Decisions, Decisions

I had assumed that the decisions we made during VB’s cancer treatment would be some of the hardest we’d have to make. Who knew that we’d come through that experience only to have our minds racked by the seemingly simple and mundane?

I speak here of VB’s fourth birthday party, coming up in a few weeks. This will be the first party where “friends” get the invite. When asked for a theme, VB was quick to request giraffes and elephants. How difficult could that be?

Turns out the answer is: “VERY”. First off is the size and scale of said shindig. Given that VB just transitioned between two classrooms in preschool, and has a third group of kids he cavorts with at our community’s special education program, we could be talking about 30-40 screaming bursts of energy. Add to that cousins, neighbors and the like, and the birthday get-together could quickly grow to the size (and hysteria level) of a Wiggles concert.

You would also think that it would be easy to come by safari/jungle-themed party supplies, games and the like. NOT SO — unless you’re willing to shell out boatloads of cash for some Steve Irwin knock-off to bring snakes and lizards into the room while animatronic monkeys swing from the rafters. Beyond that, you’ll be lucky to find so much as a set of paper plates with lions on them (which we were fortunate to stumble upon in the dollar bin at Target). Is my son the only one interested in his own private Rainforest Cafe? I can’t imagine….

As VM and I sat up late into the evening last night debating the pros and cons of inflatable palm trees, I wondered…Is it just us? How do parents make these difficult decisions, and engage in this strategic event planning, in a way that doesn’t cause insanity — all the while knowing that their child would be just as happy with a store-bought cake covered in cheap icing as he or she would a cake hand-made to look like a Zebra?

A you ponder the complexity of these issues, feel free to point some of your energy and thoughts our way on Friday — VB’s next MRI day. Let’s continue forward with the hope that selecting the perfect birthday hat is the most complicated thing we need to address this week.

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About vampdaddy

Father...Sage...Artist...The Weird One...I am many things to many people. View all posts by vampdaddy

2 responses to “Decisions, Decisions

  • Lainey-Paney

    Birthday Party for kids—they can get soooo out of control.
    VB is a bit older than Gage…so I gotta say, you’re ahead of us in the “he has his own friends” aspect.
    With us, the guest list for Gage’s 3rd birthday party was just over a hundred people. We reached a point where we were really hoping that they all wouldn’t come (shhh, don’t tell anyone!)
    It’s just so hard to not invite our friends when say….they slept on the floor in the waiting room when there were 17 hours of labor before his arrival. Those kind of friends—gotta be invited.
    Family? How could you not invite family?

    I don’t know WHAT we’re going to do when he gets his own friends!!!!!!!!!!

    Decorations: Let me brag for a moment to tell you that I am queen of cheap-o for kid birthdays. This year, I had to be with over a hundred people possibly coming (I think it ended up being 60 something….) & the need to feed all of them.
    I made my own invitations.
    I made table decorations & since this year we did an “army dude” theme, I got clearance camo fabric at WalMart to make cheap & quick table coverings. Paired that with an off-white sheet to mix it up….
    Had my mom make a cake.
    Other party decorations: Gage’s own coloring of army themed/military themed coloring pages. To put them on display, I had 2 or 3 of them laminated at Staples, then propped them up in front of a picture frame, so that the picture fram was totally hidden.

    I spent the most birthday $$ on:
    balloons (I can’t help myself…I have to have lots of balloons!)
    helium tank
    food for that many people
    alcohol (yes, we had a daiquiri machine b/c there were lots of adults at the party!!!)
    binding for custom coloring books that I made on the computer (HEY—DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE YOUR OWN BINDING MACHINE B/C IT ENDS UP COSTING SO MUCH, AND IT’S NOT WORTH IT, BUT IF YOU’RE LIKE ME, YOU JUST PAY THE $$ ANYWAY B/C OF ALL THE FREAKIN’ HARD WORK YOU PUT INTO ASSEMBLING THEM….)

    other than that, I bought a thing of colored paper & cardstock to make my own invites & decorations.
    Like I mentioned—the lamination.

    Okay…this is a really long comment….but maybe it will spark you guys to think cheaply & out of the box!
    🙂

  • mummaboox2

    Do you have a Dollar Tree near you? I could have sworn I saw jungle themed party goods in there, on the cheap. My advice? Keep it simple and short. 1.5 hours in the late afternoon, so all you have to serve is cake, and set out some snacks. Get a pinata, have them decorate their own goodie bags for the loot from the pinata, play a couple of rounds of Simon Says (as in Simon Says “Be a giraffe!”) and call it done. Everyone will have a great time, and the other parents will marvel at your courage at having all those kids in one place with craft supplies, no less.

    Speaking of courage, much of that, along with good wishes, love and hugs for Friday.

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