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15 Musings On The Occasion of Toddler Birthday Parties

15 Musings On The Occasion of Toddler Birthday Parties


Mini attended two fêtes this weekend for toddler contemporaries of his. The feeling around the house was festive, and this mood was bolstered by the fact that neither of the two parties took place at Chuck E. Cheese’s. I suppose that’s not surprising, given the fact that parents of other toddlers would be aware of the fact that Chuck E. Cheese’s is mostly a deathtrap for kids under 3. Still, I appreciated being spared the trip to Charles Le Fromage. Everyone made it through the parties without any major traumas, unless you count me only having two bites of cake a trauma. Which–now that I think about it–I kind of do. Regardless. The list.

  1. Despite your best intentions, licensed characters might be frightening to young children.
  2. That’s right, even a licensed character as beloved as Elmo can be frightening when seen out of context; viz. when seen in real life, in the middle of a play gym, making baloon animals, instead of safely ensconced in the TV set where he belongs.
  3. There is an increased chance of licensed characters being frightening to young children when Elmo is replaced by El Moe (a licensed character after a fashion from Poppyseed Street) shows up–complete with bare human hands, scrappy, matted fur, and Marty Feldman eyes.
  4. You can never order too much cheese pizza for a group of 2-year olds.
  5. Similarly, never underestimate how good cheese pizza looks at 10:30 am on a Sunday morning when you’re stuck at a toddler party and they are “waking up the floor.”
  6. Four pieces of baklava is more than enough for one person.
  7. Four pieces of baklava is more than enough for one person, even if that person is a 35-year-old premenstrual carbohydrate addict.
  8. You should seriously consider having a train table at your event.
  9. If you have a train table at your event, place it towards the back of the room, so that parents can at least pretend to socialize with each other at the cake table whilst the trainiacs play with Thomas, James, Peter Sam, et al.
  10. If you hold your toddler’s birthday party at My Gym, Gymboree, or a similar play/gym establishment, try to work out a balance between organized activities and free play. Too much free play is excruciatingly boring for the parents, but expecting too much “circle time” involving the “waking up” of floors and the like, is equally unrealistic for a group of two year olds jacked up on sugar.
  11. You can never schedule too much time on the Peg Perego Ride-on Train.
  12. And if you schedule too little, oh the places you’ll go.
  13. Leaving a cake out unattended, on a 3-ft tall counter, is not putting yourself in a position to succeed.
  14. The 25-year-old, childless attendants at My Gym are not the best people to establish rules about where toddlers can and cannot eat.
  15. You can therefore never have too many handi wipes on hand.

Got a list to share? Here’s what to do:

  1. Write a “list” post on your blog.
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  3. Either comment or email me at anna at abdpbt dot com to let me know you’re participating, and I’ll link you up below.

Check out these list lovers:

  1. ABDPBT Personal Finance
  2. Ginny Marie at LemonDropPie
  3. Kerry at ClueWagon
  4. Alexis at FullofKnitStitches
  5. CrazyLovesCompany
  6. Eliz at Tink’s Mom Dot Com
  7. Jess at Like You a Little
  8. Amy at Gazelles On Crack

Comments (11)

  1. Feb 9, 2009

    Ooh. El Moe sounds scary to more than just toddlers! You are so right about the trains.

    At one birthday party we went to, the teenaged attendent were no help at all. They just stood around and talked. And they were getting paid? I know their paycheck wouldn’t be much, but still!

    I have a list up.

    Ginny Marie´s last blog post..Quirky

  2. Feb 9, 2009

    My list is up.

    These are hysterical. I’m going to tattoo #13 on my mother-in-law’s forehead.

    Kerry´s last blog post..3 (Possible) Exceptions to the Do-Not-Call Rule

  3. Feb 9, 2009

    really!? no bounce house?

    ryan´s last blog post..WEEK 19

  4. Feb 9, 2009

    I hate children’s birthday parties with a passion. Totally agree with #13, at my toddler’s “party” all the cheese had little finger-indents in it. Funny. but oh so gross!

    My list is also up, thanks for brightening my Monday!

    Alexis´s last blog post..Tawashi Love and a Give-Away Too!

  5. Feb 9, 2009

    Great list. I’ll keep it in mind for my bundle in a few years!

    crazylovescompany´s last blog post..Listlessness Mondays- Super Powers

  6. Feb 9, 2009

    Hysterical. I am also a carbohydrate addict. Unattended cake+Little Gym sounds like a sticky mess!

    Becca´s last blog post..Incoherent rambling. You’re welcome.

  7. Feb 9, 2009

    I want to go to a kid’s party that serves baklava. We went to a party yesterday at 1 p.m. that served no food. Only MINI-cupcakes – one per child and none extra for parents. I don’t expect a lavish spread, but I figured there would be some shitty pizza, at least.

    I gotta say … as much as these parties suck, they’re my main form of socializing these days. My daughter has a busier calendar than I do.

    I have list up.

    eliz´s last blog post..17 ways in which I hated “He’s Just Not That Into You”

  8. Feb 9, 2009

    #13, HA! but that depends on who’s defining success – I’d guess the todders found the low tabled cake perfect.

    jenni´s last blog post..It Can Only Get Better

  9. You are the luckiest woman on the planet to have escaped the weekend out of the ratty clasp of Charles.

    I have, to some degree, begun feigning illnesses when the day of a birthday party rolls around, and left my husband as the one who has had to take and stay with out kid(s). He gets the shakes around indoor play gyms and Build-A- Bear workshops, but I call it father/son bonding.

    foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog)´s last blog post..the post where, if you’ve had even the slightest hint of a crush on me, you’re now saying, ‘yeah, listen, it was fun…’ and then backing away slowly

  10. Feb 9, 2009

    Number 4 applies equally well to 20somethings.

    I’ve got a list up but I’m slow and cannot figure out how to embed that stupid html into my entry. And I’m the unofficial computer expert at work. Which isn’t saying much since my boss had to ask me how to bold text and also how to print. But still.

    Jess´s last blog post..You probably won’t want to put quarters in my personal juke box

  11. Feb 9, 2009

    I told someone the other day that I’d never been to Monsieur La Fromage’s establishment, and they were shocked! But I did grow up in BFE, where there weren’t any, and I’ve been lucky unfortunate enough to not have been invited to any children’s birthday parties.

    Also, belatedly, I have a list today!

    Amy´s last blog post..Am Still Not Dead (Plus 5 Things I Didn’t Accomplish Sunday)

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