Monday, January 28

Keeping it on the Down Low

Alexis' birthday was a day of compromise. Daddy wanted to take her to Chuck E. Cheese. I would rather play in traffic. I wanted to take her to the Children's Museum. Daddy would rather go bowling with live bombs. So we did both.

The Chuck E. Cheese portion of the festivities came with the claim that "she love, love, LOVES it there." I personally had never been, but Mr. Husband had taken the Toddler there once. Within moments of walking in, it became apparent that his idea of "she loves it" and my idea of "she's mortally afraid of it" are actually one and the same. We all already know that Elmo and Zoe at 500 feet away is worth crying about, you ought to see what she thinks about Chuck E. at 5 feet away. Let's just say my underwear have been known to give me more space than the kid right after seeing the giant rat. When Mr. Husband took off with 20 or so tokens (so he could get the Toddler a prize, you see), I came to understand who really loves Chuck E. Cheese. The birthday girl eventually warmed up to the idea of swinging and playing a tiny bit, but it came at the price of much Mommy cajoling.

Just so we're all clear on the topic, I would rather eat cardboard than that pizza. Yeah, I know, they are made of the exact same substances.

The Children's Museum, I thought, was a whole lot more fun. As in, I got to sit in a chair and Alexis got to play and play and play. She would probably still be playing if there had been any food in the place for us to eat after they locked us in. I only get locked into places that leave chocolate and popcorn sitting around for me to munch on at midnight, thankyouverymuch. Despite the lack of quality nightime munchies, I still think the Children's Museum rocks. Hard.

During the home portion of the activities, there was cake and there were presents. Alexis ate precisely none of her cake. Really, she stuck a fork in it, licked the icing off, and then gave up on it. If I were the kid of parent that got all locked into a plan, I would have been pissed about the lack of messy smash cake photos. Good thing I just go with it.

Presents were sort of a bust for the poor child. Considering that I still haven't drug out all of her Christmas presents, there really was no need to get her anything. I did let her keep Satan's doll since it was far less annoying once I found the mute button. Other than that, she got a few games that she won't care about for at least six months. They were on clearance so I figured it made sense to pay a little for them now rather than a lot for them later. In true Toddler form, the only gift she really cared about was the box of junk jewelry that I gathered on a whim as we were leaving the store. Don't take away the kids bling, she will hurt you. And don't tell her that her bling is only worth about $10 total.



Notice the complete lack of other people involved in the festivities? That's right, there was no partying with friends and family. We shall see in approximately 16 years what happens if you don't give your kid the biggest! birthday! party! ever! when they turn two. If she survives, perhaps other parents will be brave enough to follow in our compromising footsteps.

32 comments:

  1. I salute your compromising footsteps, and plan to follow in them in just less than 9 months, when G. turns 2! Too many people=crazy off the walls baby! And while I'm saluting, nice t-shirt work!

    And for the record, I think the rat is creepy too!

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  2. Kudos to you! I think it is friggin annoying when people spend hundreds of dollars on birthday parties for their little ones. And really, it seems it's usually to one-up the mom next door who threw their little darling a super-jumbo-bounce-around-slip-n-slide through-princess-palace-before opening-a-bigillion-presents party. Gag.

    I mean, I'm all about making kids feel special. But that should be done at home in your one-on-one time, NOT for the adjacent 3 blocks to see and then pat you on your back for doing.

    Clearly a sensitive subject to me. Anyway, it looks like your little one had a great birthday. She may even survive despite having to meet the rat.

    P.S. You seem to have a plethora of Jenn/Jen/Jenny readers. Go us!

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  3. I commend you for doing your own thing(s) on her birthday. But I seriously think that has a lot to do with the fact that you don't have family next door, across the road, and 2 minutes away. The fact that Mr. Daddy and Mommy Dearest spent the day with her are what she'll remember fondly.

    I am in much admiration of that awesome shirt the two-year-old is wearing. Would you be completely offended if I were to steal the idea? Because it rocks the icing right off my cupcake.

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  4. Riley turns one this April and we are having mommy, daddy, and Ashlyn and the grandparents. That is all. He won't know that the entire universe isn't there and is not lacking in the toy department so I say- GOOD FOR YOU! Nice t-shirt by the way...do you make those in a size 5 for my gigantic almost 4 year old?

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  5. Oh, for a second there I thought you were going to go play in traffic with live bombs. I feel the same way about Chuck E Cheese! Can't stand the noise and flashiness.

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  6. We stopped doing big parties after the 2nd year, I will never go back, to much freaking work.

    Your little dolly is so adorable with her bling!!

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  7. I love the fact that you're leaving the commercialism at the wayside with her birthdays. Seriously, I want to just shake people sometimes when I hear all the 'bling' they get their children!

    BTW, looooooovin the tee shirt!

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  8. Is it okay that I'm laughing at hubby? Did he have lots of fun playing skeeball? Cause mine would've totally done the same thing! Yay for rocking the art of the compromise.

    And, that chick is such a bling bling diva. I would've sent a b-day gift, but unlike Karen, I don't have A's addy.

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  9. I have now decided that I also hate The Cheese. I'll be writing about that.
    Oh, and to jen, jenn, jenny, jennifer, etc, I feel like I'm back in high school, when every single darn class had at least 3 of us! I'm gonna have to get a picture with my name now, just to make sure my identity isn't shattered!

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  10. Our 4 year old's birthday is January 16, so we just told family they could contribute to her college fund. She has so many toys from Christmas, and she doesn't understand what things cost. Next year may be a different story. BTW, I LOVE Chuck E Cheese pizza! Maybe we have different pizza where we live because everyone I know loves it, it's garlicy. Yum!

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  11. We didn't throw parties with friends for our kids till they were eight - just family and at home till then. I always figured that till then they weren't really capable of fully appreciating it. At eight it was a big deal. And I have that rat.

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  12. Yeah.... my kids didn't get actual birthday parties until they were old enough to request them. We've done the Chuck E. Cheese thing. Once for my oldest, when we decided NEVER.AGAIN.

    Until we decided that we actually love our twin nieces, who just HAD to have Chuck E. Cheese for their 6th birthday. When they promptly discovered that it was too damn loud in there to be happy. *sigh*

    There is a reason I really hate rodents. That experience did not help that.

    The museum sounded like a lot more fun! And the shirt was awesome!

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  13. You know, I don't hate the Chuck, but the children's museum sounds wayyy better. Especially for a child who's afraid of people dressed in animal costumes!

    I'm with you on the big parties. We usually have a small family party and this year was the first year we actually invited kids from the school for Bubba's birthday. I refused to do the expensive party and instead had a $10 party at the local firestation. All the parents commented on how much fun it was and the kids really seemed to enjoy it too.

    I once had a boss who had a pony ride at his daughter's first birthday party! Give me a BREAK!

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  14. So with you on the cardboard, the museum, and the lack of others in festivities.. <3Uberryberryberry MUCHO!

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  15. Madame Queen--A pony ride? For a first bithday? Oh yeah, your boss's princess is so going to remember that in 15 years.

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  16. My goal when I have children is to never step into Chuck E. Cheese. Fortunately, my husband will agree with me on that goal.

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  17. We did sort of a big-ish 1st birthday for Gavin. But that was because I survived the first year and didn't kill the baby in the process. ;) But it's wasn't anything out of control. Might've spent $100 total for a few gifts, a handful of goodie bags for the 3 little people who attended, the balloons and streamers, the cake mix and jello (yeah, I made a jello cake!), soft drinks and beer, and the food I picked up from the local BBQ place. We had his grandparents there and a few of our friends who had young kids. Just BBQ, cake, and asked people to NOT bring gifts...of course the grandparents ignored us, but that was expected.
    2nd and 3rd birthdays were more low-key. Just cake/ice cream, a couple friends over, and opened gifts. When Gavin's 4, I might just bring snacks and goodie bags to the daycare and have a mini-party there so that I don't have to clean! As much as I think it would be fun to have a huge birthday party complete with a life-size Thomas and Percy circling the house, I just don't think it's appropriate. I think the kids learn to appreciate things more when it's not all out of control.
    And meanwhile, a good friend of mine is considering Disney World for her kid...good thing Gavin is afraid of ROUS's, too!

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  18. Happy birthday, Alexis!

    We had super huge parties for Isaac too when he was two and three. Then Gracie came a long and...oh wait, he had a big party for him then too. It was only after that one that I get smart and realized I had to quit trying to top myself. That's when I started the every other year party. They get them on the odd birthdays and it's works great.

    The compromise sounds exactly like something Jon and I would do. I love the Children's Museum that's by us but Jon feels cramped and a little bull-in-a-china-shop-ish. Chuck E Cheese is a barrel of laughs for everyone else. I'm with you. I'd rather play in traffic and eat cardboard.

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  19. You don't need to start the parties til four or five. I always have thought it strange when people have big blowouts for the first b-day anyway.

    Angie
    www.AllAdither.com

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  20. BTW, I left you something at my blog.
    Maria

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  21. So wait? You MADE that shirt and you can make kick ass cupcakes? So let me get this straigth? You're hot, you're hilarious AND you're Martha Freaking Stewart?

    I officially hate you.

    Tell me really, really bad things about yourself, like you once killed a man by farting near him so I can feel better about my total lack of talent.

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  22. I am TOTALLY sticking a post it note to Mr. H's head that says C.O.A.C.H.

    And when he gets mad, I intend to tell him it was your fault!!

    Hallie :)

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  23. I never take my kids to Chuck E Cheese or Jokers. The last time they were at Jokers (5 years ago) they all came down with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease! Now, they don't even ask anymore! I think the place is just crawling with germs!

    Kimmy

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  24. Chuck E. Cheese does get easier when the kids get a bit older. You know, old enough so you don't have to follow them around to make sure they aren't having fun in the kitchen. Not that I would know that. Or that I've been summoned over a loudspeaker to retrieve my child. Ah-em. But there will come a day when they can play relatively unsupervised and you can enjoy your skeeball, shoot some hoops, or kick some child's ass in air hockey and make them cry when you declare that you "totally owned that game!".

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  25. Now, I love me some skeeball, but Chuck E. Cheese sounds like a nothing but a headache. But at the Children's Museum you got to sit while she got to play? Sign me up! That sounds like heaven.

    Good for you guys compromising! It sounds like a great day! And I totally love Alexis's bling!

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  26. That's the best way to do it. We refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on a party when our daughter was barely able to walk or speak.

    LOL! Chuck-E is quite frightening up close...even for me. Besides, he's a rodent...and is probably covered in all sorts of icky germs, just like the real ones ;)

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  27. Ack!! I CURSE the Children's Museum!! (But you're right, Chuck E Cheese is MUCH worse...) ;)

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  28. Oh yes, we are on the same page. Being in the Big City means we see some over the top parties. I just don't see the sense in going down that road...Way to go Mom!

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  29. I like the older kid parties. My boys either take friends to play paint ball or go rock climbing, starting at about age 10. I'll bet Alexis will enjoy those when she's older, climbing with bling.

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  30. i didn't start doing "real" birthday parties until my son started "real" preschool and had "real" friends. i don't believe in doing that whole thing. we usually just celebrate it with the whole family. that's it. and, once my kids get over 10 or 11...no more birthday parties. they just get a nice present. i'm so over all of that!!
    hope she had an amazing time!!
    xo

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  31. Both?! How awesome!

    (Don't tell, but I much preferred the Children's Museum when I was little.)

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  32. Two is the last time you'll get away with no guests, so go for it!

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