Prior to having kids, I never understood why people spent so much money on a kid’s first birthday party. I mean, its not like they are going to remember it. And friends? They don’t really have friends, you could trade one kid out for another and Callahan wouldn’t notice, he’d just be happy they are interacting with him.
But now, after throwing our own first birthday party I get it, its for the parents. It’s for them to watch (and remember) their kid’s face light up with wonderment when they see a balloon or a candle or a new toy. Its fucking adorable, and worth every effort. We amalgamated our house warming party and his first birthday party because everyone is busy these days, so why not combine things and do it once and do it right? Callahan loves the Brown Bear Brown Bear book by Eric Carle, so we did a Brown Bear Birthday party theme, and it was so cute.
The Thursday before, I went down hard with the flu. Came home from work early, head ready to explode, achy, sweating profusely, eye balls hurting, light headed. The pits. I slept for 11 hours that night, going to bed medicated right after Callahan did. I stayed home Friday feeling only marginally better and PANICKING about being sick and having all these people coming over the next day. The house looked like a bomb had gone off, Tyler was on night shifts, but thankfully my sister was over to take care of Callahan so I didn’t get him sick. I had multiple epsom salt baths and drank 18 L of Honey and Lemon water.
Tyler put the meats and the beans in the smoker Friday evening around 7pm for the night and I eventually started some mild cleaning that day; laundry, dishes, nothing major as I didn’t have the energy. Saturday morning I put on my best cleaning outfit and sweat my bag off cleaning the house. Tyler in charge of Callahan and the food, me continuing to sweat this bug out through the power of vacuuming. It worked, the house (and me) was cleaned just in time for the party to begin.
Callahan’s plans differed from mine, in that I wanted to him to have a nap and wake up just after people started arriving, and his plan involved no nap. So I gave up trying and brought him downstairs to see everyone. He had already spotted some of his decorations prior to the nap, and was pretty jazzed about them, so I think it was naive of me to think he’d nap, sensing something exciting was happening. I made a purchasing error and bought his birthday onesie in a size (maybe 2) too big. So he walked around all day with a half soaked onesie drooping between his knees, but he didn’t seem bothered.
He went ALL afternoon without a nap. He didn’t cry, he didn’t get whiny, he didn’t do anything but full-time mash about with a smile on his face the whole afternoon. It was unbelieveable. And he was teething. I’ve seen pictures of kids at their first birthday where they are all cute and posed nicely. Or they’re chilling, playing with their new toys, and Callahan’s pictures are not like that. Every so often I would scoop him up and he’d eat an ounce of a bottle. Then he’d take off again. As if he was the energizer bunny, requiring only 1 oz of formula and a cuddle 0.5 seconds long to recharge. I think Tyler and I saw him for all of 4 minutes that afternoon. At some point I had to tell myself to sit down and eat. Vodka sodas and one coffee that morning were not going to sustain me.
He had a terrible, terrible sleep that night and definitely woke up with a cold, but I think he had a good time. It was fun to open presents and see all our friends and their kids (running around like crazy too). I overestimated how much kids like goldfish crackers and have about a kilo still in my cupboards. But I definitely underestimated (probably to all the parent’s relief) how much kids like dinosours candies.
I’m glad we did his party on the Saturday before his actual birthday, because I barely got to see him that day. His actual birthday has been chill (Tyler has the flu, which means I got to stay home from work!). So I’ve actully been able to see him and play with him. I’ve been filling in this paper time capsule my sister got me (for him): Letters to my Baby during his naps and trying not to become a blubbering fool, but it isn’t working.
I remember when he was only a few days old thinking, “fuck, FUCK!!” (literally, that’s all I could think of, it is a complete thought, so give me some credit) Not being able to imagine a year from then, as it seemed so far away, yet here we are. We all suvived and we actually like each other even more than we did then. I’d say, 18 years is a long way away; but after experiencing how quickly this year whipped by, I know it’ll be his 18th birthday in no time. Excuse me while I start blubbering again, like a damn fool.