The Daddy:The Kid’s First Attended Birthday Party- Not Too Bad Actually, Right?
The Momma: Shockingly, it went pretty well. One meltdown (which, c’mon, after a long day at daycare straight to a party environment…I’m shocked that’s all it was), no kids were hurt, and he even left smiling and waving!
D: It was pretty cool to have one of our (shockingly) first group parent/kid experiences, complete with all the awkwardness. And of top of it, to see that (for the most part) most of the kids and parents were about on the same page, more or less.
M: Yeah, it actually helped me feel like we’re in the normal range! Especially seeing that there were at least 5 other kids who had little tantrums and that almost all the parents were doing the “get to know you” thing!
D: The kid seemed to have a pretty big meltdown, but after he finally chilled out and rejoined the group, more of the other kids began their tantrum phase. So all in all, he just got his done and out of the way early. I kind of was expecting it, but it was a pleasant surprise to see him keep his shit together for the rest of the night. Then we got to enjoy the show when other parents went through it.
M: That’s the other thing, it was nice to be in a room full of parents that are all experiencing basically the exact same developmental stages we are, so there was no side eye, no dirty looks. It was really refreshing.
D: That was indeed a pleasant surprise. I kind of go into these kinds of events with that expectation, the sidelong glances, the Mommy Cliques, the aloofness, and it was a real treat to pretty much not see any of that. I really tried to go out of my way to meet all the parents, even they were a little shy. I don’t pretend that it’s easy, or that I’m not going to be the one to break the ice, but everyone was warm and inviting.
M: All in all, I think it was as successful as a birthday party with fifteen 2-3 year olds and their parents who have all never met could possibly have been.
M: Although, I will admit that there was a moment when I was sure the kid was going to do a header into the cake. Which would have been exciting, but might have ruined things a little.
D: Yeah, you were more on cake duty, which was the ultimate source of the trouble tonight. That kid gets fixated on something, and there’s almost no turning him back. That’s the big hurdle I hope gets under control in the near future. That’s what caused the tantrum, but then again, I wonder if he would have found something else he wanted but couldn’t have IN THAT INSTANT that would have pushed him over the edge. Nice to see him sitting calmly eating his slice when he finally got it.
M: Yeah, once he got the cake, nothing else seemed to bother him! Oh, and his balloon. Such simple pleasures.
D: Yeah, all the fuss over the cake, like it was the cure for cancer. And then, and then…Oh look! A balloon! THIS! This is the best thing in the world! It is amazing to watch that joy though. A hard thing to explain to non-parents. Who cares? The kid likes a balloon? But of course it isn’t just liking it. Nothing else is more amazing and fantastic in the universe, at least for that moment.
M: I think that’s part of why I ended up so pleased with the party–not only because we got to (finally) meet the parents of a bunch of the kids he goes to school with, but also because it was nice to see him have a handful of things that he just truly enjoyed. They were treats–he doesn’t get cake and balloons and goody bags every day you know–and he was appropriately impressed with them in a way that was adorable.
D: Oh, he had a total score tonight on the goodie bag. Great on the parents or the play center, whoever put those together. Total win. Yes, all in all it was a good night. I had reservations about how his behavior was going to go, and while not perfect, was pretty good and totally on par with the rest of the kids. Some better, some worse (we won’t talk about them) and just in general, how one of those experiences ought to go in my mind. An unexpected success.
D: He may actually be ready for his own birthday party soon. God help us.
M: We still have 8 months to steel ourselves for that. *Gulp*
D: Who knows, he may be over his tantrum screaming phase by then, right? Right? RIGHT?!?!??