It's Madhouse day over at One More Thing, and the theme is birthday.
Now that I have four kids, I realize that I started out too fast on the whole kid birthday celebration thing. I'm having a hard time keeping up the excitement level for planning birthday parties, especially for the younger kids. I've scaled back a lot from what I did with Ella and Lily, and while it has made Campbell's birthday celebrations much easier, I still feel guilty that he's getting short changed and that Elizabeth will too, once she starts having birthdays.
But when the guilt gets overwhelming, I remind myself that Ella and Lily have no memories of their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd birthday parties, and only hazy memories of their 4th.
I'll say up front that I don't throw mega-parties with clowns and petting zoos and ponies. We tend towards the more simple celebrations, and honestly, the parties that end up with the kids running around in the back yard have been the most fun. The kids play, and the adults chat. It's a win-win.
But having learned my lesson, I'm going to stick with quiet, family-only parties for Campbell and Elizabeth until they're old enough to understand and appreciate - and remember - the celebrations. Then I'll be more than happy to plan field day parties, or bike parties, or princess tea parties like I've done for the big girls the past few years. Those have been lots of fun, and the girls had a hand in planning them.
Once Elizabeth and Campbell are old enough for parties, I'll have a busy stretch. Campbell, Elizabeth and Ella all have their birthdays within four weeks of each other - Ella's and Elizabeth's are only a week apart. Eeek.
Maybe I'll stick to the quiet family parties for everyone, regardless of age.