I know: I owe you a week post. I’ll try my best to get it out tonight, but it might be delayed because I’m recovering from J’s party. I’ll also post some of our party craftiness. But for now, I was thinking today that all of our birthday party have similar stages. I’m wondering if anyone out there shares any of these stages? For me, they are:
1. Curiosity [c. 5 months to 2 months prior to birthday party]: Birthday parties are a big deal, and I’m always curious about what the girls will choose as a theme and whom they’ll invite. Hearing about party plans always gives me new insight into my kids’ mysterious social lives away from me.
2. Excitement [c. 3 months to 1 1/2 months prior to birthday party]: We come up with great, fun, interesting ideas, and go shopping for cool supplies.
3. Uneasiness [c. 2 months to 1 months prior to birthday party]: We’ve come up with too many ideas, doing everything will be challenging, the possible invitees I’ve pushed have been resisted. That’s okay. We’ll figure it out. Right?
4. Confidence [c. 1 months to 1 week prior to birthday party]: I’ve made lists, I’ve gathered supplies, I’m working the problem, this is going to be an awesome party!
5. Panic [c. 1 week to 2 days prior to birthday party]:Â This is ridiculous. I can’t even get the freakin’ playroom clean. I can’t even keep the crap off of my dining room table. Whatever possessed me to agree to all of these fabulous snacks? Did I write Saturday or Sunday on the invitation? Why do I always plan too much? Why am I so stupid?
6. Efficiency [day before party]: I’ve done so much! The house is ready! 5 out of 12 items on my list are checked off. This is going to be great. I rock!
7. Calm before the storm [night before, morning of, party]:Â Everything is manageable. We can do this. I should relax a little now.
8. Concern [5 to 1 hour before party]: Why was I so complacent? Why didn’t I wake up earlier? Why is there always that stupid thing that should have taken me 5 minutes to do that turns out to take 45 minutes? Oh no. . . .
9. Alternating Rage & Resignation [1 hour to 10 minutes before party]:
- Rage— What the hell is wrong with everyone!?! How can Cute W manage to read the paper when I’m clearly grunting while moving furniture? Why can’t he do something useful? Wait, why is he vacuuming? Doesn’t he know that I just vacuumed that exact room? Is he crazy? Why can’t my family be more helpful? Why are my daughters trying to help!?! They’re making me crazy! EVERYONE IS MAKING ME CRAZY!!
- Resignation–Okay, that’s not getting done, that’s clean enough, that I’m blowing off altogether. . . .
10. Bafflement: [ten minutes before the party]: Who the hell shows up ten minutes early for a party? Why the hell don’t I realize that someone always shows up ten minutes before the beginning of the stupid party!?!
11. Alternating Sheer Joy & Low-level Anxiety: [first hour of party]:
- Joy–Yes, it all looks great, thank you. Oh, they’re so adorable together. So sweet! Me, too. Thank you!
- Anxiety–is that child unhappy? Is everyone included? Do they really all want to freeze dance? Is she sad, or just shy?
12. Deep, Suppressed Rage [5 minutes, usually 2/3s of the way through the party]: Why can’t Sister 1 suck it up and let Birthday Sister 2 enjoy this party? Why is she such a pain in the neck?
13. Annoyance [Second hour of party]: When will these kids stop shrieking? Who knew that other children could be messier than my own? What child is offered mint chocolate chip or cookie dough ice cream and responds, “Do you have strawberry?” Are we almost done?
14. Impatience [Final 20 minutes]: Please let it end-Let-it-end-Let-it-end-LET-IT-END-LET-IT-END. . . . FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHEN ARE THESE PARENTS COMING BACK TO TAKE THEIR CHILDREN AWAY?!?!?
15. Joy [Last guest has left]: Hooray! We’re done! And, I so love my kids–even when they’re annoying, they’re annoying in their sweet, wonderful J & M ways, not like that one (or two or three) kid who is so annoying. Hey, this clean-up isn’t so bad. Wait, did she even touch that cupcake? How much ice cream is left?