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Just about everyone I know is having a meltdown over birthday parties. Oh, definitely not the kids. It’s the parents.

At first glance, birthday parties seem so innocent. You send out a few invites, pick up a cake, light some candles and do a little singing. Oh, I wish this was the case. Let me briefly take you through the agony.

The Invite List: I haven’t been this stressed out since I put together my wedding invite list and discovered that my husband wanted to invite about 75 of his parent’s closest friends. When I begged for a small, intimate wedding, he explained that all of these friends had attended his bar mitzvah 20 years earlier. I couldn’t really argue with that. So I bid adieu to an intimate affair and started planning a big, festive wedding.

Same invite stress with your kid. Everyone will tell you to keep a toddler’s birthday party small. But no one tells you how to do it. The list grows and grows. There’s the children from your neighborhood, the ones from preschool, your family, your friends from your life before kids (can you remember that far back?). Don’t start hyperventilating yet because you haven’t even found a location.

Location: I have this vision of the suburbs where everyone is having these great birthday parties in their perfectly manicured backyards or in their sleek, ultra-cool refurbished basements. I have no idea if this is true. I do know that in the city, there is hardly enough room in your apartment for you, your spouse and your kid(s) all at the same time. There is definitely not enough room to throw a kid-friendly bash, especially if you like your couches chocolate icing free and you don’t enjoy scraping hardened pizza cheese from your counters.

So you must search for that perfect kid spot where a) you haven’t already attended 10 other birthday parties, b) doesn’t cost you two months salary and c) isn’t already booked.

The Party (yes, I’ll cry if i want to): Finally, the party is here. It’s loud. It’s chaotic. Guaranteed, there are tears. Thankfully, it’s only an hour and a half. Now if only your child was old enough to write all those thank you notes himself.

mama bird notes:

Speaking of birthday parties, I just wrote a piece called “Kids Going Green” for a stylish, very cool event planning site called Notes on a Party. Check out my tips for turning your child’s birthday party into an eco-friendly celebration. What more could a mama want than making children happy while saving the earth?!

This week in “the beauty diary”, Alex introduces us to a gorgeous product for fall. It’s sexy. It’s gold. It’s lipstick. I think I’m in love. Click on “the beauty diary” on the menu bar to read more. Also, post your comments and questions for Alex, our mama bird beauty consultant.

5 Responses to the birthday meltdown

  • Daphne says:

    I thought I was keeping it simple for our 4th bday bash this weekend– backyard, suburban, bbq…now I'm up at night worrying about where the 28 people (yes, that's just a couple of friends + kids) are going to sit, and what about the mountains of crab apples piled atop our not-so-manicured yard…don't even get me started on if it rains! Sure, we're going green, if that means crushing cupcakes into the ground and letting the pinata booty mulch the lawn.

  • Sam says:

    yes, NOT simple. soooo many children came to pao's party yesterday, apparently there is this thing called a sibling (?), who knew? and having a yard actually just makes it more complicated. we had this great idea of having animals come, which was kind of cute, except that the woman only ended up bringing like one stupid chicken and (ok yes, cute) a bunny, oh and the pony was great. when my mother asked if we got a discount for the promised but missing pig and goats etc. she threatened to leave. but so (i know you will SO relate to this) it was a really beautiful day and i really wanted everyone to stay OUTSIDE (ie. not inside trashing my house.) so my mother (same as above) became the door police and kiddie bouncer and took her job so seriously that i think any new school mom friends that i thought i was bonding with and winning over now HATE me and think we are mean, awful freaks! oh well, at least my white couch is still only slightly off-white.
    p.s. she DID let them in to pee!

  • Kelcey says:

    Oh my god, Sam. You just made me laugh so hard. You definitely should get some kind of missing pig/goat rebate. And tell your mom, there are some bouncer openings at a few clubs here in the city. She sounds like she has top credentials – although I can't believe she was such a softy that she let the toddlers & parents pee inside.

kelcey kintner