Monday, February 22, 2010

A First Birthday Dilemma.

In six short weeks, Tori will celebrate her first birthday, crossing the boundary from babyhood into toddlerhood. She, of course, will have no idea that she celebrating such a momentous occasion, but I? I will know.

And I think that milestone sounds like a fantastic reason to get falling down drunk. I mean, come on. After surviving childbirth, six months without a single good night's sleep, and all the assorted trials, tribulations and nasty surprises the first year had to offer (projectile poop, anyone?), I think mama deserves to let her hair down a little, don't you?

But since that's not a socially acceptable way to spend a child's first birthday, the real dilemma centers around how big of a party to throw. And where.

See, we live many, many miles away from our nearest and dearest, including all Tori's aunts, uncles (biological and honorary) and grandparents. So while we could invite them all down here for her birthday party, chances are no one but the grandparents would show. I could also bully my friends here into coming, but I've attended far too many painfully boring children's parties to force that particular fate on anyone.

In other words, if I insist on having her birthday here, it will be a quiet celebration. Which isn't a bad thing. In fact, until very recently, that's what I thought I wanted. Just me, Brian, Tori and a big old cake to smash all over her face.

But now? That seems kind of lonely. Truth is, after a long winter completely free of family obligations, I kind of miss them. Okay, I really miss them.

Which makes our other option—that of turning her first birthday into a weekend-long road trip to Michigan—seem like a halfway decent idea. Except for the fact that on our last trip  home, her screams did permanent damage to our ear drums. She, to put it lightly, is not a fan of her car seat.

So is it fair to subject her to 14 hours of car seat-induced torture, just so I can have the first birthday party I want for her? I don't know.

Plus, I know if I do bring the party to the people, the grandmas will take over, most likely not letting me pay for much and exhausting themselves in the attempt to throw the perfect party. And that's not really fair to them, is it?

I also worry that my assorted relatives would think all this is just a ploy to get more presents for her.  Which it isn't (or wouldn't be). That girl has more toys than any baby needs—especially since her favorite play things are currently a bungee cord and my old electronic piano synthesizer thing.

I really don't know what to do. So Internet, I'm asking you. Am I worrying too much about all this? Should I just have a quiet party at home, and let the relatives come down when it's convenient for them? Or should I drag my little family to Motown and make it an occasion to remember?

Or, should I go for option three and just go buy myself a giant bottle of champagne and obliterate my memories of her first year in a sea of bubbles? I do love champagne...

Tell me what to do.


  1. My vote? It is COMPLETELY acceptable- even preferable - to have grandparents and other relatives spend all the money, all the time and all the effort. After all, they didn't have the hours in childbirth or night after night of sleepless nights. Even better? They would probably give ANYTHING to be able to do it. Go. Have fun. But bring a really loud rock CD to for the way back to drown out the screams. . . .

  2. Indulge that baby and yourself! You NEVER know what tomorrow or next year is going to bring, so I vote to do what your gut tells you. Throw a big bash and invite all the family and friends and those who will be able to attend, will, and it will all be to celebrate Tori. Or, embark on that road trip, with plenty of toys, CD's, a portable DVD player, a teaspoon of Benadryl (kidding, but it does work) and let the Grandmas spoil their grandbaby! AND have champagne - you deserve it!

  3. If you love big parties...go for the big one and make the trip. It does only happen once, and I also feel the 1st bday is more for everyone else. After that you will be keeping an eye on creepy clowns and making crafts galore. But with either choice...pop that bottle and sit back for a glass. That is a must for Mr. T's bday as well!

  4. I say go for the big one too!! Even though you are not thinking that you want everyone to send every cent on your seems to me that your family are far enough away, that you need this!! Bring the champagne and make it a great party for everyone......


  5. Like you I am far away from those near and dear so the first bithdays were all about celebrating our milestone of getting to 1 without loosing our sanity. I saw have some people over for champers and cupcakes and make it a casual celebration of reaching that all important milestone. Enjoy it while it lasts, the birthdays to come will be hard work and little time for champers.

  6. You had me at getting falling down drunk for the first birthday. After that, no other plan interested me as much.

    However, if really pressed, I'd opt for the party with family in their neck of the woods. Let someone else worrying about throwing the perfect party. You have one long ass drive to survive.

    Good luck!

  7. Why not meet halfway somewhere? You could rent out a room in a random restaurant and stay at a hotel or something? If you don't want to drive 14 hours for a one year olds party...I say you shouldn't. I would rather have it be a small party and whoever wants to come can come.

  8. My daughter's first birthday will be on March 14th. We are having both sets of grandparents, and my sister. Small, but sweet. I think small is ok. They don't really know, when they're that little, anyways!

  9. Most of my family lives far away, but The Hubs' family is closer. We've decided to have a bash at our house when The Munchkin turns 1 March 30 and whoever makes it, makes it. That's my vote for you. After all, they only turn one once. Besides it might end up being the best of both worlds -- enough guests to make it feel special, but not so many that it becomes a hassle.

  10. you will be keeping an eye on creepy clowns and making crafts galore. But with either choice...pop that bottle and sit back for a glass.

    Work From Home

  11. We've gone the quiet route for our kids' first birthdays so far and had their first big party for their second birthdays. Not sure why, I think I am always a little overwhelmed by the first one. (As in, SOB, why do they all grow!) But, it can be a blast to have a big party.

    Either way, pop that champagne!


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