Meet our sweet friend, April! April is a full-time working momma to two boys, ages seven and three. She is also a loving, doting wife to her hubs Drew (you may recognize that name from A Dad’s Dilemma: Why is this Kid Crying?). Her three year old, B, and N have been at daycare, with a nanny, and at preschool together since B was 12 weeks old. These boys are practically brothers and watching their loyalty to each other at times makes us crack up laughing. This year, Kiddo A has joined the crew at school and we are hoping the three of them don’t push the teachers into early retirement! April is likely one of our most laid back momma friends and often teaches us a thing or two about stepping back and allowing things to happen on their own. She is a wonderful daughter and sister to three ladies she considers some of her best friends. We hope you enjoy this enlightening post from April! – Chelse & Kerstin
My Child Doesn’t Want a Birthday Party, and I’m OK with It!
This year my first born turned seven. I can’t even describe how fast the last seven years have gone by, but here we are. His birthday usually lands on or around Labor Day, so we never know how many people will RSVP because they might have weekend plans to BBQ or get away for one last summer trip. Every year we give him a choice of whether or not he wants to invite all of his classmates or just keep it small with a few of his closest buddies and family. He usually chooses the big party, which means I do all of the planning and creating as well as pay for the celebration. We have done it all: rented the pool for a pool party, reserved shelters at the park, and had a few Putt-Putt golf and pizza parties. In turn, I get a stressful day watching other kids that I don’t know, and trying to keep all of the guests and, most importantly, the birthday boy happy. The celebration usually turns to tears when all of the friends have had enough sugar to last them for a week and the fun and games are over. My birthday boy is loaded up with toys and candy he didn’t really need, and I am usually ready to scream. Don’t get me wrong, I may complain about the stress of planning a party, but I absolutely love having all of the friends and family who love him help us celebrate.
This year I wanted to try something new. I presented the options to my Birthday Boy in early July. We can have a big party like usual, we can have a small party with your close pals, or (here is the new option) we can go somewhere, anywhere reasonably close of his choosing. He started jumping up and down with joy and I could see the excitement in his eyes as he chose the new option. He excitedly asked if he could pick something in Denver. The big town in Colorado is only 4 hours away and has so many fun things to offer. I told him, “Of course!” and asked, “What would you like to do in Denver?” He jumped up and down and asked to go to his very first baseball game. At this point I started getting excited; going to Denver is a treat for our family, and I was secretly relieved as I knew that I would be getting out of the usual birthday party duty! His one and only concern about taking this route was ensuring he would still get a cake…well DUH even I wanted to make this happen.
The weekend before his birthday, I felt virtually stress free knowing all I had to do was enjoy this little get away celebrating my not so little baby. I didn’t have to think about gift bags, presents, or guest lists. I purchased tickets to the game and found times for us to make a stop at the Downtown Aquarium. To ensure he still felt special on his birthday and we didn’t miss the cake he requested, we invited his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins over on his actual birthday to celebrate.
My birthday boy made a huge adult decision and has been happy about it ever since. I have had a few feelings of guilt come over me hoping in the future he doesn’t regret this decision. We have so many friends and family in his life making his birthday special and supporting his decision this year; I know he feels that love and support. Don’t worry, friends and family, our soon to be 4-year-old toddler Birthday Boy has an elaborate shark/dinosaur themed birthday that he has been dreaming about and making plans for! We’ll be celebrating again before you know it!