Obi Three Kenobi
I need more advice.
(I give and give and give and give and now I'm gonna TAKE!)
How do I throw a birthday party for a three-year-old? I do not know how to have a three-year-old and am therefore kind of lost.
(Motherhood Revelation #482: Taking care of a child is the easy part. It's the parenting that's tricky.)
We're throwing Wombat a belated birthday party on Saturday, and I have all the decorations color coordinated to the handmade invitations, I have lovingly embellished the store-bought party hats, and despite my continued insistence that I have nothing to do with the food part of our in-house celebrations, I have drawn up an entire menu of theme-specific treats and am spending this afternoon test-kitchening two ways to make the same damn thing, because this is proof that knowing you're crazy doesn't mean you can stop yourself from acting as such.
So! We're almost ready to go! The favors are packaged, I've gathered every theme-appropriate serving dish on the premises, and I took the fake cranberries out of our front door wreath so I can sew on some party-specific doodads I made out of felt and embroidery floss. (Simon's head just hit the desk. Some women go on shopping sprees and hide the receipts; I craft in secret.)
The problem: As for inserting actual guests into the above scenario, I'm floundering a bit.
This year we focused on inviting Wombat's friends (it was really hard to not invite friends of ours whom we love but Wombat doesn't know), and so this year, for the first time, we're going to have a house full of children. But what do we doooooo with all those children? We're not set up to have a bouncy house or a playroom free-for-all. Last year we just let them run wild through the balloons, but this year there will be no balloons (I couldn't find the right color at the store!) and because most of the kids are mostly sentient and coordinated, I'm thinking it's maybe appropriate to have something more sophisticated on tap, like maybe a game or a craft or something. Should we attempt musical chairs? Do I dare give each kid a glue stick?
For my own third birthday party (a Little House on the Prairie extravaganza, because that year was the height of my Laura Ingalls identity crisis) we played all kinds of games, but then that was in Mormon country, where healthy, modest games are what you do to keep your children away from drugs and sex and rock and roll from the ages of two to twenty or marriage, whichever comes first. In a community like that, we all knew the same games and we were all experts at playing them, so it was an easy option. Wombat's bunch, however, is a mix of friends from various parts of his life--kids from daycare, kids of coworkers, kids of bloggers, kids of bandmates--and not even a single one of them is Mormon.
So what should I do? Just get out the Duplos and train parts and let them have at it? Build a Pin the Something on the Something? Make a cupcake decorating station? Hand out sticks and rocks and take bets? Turn on Star Wars in the back room and forget about the littles entirely?
Help me, parents of three-year-olds! You're my only hope.Previous Next