In my BK life (Before Kids) I would listen to my friends with kids complain how about much they hated organizing birthday parties. I found their distain mystifying. What could be so hard about having a group of six year olds over to eat ice cream and play pin the tail on the donkey?
Cue the Karma.
Four years later, Sun-Bun is rapidly approaching her fifth birthday and her expectations for the big day cause my jaw to unhinge.
“Mommy, I want a princess party with a bouncy castle, pony rides, cupcakes and oh, magic tricks.”
I am thinking the only magic trick I want is for someone to make me disappear.
Until now I have been able to avoid the party problem altogether. Sun-Bun’s birthdays have been celebrated the same way mine were growing up, with family. Each year I host a simple gathering of friends and family for a nice meal and a reasonably sized cake.
But in recent years Sun-Bun’s eyes have been opened to the epic events of her friends’ birthday parties—those with pirates or princesses, bouncy castles or glow-in-the-dark bowling. She has delighted in loot bags so dense with goodies that I swear they were one gold watch away from doubling as Oscar swag-bags.
I am not a fan of this. It makes me wish we lived way out in the country where Sun-Bun’s only friends were woodland creatures. “Why of course fox and owl can come to your birthday sweetie, we’ll have a picnic down by the creek under the old oak tree.” Sigh.
I decide to handle my precocious four year old and her Princess-Palooza visions the only way I know how. I negotiate.
“You can have five friends for one hour. No princesses. No ponies.”
Sun-Bun shakes her head in disbelief. “No way! Ten friends and a bouncy castle.”
(Do you think she found my copy of Art of the Deal?)
“Four friends and a piñata shaped like a castle.”
“The fewer the friends the more cake left over for you.”
“Okay Mom, four friends. But I want a REALLY big cake.”
“You got it Sun-Bun. You got it.”