Since the birth of Pinterest, the level of birthday parties has risen with everyone trying to outdo someone else like they are Martha freaking Stewart on crack.
Balloon installations, drip cakes, purified air popped non-GMO organic corn for Ketogenic kids… where did this craze come from? When I was a kid, parties were filled with party pies, sausage rolls and little boys, which, let’s face it, is a mystery meat. The games were pass the parcel, bobbing for apples and cut the chocolate. No giant inflatable castles, face painters or portable petting zoos in sight and if I remember correctly, we had a blast.
Jones, my second son, celebrated eight months Earth side on Easter Sunday and it got me thinking about his first birthday, which let’s face it, will be here tomorrow.
For me, birthdays are all about family. Apart from those late teenage, early 20-something years when friends were EVERYTHING, I have always had a strong pull to spend my birthday surrounded by those dearest to me. This is something I absolutely want to instil in my boys. That is until they too decide I’m uncool and ditch me for their mates.
My eldest son Baker’s first birthday was big. My husband Carl and I both come from big families, which meant family alone at his party topped nearly 40 people. I scouted a park close by for the location and the extra freezer in the garage was plugged in and put to good use.
Homemade goods were better, I thought. Loot bags, where kids must obviously get a toy with their lollies, were sourced and filled. The concept of the cake, a campsite, was agreed upon. The park would be known as Camp Baker. Mini Teepees would be set up, games would be played, the sun would shine and perhaps unicorns may even float through the sky.
Then on New Year’s Day, T-minus seven days out, Baker threw up. I thought it was a random baby spew, got him cleaned up and then it happened again. And again. I finally got him to bed and he seemed to settle just in time before I started to feel rather crap. The cramping had me doubled over in what honestly felt like labour without actually giving birth.