Hosting a party is a lot like childbirth. The end result is pretty great, but getting there involves lots of deep breathing, freak-outs, and the occasional distilled painkiller.
Tomorrow is Joel's first birthday. I thought I would make things easy-squeezy and invite some people over for pancakes. I called it a "pajama party," in the Evite, and encouraged everybody to roll out of bed and come on over. Nothing to it.
That is "nothing to it," if I wasn't a freaking LOON. Whenever I have a birthday party for one of my boys, I become one of those Stepford-Wife/Martha Stewart Pod People, except that I have no crafty talents whatsoever.
For Owen's second party, Paul came home to find me on the kitchen table, muttering unspeakable things to the poor, innocent streamers. I hated those streamers, putting on airs, acting like they were too good to drape gracefully and twirl festively. Filled with rage, I crumpled the streamers into a ball, and told them to do something impossible, since they do not have sexual organs. I imagine you get the gist.
Did I mention I was in my first trimester during this episode?
At this same party, I got it into my head that I was going to make cupcakes that looked like monkey faces. Each cupcake would have a Nilla wafer face, with M&M eyes and a cute, little Red Vined mouth. They were adorable little crackhead monkey birthday cupcakes. So cute that they made Owen's guests cry.
I think I did a better job with Owen's third birthday, except for the part when Owen took all the party favors, hid in a corner and cried out "Mine! Mine! Mine!" We had issues with boundaries back then.
So now, with Joel's "easy" first birthday, I've done the following ridiculous actions:
1) Decide that I need to make a cake that looks like a duck pond.
2) Decide that my mother needs to have a "messy fun" station outside for the older kids, while (in theory) Joel mingles with his baby peeps. They'll probably be talking about the price of formula, and maybe Obama's health care initiatives. Those babies LOVE politics.
3) Decide that the menu of pancakes and fruit is NOT ENOUGH, and insist on making egg souffles.
4) Decide that I need to scour the house before the babies and toddlers descend upon it, eating syrupy pancakes and having "messy fun."
Probably these are the only actions I should be taking:
1) Sit down.
2) Open bottle of red.
3) Take sips until reality returns.
I get a bit crazy about these things because I have happy memories of parties from my childhood---homemade cakes, treasure hunts, costumes, streamers---and I want the boys to have the same memories.
Also, my baby will be ONE. That alone is reason to celebrate.