It’s Spring, a Time when This Mother’s Thoughts Turn to… Birthday Parties

The Kid’s going to be four at the end of the month, and I haven’t done a thing to get ready.

His first birthday was a blowout celebration of all and sundry, barbeque in the back yard, itty bitties eating grass, parents chatting over hamburgers, too many video cameras to count. For his second birthday, we were living abroad, and I invited all the little kids we knew, with their parents, to our villa for a garden party, complete with a catepillar cupcake and Mud for dessert.

His third birthday was low-key. Two friends, a snow park, and a hot chocolate at the cafe afterwards.

Ah, you caught me. I’m going to have to back up and explain what a catepillar cake and Mud is, aren’t I? Well, I bought a bajillion cupcakes, some white icing and some food coloring. I frosted the cupcakes in a multicolored craze, stuck red licorice in each on either side for legs, put gumballs on toothpicks for antennae, and snaked them down the center of our dining room table. I’d used books and small boxes underneath a bunched and draped cloth to create different levels on the table, and the caterpillar walked down them. Mud is a mixture of chocolate cookies, crushed and stirred into chocolate pudding. Don’t add the gummy worms til the last instant, or they begin to dissolve in the pudding and are disgusting to eat. Be warned. It looks like mud. Most of the kids at our party were too grossed out to eat it. Many of the parents were, too. But I’d bought some adorable little terra cotta plant pots from Ikea, and a very large pot for the mud, and a small hand trowel was our server. It looked adorable! And tasted great. I’m sure there’s a recipe for it, but I winged it.

We played pin the ladybug on the flower. I made a ladybug for each child, with his or her name on it, out of quarter inch colored foam, and put a piece of masking tape on it. On the wall, we’d hung big, colorful drawings of flowers, done on butcher paper with paint and crayons. The kids loved it. We also went outside and did an old-fashioned blanke toss. First, the kids put their ladybugs into the blanket and each held a piece, then shoot it about until the bugs flew out. They howled with laughter. Later on, the adults each held a piece of blanket and we tossed whatever little kid wanted to do it.

I’m stumped for his fourth birthday. He wants a pinata, but our house isn’t safe enough to have a bunch of kids over. It’s one of those way too fixer upper houses. We could go to the zoo, or to a local indoor play area if it’s open by then. We could go to a museum. We could go to the park. I just need to figure out what we’re doing… and do it. Any ideas?

At play, birthday, celebrations, ideas, mommy, mother, Mothering

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