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I'm not having a birthday party.

I'm not having a birthday party.

There. I said it. No, not for me - I'm not having a big ole' birthday party for Cletus the Used to be Fetus's First Birthday. Big V doesn't mind. Jelly Bean doesn't mind. Dotter doesn't mind. In fact, no one has lost sleep, become traumatized and/or needed the assistance of the Mental Health Officer to deal with this. It's just the way we do things in our family. We really don't see why we should have one.

I could give you a long list of reasons why - starting with I hate people and ending with so there! and they'd all make sense to me, but my decision still might not make sense to you. That's okay. You can throw your own birthday party for your own 1-year old. I won't even feel bad if you don't invite me. It still doesn't change the fact that we're not having one for Cletus.

In my own mind a birthday at this age is for the parents. It's sort of like announcing to all your friends and family that we survived an entire year and somehow managed to keep the kid alive! Kudos to you! Here, have an oversized plastic toy that lights up, makes noise and has batteries that will need to be changed every four weeks (of which you will never have any on hand).

I'll be honest. I don't feel like cleaning the house, cooking food, picking up a cake, and serving drinks to you simply because my child was born a year ago. I don't feel like watching my child smush cake up his nostrils and smear frosting in his hair while everyone laughs and takes a gazillion pictures of the disgusting event. (I would never tolerate that behavior at meal time; why would I encourage it?) I don't feel like spending twenty minutes cleaning up a sugar-shocked one year old while all my guests are in the living room enjoying bacon wrapped water chestnuts.

Yes, it's been one year. One year of running on empty due to lack of sleep (in our case, more so because of the dog but that doesn't make me any less tired) and trying to figure out how to work full time, keep the baby from sticking bobby pins up his nose, out-wit the teenager who is getting really good at perfecting the angsty teen role, and trying to convince an anxiety ridden 8-year old that no, we will not suffer from an earthquake and yes I do see those tree limbs that could possibly crash through the roof of our house and kill everyone while they sleep. Yes, I survived this year, but that doesn't make me feel like hosting a big old party in my house. No, I'm not going to rent out a room at the County Club and invite 40 of my closest friends and family members. No, I'm not going to buy coordinating paper plates, cups and napkins. And then have to drive back to town because I forgot the crepe paper. And then again because I forgot the tape. My 1-year old will have no idea what is going on, except wonder why I'm now telling him no, no, no every time he tries to reach up to pull the table cloth off my newly decorated presents table.

Before you tell me how horrible I am that I'm not choosing to elaborately celebrate the life of my child, I'd like to clarify for the record that I treat all three of my children equally and none of them had a first birthday party. That's just how we do it in our family. So there!


heather said…
Just found your blog while searching for birthday party ideas for my soon to be 8 year old! Love it! I love your writing style. Hilarious!
Phoenix Rising said…
Thanks for dropping by, Heather! And do come again! I should tell you that my 8-yr old is turning 9 early October. The older they are the more fun the birthday! We have an entire day of (inexpensive) fun that I plan. I write clues (like a scavneger hunt) and wrap the clues up. We've done breakfast, playing tennis in the park, grab some lunch, take in a movie, get dog food and drop it off at the animal shelter, and then usually end with a family get together for cake and ice cream. I make it a big deal by always having a decorated t-shirt and the windows on the car stating HONK! It's my birthday! (See, I'm not so horrible. Really.)
I am totally screwed because we had big family b-day parties for the 1st babies, then Evan came along shortly after so we did his. Then we skipped my next niece because it was so close to Christmas. Now my SIL skipped my third niece, but can I skip Mia? I don't think so. Anyway, I'm going on-line to look for matching plates and napkins tonight and I'm sure the kids will be ignored all week. Great Post!

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