Birthday Parties and Meltdowns

Here's the thing about birthday parties for children: They are stressful. Hosting and going. I've had a lot of experience with this lately. Now, to be honest, we had a really fun first birthday party for Ash. Which, to me, was important. I mean, everybody has pictures of their child turning one. It's a big deal! But for the past two birthdays, we've just done cupcakes at daycare and a cake and presents at home with family. And that's been fine, too. Much less stressful. As Ashtyn gets older, we'll make a bigger fuss over birthdays because I know they're important and a great opportunity for fun memories.
So lately, we've gone to two birthday parties for Ashtyn's friends. Ashtyn loves parties. She loves birthday cake (she really took after her mother when it comes to icing). She knows the birthday song and loves to sing it. A few weeks ago we went to a birthday party where there was one of those big blow-up things for the kids to jump inside. Extreme fun for Ash. Until I needed to pull her out of it. Then there was a lot of screaming and crying and thrashing about. And me, holding that little screamer, crier, and thrasher as I apologized to the birthday girl's mother and left. And then I turned into a crier on the way home myself. I felt terrible leaving because the family had put together a fun party for their little girl, but my little girl needed to go home.

So there was another birthday party yesterday. This time, Jeff said we'd all go so we could tag team it if there was any thrashing happening. As soon as we got there, the mom had fairy outfits for every little girl to wear. Such a cute idea! You can see Ashtyn above in hers. She wore it all day and looked adorable. Also, there was a unicorn pony ride. I'm serious! So every child had a turn riding a real pony in the backyard. Ash loved it. The mom had craft projects for the kids to do, a pinata--the works. The last thing on the agenda was the cake. I'm thinking this will go well since Ash is a fan of cake.

All the kids sit at the table. I noticed that the dad positioned himself right behind me and Ash with the video camera. Everyone starts to sing--then there's this terrible sound of wailing. Oh, wait. That's my child. Screaming. While the dad is videotaping right behind us. I have to pull Ashtyn away from the table while everyone's singing. Jeff's shaking his head in horror from across the room. I have no idea what was wrong. Ash was just yelling that she wanted to sing. Why she was crying and wailing--I don't know. I can only assume it had something to do with the fact that she needed a nap. Thankfully, this happened at the end of the party, so we were able to pack up and leave afterward. Did I mention that the other mom from the other party was there, too? So, our meltdowns are becoming legendary. Really fabulous.


  1. It always seems they plan these elaborate events at naptime. Why is that? I say wait until they are at least 5 to have the birthday party that involves other kids. I'm pretty sure Ellie was the only child at her bday parties until she was 6. It was an excuse for us to have fun with our friends! Of course you all didn't have children then...
    PS. love seeing Charlotte's clothes on Ashtyn! That sweater was one of my favorites.

  2. Sheri! That sweater is one of our absolute favorites, too. Thanks so much for sharing with us. :)

  3. I try and plan birthday parties very early or late afternoon just because I know my kids are the ones who will be throwing tantrums; even at their on bash! So I know what you are talking about we have those moments frequently - The good news is motherhood is a no judging zone.

  4. Motherhood should definitely be a no judging zone, Nancy! :) That's a great way to think of it.


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