My nine-year-old son loves watching Phineas and Ferb. I love that Phineas and Ferb are young geniuses, appropriate role models for my 124 IQ son. I don’t typically sit down and watch an entire episode with him, but sometimes the episode catches my ear and I can’t help but laugh at the humor.
Yesterday was no different.
This is the conversation that caught my attention, made me laugh, and then caused me to ask my son to rewind it so I could write it down:
Mom just finished telling Candyce (Phineas and Ferb’s older, teenage sister) her plans to attend a friend’s birthday party for their baby.
Candyce: Why do they even have parties for two-year-olds? It’s not like they’re going to remember anything.
Mom: (Standing) Baby parties aren’t for the baby’s, Candyce. They’re for the moms.
Candyce: The moms?
Mom: So they can feel rewarded for all the hard work they do.
Candyce: (flicks her wrist) Psst! Toddlers are easy! They eat. They poop. They sleep. End of story.
Mom: (walking away) You’re a laugh riot, Candyce.
A few seconds later, her brothers mysteriously turn into toddlers and Candyce chases them around for the remainder of the episode. I’m assuming by the end she realizes that there is much more to toddlers than eat, poop, and sleep.
Just a wild guess.
Yes, this conversation between mother and daughter is hysterical because
- Candyce has zero idea how much work actually goes into caring for a toddler and
- Mom concludes that baby birthday parties are for the moms, not the babies.
We all know statement number 1 is right. Raising a toddler is hard work.
But what about mom’s idea?
Are the Disney script writers on to something? Do moms really throw birthday parties for their babies to show off and be rewarded?
Birthdays at My House
I guess because I wasn’t raised by parents who entertained (except for an occasional birthday party for my siblings and I), I don’t turn birthday parties into an extravagant occasion.
Or maybe because I’m just too practical. Like Candyce said: they aren’t going to remember, so what’s the point?
In fact, I can count on one hand the number of birthday parties I’ve thrown for my children. And no, I’m not talking about for each child. I mean collectively….
And they’ve had a total of 17 birthdays.
That makes me look bad, doesn’t it?
Oh well. I don’t care what it looks like.
While I don’t need to bore you with all the reasons why we didn’t throw a party, I will tell you that when we did throw one, it wasn’t a big social event for me to brag about how many diapers I changed or bottles I served.
If I want to throw a party to reward myself for all my hard work as a parent, it wouldn’t be disguised as a kids party and we wouldn’t serve juice pouches. You know what I mean?
Maybe some moms do feel the need to throw a birthday party for God knows whatever selfish reason, but I’m not one of them.
What Birthdays Should Be About
I try to focus on making their birthdays special in unique ways that cannot be accomplished by throwing a birthday bash, such as giving them extra special, undivided attention.
Let’s be realistic. If you’ve got multiple kids, you know how often (or little) you spend with each of them individually. To a child, getting alone time with one or both parents is a luxury, and my kids will take that over a birthday party any day.
Because every child is different, I try to do something special for each birthday that I know will make them happy. A special outing or treat, for example. And if they are too young to remember, like they have been for those first few birthdays, I do my best to document the day via photos or video.
And, most importantly, I wish them a very happy birthday, give them kisses, a big hug, and tell them how much I love them.
That’s all they really need from me anyway.