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So I joked with some of our guests over the weekend, that next year, I’m just going to bake a couple of bags of chicken nuggets and call it a party. The only thing is, I think I might actually do it…

I wanted to make this post something of a party debrief, but truth be told, I’m not sure how to begin. Should I start with the musky, fetid animal smell that had begun to emanate from the walls of the playroom/dining room once the weather began to warm up, a smell which might have been either squirrel urine (another story, another day) or a dead mouse rotting in the wall–

Or maybe the coils of ants that were hell-bent on party-crashing the houseplants in my kitchen, and the dog who has a new thing for digging up grubs and bringing them into the house and smearing them into the carpet? And then the trees, f*cking trees and f*cking pollen, which sent my daughter’s allergies into overdrive, so much so that the day before the party, her allergy symptoms were in that maybe-allergies-maybe-sinus infection middle territory–which not only made her feel sick and awful, but also dramatically changed her nap schedule, to yep, the party time. My poor, tired girl! She opened one gift, rubbed her eyes, and then flatly stated, “sleep in big girl bed.”

What else? My husband’s home office scheduling a last-minute store meeting for the morning of the party, a balloon order at Kroger that never got filled, unexpected guests (though I was happy they were able to make it, once I got over the numbers panic), and the constant second-guessing of myself and wondering if I was trying to make the party a bigger to-do than it had to be, because that’s what I do, or if maybe I was trying to overcompensate for my own ambivalence about the day of her birth, to keep some of the stronger emotions at bay. (I’m totally with you, mommypeace: celebrating homecoming is an infinitely more warm-fuzzies occasion, at least for this mommy).

But of course, at some point you just gotta step back and laugh, and for me, that moment came two nights before the party, and much to my husband’s chagrin.

Months ago, I had decided that the theme to party was going to be “purple,” since “Purple” is the name of her favorite thing in the world (her snuggle blanket). Thus, I tasked my husband with finding her a purple outfit for the party, since their “thing” is to go shopping together (total daddy’s girl).

For the last few weeks, he came home complaining that nobody had anything purple. And he had been everywhere. I thought he meant that purple wasn’t a very fashionable color this season–my best friend was having trouble finding her daughter a purple something, too. But when he came home that night with a bag from babyGAP, it slowly dawned on me what he had meant: he has trouble seeing the color purple.

Oh, I am such a jerk, because I couldn’t stop laughing! Of course he can’t see purple! Of course that’s the theme of Daphne’s party! Had he said, months ago, ‘you know I can’t see purple very well, right?’ I would have said, ‘no, you never told me that,’ and then I would have picked a new theme. But no!

“I actually had to ask someone for help!” He was indignant, and had every right to be. Oh, I am such a jerk!

At any rate, all the little worries about pulling off a seamless event just sort of evaporated, and it was much easier to take everything else in stride. While it might not have been the best party ever, it was cozy and it was just right–for us, anyway!

When my daughter woke up from her nap after all the guests had left, she wrapped her arms around my neck and said, “I missed you!”

“I missed you, too, sug, happy birthday!”

And then the three of us took the after-party and the dog on a walk.  

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Birthday cake makes birthdays so much sweeter!

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