04 May, 2011

Surviving a child's birthday party

There are definite benefits to not having children.  After spending Easter with my sister, her husband, and daughter, I enjoyed coming home to a house full of peace, quiet, and an absence of brightly-coloured or noisy plastic toys.  We are grateful we don’t have to watch Dora the Explorer endlessly on TV  ... although I will admit to developing a fondness for Shaun the Sheep.  After a glass of wine or two (for me, not the sheep), he's quite funny.
Of course, I know that people “grow up” as parents along with their daughter, and so just being around my niece probably isn’t as tiring as for my sister and brother-in-law as it is for those of us used to a family of two.  Still, I see my sister and her husband talk about being lucky when they can sleep in till 7 am, and I see that they are tired.  They talk enthusiastically about when C will be old enough to come and stay with us for two weeks.  I’m thinking I could probably cope with a 17 year old.  Maybe even a 15 year old. So they have a few more years to wait.  Only 12 years to go guys!! 

The three-year-old’s birthday party was not as bad as expected.  There weren’t dozens of children or judgemental mothers.  It was warm enough for the few children there to play outside, and the older children took good care of the little ones.  The trampoline was a hit too.  So it wasn’t too chaotic, the mess not too bad to clean up afterwards.  And C loved all her presents. 

Over the weekend, whilst there were some ouch comments and moments, my husband and I survived too.  I wish they (or we) lived closer, so I could be there as C grows up, be part of her life, and know she knows who Aunty “Mali” is.  As hard as it is to be around young children in our situation, sometimes I think it’s harder not to be.


  1. I don't usually mind parties too much as there's always stuff to keep occupied with. It's random encounters with a single baby or child that the parents expect you to coo over that I really hate! Still, glad it went well and you enjoyed Shaun the Sheep!

  2. I totally agree with you. I have a few nieces & nephews (both honorary and genetic) that I get to see once or twice a month. I'm so grateful that I have children in my life even if they're not my own. Sometimes their inerrant sweetness stings my still raw infertility wounds, but there's also nothing better than being recognized & loved by those sweet babies.

  3. I don't mind the parties, it's the people there that don't know our situation I mind. They always ask 'which child is yours' and then you have to explain you don't have one, then the why's come out. One day we will be parents and watching Dora will okay, but I will definitely complain about the lack of sleep!! haha

  4. I'm glad it wasn't too hard for you.

  5. I miss not living closer to my sister and her kids, except when I think of such parties. I do badly in them. So far I've only been present during two of their birthday parties, and I think that's for the best. I admire you for enduring it and even enjoying it.