I think if I was to summarize my third, kid’s birthday, it would be wacky, chaotic fun—real fun. As busy as we have all been with two kids and demanding jobs, missing Mr. T’s third birthday celebration was not an option. Even after the invitations went out, I suggested canceling. Darrow wouldn’t even entertain the notion. I’m glad he prevailed. For me, it was perfect—not too big with so many people and kids that the prep and the hosting would be overwhelming, but large enough to have that crazy, loud, happy kid energy that makes a birthday party.
The little urchin was fully aware that birthday, presents and cake were in his future. He had already had a foretaste of the event when my dear sister was visiting the week before. She and T made lovely little chocolate cupcakes that were sent to his day care and surely devoured by sweet-crazed toddlers before they were sent home with their parents. My guess is that it was an orchestrated, but surely a chocolate mess.
We decided to do what I think some parents consider a no-no–open presents with all of the kids still there. Of course I thought that it would be fun to have multiple hands opening presents then playing with the aftermath. Some parents tried to shoo them from little T who was obliviously shreding the paper on packages as fast as he could. There was some refereeing by me and another father, but it all worked out well. There were minimal struggles over toys and very few tears. Though I did witness something that I had seen before—later on Mr. T being possessive and even snatching his stuff from some of the other kids. Generally he is a big share-er, so I was surprised to have to say to him more than once that the playroom toys were for sharing with all of his little friends who had come to celebrate his birthday with him. It is about time for him to reach the possessive- me-mine phase.
The brunch-party was catered by the fabulous Darrow. He served these little Asian-crab pancake like things, cheesy spinach & turkey-sausage meatballs, lovely bagels with every kind of shmear and fresh fruit. It was really yummy. I think the interesting part of the party was how much fun the adults had. Sure we served strong coffee and mimosas, but I think we all got the opportunity to visit with each other while we let our pretty well mannered kids chase, play and rumble around the house without much intervention. I finally got to talk to some of our friends without the pulling-screaming-three-year-old-interuptous on my pant leg. And baby Lucas got passed around—his first opportunity to get to know some of the mothers in our neighborhood that he will inevitably get to know well. I think the testament to my partner’s party throwing prowess is the fact that almost everyone stayed into the nap bewitching hours of early afternoon.
At noon we all gathered around the big dining table, hoisted the newly crowned three year old on a big chair and sang his praises. I wish that I could recapture the beautiful grin that appeared on his face as we went through the lines of the song. And afterward he leaned forward and softly, with some help from his Papa, blew out three candles. What a big boy he has become. It’s amazing how that happens.