Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Birthday Parties and Labor

I've been hiding out from the extreme Texas heat. It's been sizzling (even by Houston standards) and its only June.

No one is showing up to feed me ice-cold grapes in the heat
of the day. Or fan me while I lie on a hammock .


Keeping Only Child entertained inside all day (did I mention naps are dead?) means never a quiet moment. This high maintenance only-child racket is swiftly coming to an end.

My little boy will be four years old in July! We went to my nephew's birthday party this weekend. He also turned four and it was a perfect plan: a small crowd at a shaded, covered park pavilion. Chick-fil-A tray. Simple. Easy.

The heat was so oppressive that the birthday boy was threatening to heave by the time the clown was packing up.

I'm SO not up to throwing a big party right now
! (Or even a little one.)

Our family alone totals more than 20 people. We live on a street full of kids, 15 kids to be exact. My good friends have 13 kids between them. Who to leave out when we love them all?

Decisions had to be made and so they were made.

Only Child thinks staying in a hotel is a great adventure. I figure we'll stay in Galveston and make a weekend out of it...take him to the beach on his birthday, lunch somewhere, order a cake...everyone is happy.

Isn't that a great plan? Who wouldn't like to stay in Galveston for their birthday?

And when did kid birthday parties get so out of control? I must admit, the cost of throwing a party at the usual places has tipped the scales in favor of my Galveston plan. I was trying to think of something different to do because parties at Chuck E Cheese and the bouncy place are so popular that I'm afraid my son doesn't appreciate how special they are.

And, I hate to admit it, but my kid has come to expect a nice goody bag on the way out the door after a hosting family has already dropped a nice chunk on the festivities. (And I am fully part of the circuit, don't get me wrong.)

No more. I'm starting a movement of Mom's breaking the cycle of extravagant kid parties...the MBCEKP, if you will. No more dropping the equivalent of a car payment on kid parties. My organization calls for a retro celebration, or none at all.

Who is with me?

Am I sounding like a scrooge yet? It gets better...

On to labor.

Mistakes were made the first time around. We didn't have a plan. I didn't know I would be cowering in pain and waiting HOURS for that epidural. My husband left the hospital with his mother to buy a hamburger while I was in labor and then he was too...nice to ask his family to leave when I begged it of him in his ear. I had to do it myself.

That is all unacceptable.

This time around, if "you" haven't had dinner before the show starts...there will be granola bars in my suitcase.

Also, we will receive no visitors until after the blood and gore.

I take that back. My SIL Julie, the shining star of birth I, who took care of me during the dinner-run has forever ingratiated herself to me. She was my comrade in the trenches. Julie may enter the room, if she would like. And I will be comfortable in saying, "OK, thanks for coming, bye now."

So friends and family, please don't be offended that I don't want to take center stage in my most vulnerable hour. Please understand why you didn't get an invitation to the big 4 year celebration and why you won't get an invitation to the next birth-day, either.

We'll take lots of pictures and fill in the colorful details here.