Monday, March 12, 2007

Circus time- Hayden's 3rd Birthday Party

We didn't need a clown to make a circus. Hosting a party for 45 adults and 15-20 preschoolers is enough of a circus as it is.

Hayden seemed to really enjoy his birthday party. The first thing he asked when he woke up was if we could make his birthday cake. I said I had baked it last night, fearing he would be disappointed at not getting to help. Instead, he said "Oh thank you!" What a sweetheart. Because of our hectic week and complete lack spare time, the cake didn't get decorated until yesterday morning, but it was cute.

We kept things simple with hotdogs, macaroni and cheese, salad and fruit. Everything seemed to go over well, especially the fruit juice punch. The kids just piled into the back yard with activity reminiscent of a hive of bees. We had circus music playing and it was just fun to look out into the yard at all that fun. I think I heard calliope music in my dreams last night, as we had it playing for hours. Of course, as people were arriving I was just starting to inflate balloons, no makeup, and hadn't yet convinced the birthday boy to put on shoes. No worries, it all works out in the end, despite my elevated stress level. People are always happy to pitch in, and I think most people relate to that mad dash to party perfection. The only glitch was the delayed arrival of our clown. She was an hour late having mixed up when to switch her clock for Daylight Savings time. It threw our timing off and some people had to leave before we served cake, but like everything else worked out well. It was very cute to see all those little kids totally engrossed in the activities she was doing. Talk about a magic show!! Anyone who can happily engage 3 year olds for an hour must be casting some sort of spell. Hayden lost interest halfway through the "show," complaining his feet were hot and he needed shoes (duh! We had record breaking temps!) and seemed kind of out of it. I plied him and Logan with fruit punch suspecting they were getting dehydrated. Sure enough, they perked up in about 10 minutes. I mentioned it to the other parents since the kids don't think to stop playing to get a drink.

We didn't open presents until most people had left. Hayden doesn't associate birthdays with presents, and although he did pick out a couple toys to play with (like his new trainset from Grandma!) he was so tired that he was happy to play nearby while I opened his gifts. Poor Logan was just grateful to get to take a nap finally and slept for 2 1/2 hours! The kids all seemed to have a great time, and I know Hayden did. He graciously thanked people for coming and played nicely the whole afternoon. He crashed late for a nap, and was up until 11pm, but I'm so glad we gave him such a fun party.

As the hosts, we were madly rushing from one thing to the next and I almost feel like I missed the party. I kept trying to be mindful to stop and see how Hayden was enjoying things, or chat with one person or another, but something would pull me away in just a minute. It just seems like one of those days I didn't really get to experience, and need to attempt to be more "present" at future parties. Overall, everyone seemed happy, entertained and full. That spells birthday party success to me.

Happy birthday, Sweet Pea. After bringing cupcakes to your class, going to dinner with servers singing, having a cake the previous week at Grandma's house, and a big crazy party, I think your 3rd birthday has now been sufficiently celebrated!

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