So if you saw yesterday’s train party post, I thought I’d let you know that it is not a sane mother who puts on a party like that.
Unreasonable things I did for this birthday party include:
1. Ordering a $15 wooden box that cost $30 to ship here so I could set up a photo op on the train tracks
2. Signing up for an Amazon Prime card so I could get free two-day shipping on train sandwich cutters the week of the party
3. Finishing and addressing the invitations two months ahead of time
4. Labeling water bottles with “Chugga Chugga” signs when there is perfectly good tap water two feet to the left of them
5. Hand-making and decorating popcorn cones instead of just putting popcorn into a bowl
6. Weeding the train tracks in the midst of having the flu (the train stopped running a couple years ago so the tracks have fallen into disrepair). As you can see, I only had time to weed a small section of the tracks—I weeded the section in the left picture; got headachy and dizzy and feverish; couldn’t weed the right side.
Then there was the flurry of work for more reasonable but still unnecessary tasks: hand-making invitations, creating tags for the engineer hat favors, creating tags for the candy favors, making toothpick tags for the adult food, making stickers for the kids’ lunches, painting a bunch of train signs to hang around the house, printing pictures of Rocco of various ages to put on the mantel, fashioning a bunch of boxes to look like a train and hold snacks for the adult buffet, and making/decorating the train cake. To name a few.
For the first time in my planning of parties, it didn’t feel fun to me—at least the last couple days before the party. I’ve always known I throw these for myself, really; the kids could care less about eating their popcorn out of thematically decorated paper cones versus a big metal bowl. It’s not so much the time I spend creating and making decorations that annoyed me this time. That part I truly love. It’s the time I spend poring over the Interwebs for ideas, running errands to the various party stores because each one carries slightly different merchandise, and thinking, thinking, thinking about the party ahead of time. It felt rather ridiculous to me this time around.
So. If I’m not having fun, it’s time for my birthday parties to involve ordering a Safeway cake and have pizza delivered. I want to go to a party store, buy a bunch of things, put them in little paper bags, and call it good. Maybe even buy invitations. The question is: will I be able to?
Stay tuned…Vincenzo’s party is just two months away. It’s hard not to feel behind at this point, but I am really going to try to be normal just this once.
Postscript: I decided this, then spent that night lying awake in bed for a few hours thinking about all the ways I could keep the next party simple. Maybe the problem isn’t with the parties…maybe the problem is ME!