Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Ada's birthday weekend started out with a play date with a new friend. I can't say it was the best play date since she didn't really get along with this new "friend". He was aggressive and she was possessive. We learned that the combination of those two personalities resulted in biting, hitting, screaming, and more time outs in two hours than anyone should ever have to deal with. It was a great opportunity for us to try to teach her how to share and play well with others. Maybe we'll have a chance to get the two together for a re-match when they are a bit older.

The rest of the weekend, Rick and I cooked and cleaned in preparation for Ada's birthday party on Sunday. When the time came for the party to get started, we didn't have time to pickup the kitchen or properly stash all of Iain's baby stuff into our bedroom. And we didn't get the homemade pizzas we had been slaving over prepped in time for the party. Rick started making them during the party and after he struggled to roll out the dough, we agreed to just call Domino's and be done with it. At least we know when to say when and know the limits of what we can do in a given amount of time. And we are only friends with people who forgive us for having a messy house and a chaotic, unstructured birthday party.

Everyone I asked for tips on birthday party planning suggested we keep it short and simple. We did so by only inviting the five kids from our mom group and limiting it to two hours. We planned it after naps so everyone showed up late, which is why we kept it unstructured. I could have planned a game or more activities, but the one activity we had was plenty. The kids all decorated their own wooden picture frames so we could take a group picture of the kids and they could put it in their new frames. The idea was good. The execution of the photo left a lot to be desired.

I should have rounded up all of the kids at the beginning of the party and enticed them with something awesome (cupcakes perhaps?) if they would sit still and look at the camera. Instead, I waited too long and forgot about taking the photo until one of the kids went into full meltdown mode and we had to corral them all onto the steps in an attempt to get anything decent before he left. This is the result.

Luckily, we have birthday parties for two of these kids in a few weeks, and hopefully will have another chance to try my bribery technique to herd these little animals into the frame for a group photo. I won't hold my breath on it for fear of passing out.

Moral of the story: When it comes to party planning, keep it simple. There is a reason parents order pizza, buy a cake, and serve juice boxes.

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