Sunday, June 8, 2008

Birthday Parties and Baby Showers

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend two fabulous parties - one was the 1st birthday celebration of a close friend's twin boy and girl. The other was a baby shower for one of my oldest friends who is having her first baby at the end of the summer. As I was coming home from a long and exhausting day (it was 92 degrees, and let's remember I am still recovering from major back surgery), I was thinking about how different each party was, yet still perfect in its own right. I thought I'd do a bit of a comparison (Hubs, if you are reading, please know that you get all the credit for MH's care at the birthday party!)

(*Side note: birthday party was for 1 year old twins who have a 3 1/2 year old brother, and most of the child attendees were ages 2-5)

Toddler Bday party: spend entire time trying to keep an eye on your child(ren), who are bouncing around like crazy in a ginormous bouncy house with 30 other kids. Pray that there are no collisions that result in a trip to the ER.

Baby shower: leisurely chat with other ladies, sip drinks, relax - the only children there are ages 10 up.

Bday party: Food - typically kiddie faves like chicken nuggets, party pizza, chips, etc (except in this case, where said twins parents are phenomenal caterers who set out a spread fit for kings, queens, AND kiddos). Mom and dad are lucky if they can manage to get child out of bouncy house long enough to eat something, let alone manage to eat anything off their own plate.

Shower: Grown-up food that is not inhaled at lightning speed in between chasing child, taking child to potty, soothing child who has just fallen out of the entry-way of the bouncy house. Realize halfway through inhaling half of the food on your plate that you can actually exhale and enjoy the rare opportunity to take your time eating.

Bday party: Cake time - CHAOS! Everyone needs cake immediately. Try to relish in the fact that your child is throughly enjoying said cake and so what if she covered head to toe in frosting (of course, they come pouring out of the bouncy house when cake time is announced!) all the while praying that your dear, dear friend OxyClean will help get the blue stains out of that adorable giraffe-print dress she's wearing for the first time.

Shower: cake time - ooh and ahh over how cute the cake is, help pass cake out in an orderly fashion because there is such a thing as patience, and enjoy each delicious bite of cake in a civilized manner, managing to avoid frosting handprints on your shirt.

Bday party: amazing energy - kids are everywhere, full of life (and sugar), you are reminded that this is what being a parent is all about.

Shower: amazing energy - everyone is so excited for the mom to be, you are so excited to share with her all of the joys that lie ahead of her as she becomes a mom.

Bday party: run into friends you see all the time, and others you only see once in a while and are excited to catch up with. Start conversations with all - do not finish one.

Shower - catch up with old friends and family of the mom to be, find it almost strange to be able to talk without any interruption at all. However, it does not go unnoticed by you that even though you are away from your child, you do spend the majority of your conversations talking about her (isn't that what all proud mommies do?). Realize that you are normal - the other mommies are doing this too.

Bday party: wear something that looks cute but you don't mind getting covered in above-mentioned food and frosting.

Shower: spend what seems like forever finding something nice to wear - you can dress up in something fun! Accessorize like crazy because you can actually wear that funky necklace without it being pulled on all day by your daughter who is fascinated with all thing "fancy" these days.

Bday party: conversations (when you do manage to have one) tend to revolve around the latest antics of the little munchkins, what you are going to do all summer with said munchkins. If you're lucky, you might think to throw in a "we should get together without the kids soon!" and make a promise to send an email with some date. Try to remember that you should really follow through with that later.

Shower: filled with tons of conversation about new babies, our own pregnancies and birth experiences, and trying not to scare the guest of honor. There is much excitement and energy over the idea that a new life - this amazing new part of our friend - will soon be coming into the world. Who could be happier for the mom to be?

There are so many more comparisons I could make but I will say this. Did I have a better time at the birthday party or the shower? It's an absolute tie.

Being a mom is the greatest thing in the world - I got to spend the morning watching my daughter have a blast with her little friends and help my friend and her husband celebrate the fact that they made it through a year with twins AND an active 3 1/2 year old little boy. Oohing and ahhing over the cute little party dresses and the adorably dressed little boys. Kids birthday parties are always so much fun, and I have yet to tire of them in the past 3 years.

As for the baby shower? I got to see one of my oldest and dearest friends glowing in the joy of her pregnancy, oohing and ahhing over all the fun (and new - how do they keep coming up with more and more stuff we just "can't" live without?) loot she got, and had a chance to sit with adults and spend a few hours feeling like a civilized adult. I also had the chance (for just a little while), to remember how much fun it was to be pregnant (that is, after the first 14 weeks) - the anticipation and excitement, and the wonder of what was to come.

At the end of the day, as I sipped a lovely margarita, I found myself grateful that there was no scheduling conflict and I was able to be at both events. It was a perfect day!

1 Fabulous Replies:

McMommy said...

A tale of two parties!!! I loved your analysis! We got to attend a couples shower on Saturday evening......who-hoo! It was so much fun. So I know exactly how you felt at the baby shower!!