I'm still trying to figure out this whole kiddie party etiquette. Which little friends do you invite? All of them? Some of them? The ones whose parents you like? The ones whose parents you actually know by name? How many adults? Any adults? Is there something fundamentally wrong with getting the kids all worked up, filling them with sugar and sending them home? And if you put a minimal amount of cheapie plastic in the goodie bags, are you being eco-savvy or just chintzy?
Anyway kiddo's third birthday party was over the weekend and I think it went well. In that the kids seemed to be smiling and such. We used one of those kiddie play places with the crazy padded indoor jungle gym-like contraptions, where the guests all run around for a bit and then do games, then have the inevitable pizza and cake and get tokens for the downstairs video games on the way out. We're now veterans of these places, having been to a few kiddie parties. They're a pretty good idea, in that the party is more or less planned for you and the kids are stampeding around a place that is not your house. (We had the grownups and a few of the kids back to our place after; every toy in the house ended up on the floor and DH's laptop was mysteriously non-working the next day.) Some are better designed than others; if there's no barrier between the play area and the spectator seats, you're a little too much in the action. If there aren't enough seats, you're left standing uncomfortably waiting for your kid to hurtle down the slide for the 25th time. There's never room for a stroller. Apparently infant siblings are not invited to these parties.
I needed hands free for my decaf coffee (I'm pretending it's real coffee, dammit!) so kiddette promptly went into her sling, which promptly prompted some to ask whether that was one of the recalled slings. (Told you.) I kept my sling rant to a minimum. Kiddette, not especially interested in the conversation, proved my point by peacefully dozing off.
I hope I was a decent enough hostess. I didn't actually know all the parents involved, and casual conversation with strangers is not my strong point. But then you spend most of your time at these things watching your kid anyway.
Kiddo ran around like the maniac he is, though seemed a little overwhelmed by being the center of attention. They even skipped the parachute. By the time the food came around, though, he was back to normal. He even blew out the candles on his own (unlike last year, when he tried to grab the candle on his brownie and I blew it out for him).
High point of my day: I'd just put a skirt on as we were getting ready to go, when kiddo saw and said, "Mommy a princess!" Too. Cute.
Now only about five months to go before we have to throw another shindig for kiddette. At least she won't be wanting a Thomas cake.