party?

My baby turns 3 in 5 days.  I’ve been a total basket case for several weeks now.  Party?  No party?  Cupcake toppers?  Special trip?  Back and forth and back and forth.  I’ve planned outdoor parties with hula-hoops and bubbles.  I’ve planned a low-key party at the park with game stations. I’ve pictured quilts scattered on the green grass looking like a giant, billowy birthday cake.  I’ve planned her 3rd birthday portrait.  I’ve looked and rental cabins and checked on quick get-away prices.  I’ve looked into aquarium Tickets and Zoo prices.  I’ve done everything EXCEPT actually plan a single, solitary thing.  The indecision and back and forth are totally stressing me out.

sadie thank you

The rational part of my mind is like….REALLY?  All this over a 3rd birthday….REALLY?

The I-am-a-working-mom-and-will-always-carry-the-guilt-burden part of me continues to stress and fret and worry and agonized.

Truth:  Sadie hates strangers.  Anyone she doesn’t see and interact with daily for months is treated like a stranger.  My vivacious, personable, sassy little butter bean quits chattering, quits joking and goes silent when anyone not in her immediate circle comes anywhere near her.   Her fingers go into her pouty little mouth, her big brown eyes drop to the floor and she becomes still and quiet.  So the truth is that Sadie doesn’t want a  party.

Second truth:  My week next week is shaping up to be a 60-70 hour WORK week + it’s the week of my 13th spring consignment sale + a swim + 2 softball practices + a slumber party + some extra photo work.  There isn’t TIME.

Third truth:  She doesn’t care and doesn’t know.  If she gets a cupcake a candle today it’s her buf-day.  If she gets it the next week or the next week—guess what?  To her–it’s her bur-day any day that she gets a cupcake.  My mind knows this, my heart does not.

Forth truth:  The 3rd child does get the short end of the stick sometimes.  She also gets loved on and spoiled by all of us.  She’s certainly not wanting for love or attention and a birthday party or a lack of a birthday party is NOT going to permanently damage her one way or another.   I am not so sure I will exit unscathed but she’ll be fine.

Fifth truth:  my plans for balloons staked with golf tees to create a magical wonderland in the backyard-NOT HAPPENING.  The giant S-shaped birthday cake in pale pink and white billowy icing-NIXED.  The candy table piled with glass jars and filled with colorful, delightful candy–yep, X’d off the list.  There will be no shrieks of laughter as little toddling people chase the industrial strength, oversize bubbles that I found the recipe for. No mason jars filled with pink lemonade adorned with pale yellow straws and made adorable with little caps of cupcake liners.  No CD’s with toddler tunes. No 3-year-old dance parties.  No streamers.  I won’t make homemade bunting this year like I did for her first birthday.  I won’t make hand-made invitations.  Not this year.


It’s Saturday.  I have a LOT to do.  But the sixth truth is that today we are going to find a way to give Sadie a birthday memory.  It won’t be a party.  It won’t be what I would LIKE to do for my girl but we’ll find something special so that Mommy can quit obsessing. She’ll get cupcakes at school on the day of her BIG DAY and I’ll think of SOMETHiNG to put on top of them. She’ll be 3 whether I spend days making hand-made pinwheels or not.  When you are 3 sprinkles are just as exciting as elaborate or hand-make cake toppers.  Right?




3 thoughts on “To party or not to party?

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