Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Party Down

Hi there. Sorry I've been such a bad blogger lately. We are moving soon and my life has been consumed by the details of getting out of this house and getting into a new one. Plus, all the parties. Parties for the end of t-ball, parties for the end of kindergarten, birthday parties, end-of-preschool parties, Mother's day, Father's day... I'm about to puke from all the celebrating. Could we just not have a party and say we did?

I'm being a bit of a party pooper, I know. I will admit that I had a lot of fun planning Charlie's campfire birthday party. We rented a campfire ring at our local nature center and roasted marshmallows and hot dogs (not in that order) and threw rocks in the nearby creek. If your five-year-old boy ever complains of boredom, just take him to a creek and instruct him to throw rocks at it. You will be amazed at the amount of time your son can do something that doesn't involve a cape, or wheels, or a guy named Mario.

And my time for blogging may just be up because Teddy does not stand for people being on the computer these days. Or people playing with toys or people eating in big-kid chairs while he is stuck in a booster seat or people drinking out of regular cups while he is drinking from a sippy cup. He thinks he is so big-time. In the pro-Teddy category I have to include the fact that he is basically potty-training himself. (!!!!) I noticed he was dry when I was changing him after long periods of not changing him, so I started putting him on the potty and voila, pee pee! Now, I just put him on the potty every so often and he pretty much always goes. He even wears underwear around the house. Seeing as I thought Charlie would go to college with pull-ups, I'm pretty much in awe of Teddy's potty giftedness. I chalk it up to the cloth diapers. Even if you don't believe in global warming, I still recommend you use cloth diapers (and check out the movie An Inconvenient Truth). They have proven to be very economical, pretty easy, and a means to facilitate early potty training.

I just had to take a Teddy potty break...He went #2!!! Could I be any prouder of my boy? No, I could not!!!! I realize I sound like one of those annoying braggy mom bloggers right now. Sorry, can't help it. And I realize I just wrote #2 in a post. I am just shameless today.

Back to parties....I'm curious about something....what do people think about the whole "no gifts" trend at kids' b-day parties. I'm an old-school birthday party thrower. I think there should be gifts and sweets and candles blown out while guests sing happy birthday. I even think it's okay for the b-day boy or girl to open the gifts in front of people. Am I totally behind the times? I recently went to a party that I could've sworn was a no-gifts party and didn't bring a gift. Then sat in horror as gifts were opened and one of the kids asked, "what did you bring?" Oops!

In my opinion, requesting "no gifts" is totally confusing and not helping anyone. I know people think they're being kind when they say "no gifts," but really all they're doing is playing this b-day party mind game. Does "no gifts" really mean no gifts? Or does it mean contribute to a charity in the name of the birthday boy? Does it mean bring a card with sticker sheets in lieu of gifts? Does it mean bring a big, showy gift to show you are really just too generous and lousy with free time and money to go to a party without a nerf blaster in hand?

I tend to agree with Miss Manners who says that no mention of gifts should be made on an invitation, period. It's tacky to presume that someone would bring a gift in the first place, so to instruct them not to bring a gift is arguably equally tacky. Plus, it's actually fun to pick out a gift for someone you care about. Why deny our children this pleasure? It's also instructive for the child being celebrated to learn how to open and appreciate gifts graciously. Plus, getting gifts on your birthday is pretty much the whole point of having a birthday. I still wake up on my birthday full of anticipation and excitement. And that's not because I love turning another year older; it's because of the gifts!

Teddy is not at all pleased at how long I've been on the computer. Gotta run!


MaryAnne said...

Completely with you on the "no gifts" issue. If you really don't want gifts, just throw a party sometime when it's not the kid's birthday!

Julie said...

Really? You don't like the 'no gifts' trend??? I love it! My kid has WAY too many toys and the reason we have a party is so we'll have someone to share the day and the cake with. (Otherwise, I'd end up eating the whole thing!!)

Some of my mommy friends have started saying, 'bring a small unwrapped gift for the birthday boy to donate to the local family center.' I plan to do the same.

I love that it gives me a reason to talk about reality with my child. His dad and I will still get him a gift and we know we can't stop the grandparents, but it's nice for him to think about the fact that some kids have nothing and there's something he can do about it.