On the surface of it, a one year old’s birthday party is about as pointless as a fly-screen door on a submarine.
Missy turned one some time ago. It was a day of much joy. There were presents, well wishers and phone calls from overseas friends and relatives. We had a party and invited a few of her little friends.
So what’s the problem? I’ll tell you. She had no, none, zero idea as to what was happening. It wasn’t her birthday according to her, because she had no idea what a birthday was. Her little friends didn’t know either. There was no sniggering by the other kids, pointing at the strange little girl who doesn’t know about these matters, they were all in the same boat. And so I wondered why we have these events.
I do like to capture moments in time. I like to have a record of events to show Missy when she is older, and more easily embarrassed. Things like the shampoo Mohawk I give her in the bath, or a particularly large bowel movement; these are events that need to be recorded for use at her 21st birthday. She will be so pleased I’m sure.
So although a party for a one year old’s birthday is about as relevant to them as Pet Rock food is to me, it’s part of the jigsaw that my daughter will put together in years to come. And maybe a little bit because she just looks utterly adorable in her party dress.
There is also the issue of a new sport rumoured to be under consideration for the London Olympics: The Competitive Baby Party Dash. In this event, parents are awarded points for the biggest bouncing castle and most impressive soap bubble machine. Bonus points are awarded if enough food to feed 75 hungry coal miners is provided for an event involving 8 adults and 11 barely teething children. A pony is an instant gold medal.
On the other hand, the fun truly starts with the older brothers and sisters who come along. They will be dosed up on more sugar than they have ingested in the previous 3 months, and will tear around like chickens dosed up on vodka Red Bulls, refusing to stop for anything other than another handful of cake.
I suppose I should be grateful and enjoy the ease of a one year old while it lasts. The way Missy is developing, her second birthday will be more about her and less about my standing around with the other fathers, beers in hand, discussing how hard it is to raise children, while our wives feed, entertain, change, and police the toddlers. And so, I think to the fast approaching time, when my daughter will head for the 14-foot food table for another grab at the potato chips. The reality will then hit home. It will be a long night, but she will love it.
So actually, a kid’s birthday party, despite the craziness, is an event worth having and recording. Into the album it will go, images of children bouncing in castles, grabbing at bubbles and stuffing their faces. The pictures will fit nicely in between crying with Santa and the time dad insisted on helping with her clothes, and put her dress on backwards. Can’t wait till Missy is 21.