Thoughts on a Second Birthday

Sometimes I read blog posts about parenting looking for answers to questions that I have. And sometimes I read them because I want reassurance that everything will be ok and that I’m not alone.

This is the latter kind of post.


Just for the record, the world has not ended because …

  • I used ridiculous amounts of food coloring in Aoife’s birthday cake.
  • We totally forgot about singing “Happy Birthday” (which I’m actually ok with, because that was always the part of my birthday parties that I hated the most — still do!).
  • We, Aoife’s parents, did not buy her a gift. We counted our trip to the zoo last month as her gift.
  • We had Aoife open gifts as people came with them. This way she could see who the gift was from, there were no meltdowns because she had to wait for a designated gift-opening time, and the giver could talk to her right away about the gift. This was also less overwhelming for Aoife (and for us).
  • There were visible glue globs on my paper bunting cake toppers.
  • We had the party at a local playground and used completely disposable dinnerware. There was no cleanup and I had no regrets.


Could I have made this birthday party into a Pinterest-worthy event? Sure, if I would have taken a few days off work and spent money I don’t have. But my aim is not to give Aoife picture-perfect birthdays. It’s to shower her with love (and yes, a few gifts) and help her make memories that are worth keeping, and I think this was a success.


I’ll be sure to keep you posted when she’s in her thirties and going to therapy because, dammit, we didn’t sing at her party.


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