I once worked with a woman who only had horrible things to say about her kid. Her daughter misbehaved, stole and lied. The kid was three. I felt bad for the mother, but worse for the kid. Then Saturday, at my son's third birthday, I was making jokes about his awful behavior. He was telling me he didn't want to have a party. He didn't want his friends to come and he was going to throw them and their presents in the water. Yikes.
Thankfully, when the first of eight children arrived with their parents, my kid was happy, polite and the perfect host.
We were shocked when Bennett said he didn't want a cake at his party, but would prefer doughnuts. Alrighty, works for me.
The rest of the day was just as successful, the scavenger hunt to fill the tool boxes, decorating the hard hats, the menu, the friends. Sure, the present opening was a hot mess, but with eight toddlers we should have expected nothing less.
I convinced my husband to help me assemble tool boxes from woodworking kits. I sent him outside in the cold to drill holes in construction cones. He went on a wild goose chase to pick up the balloons and we both stayed up late cooking and cleaning. I understand a little better why parties are at the park, Germy Cheese and anywhere but home. I also understand a little better just how much I was asking of my own parents when they wrote murder mysteries, baked my cake and hosted dozens of sleepovers. I also understand just how much your barnacles deserve to be celebrated, wood glue, construction sets and all.