Our oldest son turned eight years old.
So we have been celebrating for five days straight.
That's normal, right?
See, here's how we do it:
Birthday day: big deal. The house gets decorated overnight: balloons everywhere and the big Happy Birthday sign in the living room. Birthday breakfast with the whole fam, usually pancakes or french toast with candles. Gifts. We tend to go overboard with gifts. It's a thing. Then a gift bag goes to school with a little treat for his classmates (no baked goods - this is now frowned upon - usually stickers or a bouncy ball or something. This year we did a dinosaur pencil and eraser for all the kids in his class.) I pick the boys up for a special lunch at home, birthday boy's choice, and have decorated the kitchen in his absence with balloons & streamers & such. Cupcakes, in our tiered cupcake tower that makes every occasion feel extra special. Birthday dinner out at night - again, birthday boy's choice.
Sometimes these events need to get spread out over two days depending on the kids' sports schedule and Husband's work schedule.
Then it's the weekend. Saturday: kid party. All his little friends from school, at a location of his choice that will guarantee oodles of fun and insanely out-of-control kids and no mess whatsoever for me to clean up because it takes place outside of my home. This year (and for the last several years) the location of choice was Chuck-E-Cheese - video games, sports games, Ticket Blaster, tokens, balloons, pizza, prizes, song and dance show. Insane. Sunday: family party. His grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins all come over for a big family dinner and party. Gifts, pinata, cake and craziness as the kids seem to multiply while the afternoon stretches on. I always do a themed cake, whatever the birthday boy wants. This year was a soccer ball - pretty easy, comparatively speaking. My favourite ever was the Mater cake I did for Middle Child's fourth birthday. It took me an entire night to make. I'm pretty damn proud of that Mater.
Finally, once the weekend's over, the mess gets cleaned up, the balloons get taken down and played with until they pop, the Happy Birthday sign and gift bags and ribbon and tissue and bows get folded up and packed away into the special occasion cupboard and the gifts - roughly a million of them, it would seem - slowly get sorted into their new home in the playroom.
A week is probably enough, really, for a single birthday. I mean, it's only a month until the next kid's birthday. Time to start planning.
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