Charlie's fourth birthday marks the end of Mom and Dad's influence on birthday parties. Gone are the days I can select a location of my choosing, a theme, cake, etc. or pin creative ideas on Pinterest. Well, I guess I can pin them all I want - my child is having none of it.
Charlie let me know back in the fall that he would be having his birthday party at "the gymnastics place" where he had attended a couple of parties. We have been all over this town to birthday parties of his classmates and friends and that was what he wanted.
No amount of discussion would persuade him to have it at the Maymont Children's farm (my first choice), the soccer bubble (despite his love of soccer), the SPCA (they do a very cute party) or anywhere else. He doesn't even take gymnastics. We did a class when he was two that was so nightmarish because he wouldn't follow directions that we haven't been back.
I accepted defeat and persuaded Brad to as well. Gymnastics it was. So I order the invitations with a Shutterfly credit I had....... and Charlie absolutely hated them. They did not have a fire truck on them. I didn't know they were supposed to have a fire truck on them. He cried. Mommy fail. In my defense, I had no idea he felt so strongly about stationary. Aren't they cute, though?
Gymnastics, fire truck, cowboys... I then had to accept defeat that this party would have any sort of theme. To show I could be a good sport and not a control freak, I took him to the grocery store bakery and let him pick out whatever cake he wanted. He selected an extremely obnoxious Transformers birthday cake with grey icing on it.
Unrelated: It reminded me of that part in Steel Magnolias when they are talking about the bleeding armadillo groom's cake and that they can't begin to think about how you make grey icing! Anyone else? Just me?
Anyways, he was thrilled with the cake. The favors passed muster, too. I was going to order the kid's straw cowboy hats from Oriental Trading company, but the shipping took two weeks and I waited too long. So it was your typical gift bag of random assorted crap. Charlie's only problem was that he didn't get one. We had last minute RSVPs and I didn't have enough for him to get one too. Mean Mommy!
The party was really nice and Charlie had an amazing time. The gymnastics place throws a mean party - the parents of the birthday kid don't have to do anything and the parents of the guests can leave after dropping off their children! They took care of everything. The kids ran around and played, cake was served, we all went home. It was so easy.
I took a bunch of pictures, but most of them look like this:
Admittedly, I am not a high powered camera toting mom. I am a point and click mom. So I get point and click caliber pictures.
Eleanor was a good sport and napped in the carrier for most of the party. Here we are:
The lady running the party is also a nanny and so good with kids. She was great about making Charlie the center of attention at the party. After attending so many parties and having to understand that it was his friends' special days, it was great he had his time to shine. She really made him feel special and that it was his party.
He loved having everyone sing happy birthday too him... and that his cake came with an actual transformer on it. The only way we got him to go home was telling him he could open his gifts when he got there.
He still talks about the party every few days and asks when he is turning five so he can have another party. Can't wait to see what he picks next year!