|Flashback Master P at his 1st birthday; he'll be so pleased one day that I kept a photo of him of that hat . . .|
Why is anyone spending money on parties for persons uninterested in much more than endangering life & limb careening off the couch, I've heard some ask? Are we doing this not for the delight of our wee babes, but instead to inspire envy in other moms?
The highly scientific conclusion at which I've arrived is - as with most things, it depends.
Here in my bit of Austin, spending a lot of time or resources on parties - on anything, really - is generally Just Not Done. Spend your entire paycheck at Whole
|More flashbacks - no, my one-year-old didn't think these were as cool as I did. Yes, they were delicious.|
Most of the time, I consider myself lucky to live in such a grounded environment. There isn't a whiff of competition in our playgroup set or their parties. As one who's prone to swinging in a spendy direction if I'm in that environment - ok, yes, even when I'm not in that environment - I'm content living in a place where flashy status symbols or events aren't the thing. Happy to raise my children in that world, certainly.
At the same time, this can be a tricky business for someone like me, who is not only a bit of a shopper but also. . . a Toddler Party Thrower. There, I've admitted it.
Let me explain - I grew up in a family where affection was shown less by what was said than by events like big ol' birthday get-togethers. You would never have caught my late grandmother (who, along with my grandfather, raised me) saying something wildly sentimental like "I love you", for example, but I just knew from the energy she put into things like my birthdays. And that's not saying said parties were expensive or fancy - not even a little bit - but - you know, paper invitations were sent, games were thoughtfully planned out, and so on.
And so I've enjoyed carrying on the tradition for my wee CEO, even though he won't remember even a bit of it in these early years. I'm happy to have the excuse to get family & playgroup friends together for a modest party. I enjoy indulging my inner old biddy with things like ordering old time-y snail mail invitations, not to show anyone else up but Just Because. I'm not good at the crafty details, but I do enjoy some of the trying. In the end, it's a little bit for me, but it's mostly my love letter to Master P. It's not at all for the envy or Pinterest set, pinky swear.
Um, somehow that turned into a bit about me, which wasn't the point . . . my point was . . .
. . . do you see much of this "birthday party as competitive sport" thing happening in your area? Examples of outrageous party excess? Do you take philosophical issue with the idea of a baby birthday party in the first place?