Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baby Cage Match aka Our One Year Old's Birthday Party

Last Friday the little man turned one. So we had a party. I have mostly recovered.

Our inspiration, apart from being accused years from now as being horrible parents, was Oliver's love of animals. Well, at least we think he digs them. So we opted for a jungle theme. Our decorating efforts were greatly enhanced by a gift from his Gia-Gia - a life sized stuffed giraffe. At least it is a baby-sized giraffe.

We cleaned the house. We decorated. We got food and drinks for the adults and the kids. I even decorated a home-baked cake. Oh yes, and we invited more than a dozen of his "little friends". They all showed up. Now we live in Toronto. Most houses in Toronto, ours included, are not particularly large. Add the regular baby gear and the party food (and don't forget the life sized giraffe) and space, you know that area not occupied by objects, becomes limited. Throw into that space a dozen-odd 1-year olds and then add their parental units, family and friends. The house was a rocking and more people were a knockin'.

The babies (can we still call them that when they hit the twelve month mark?) were sort of piled in the middle of the floor amongst the toys. This is where the Darwin and the Golding come in. Play and laughter in theory; survival of the fittest in application; Lord of the flies in outcome. Get a group of parents together and the strength in numbers, the potential for relief, and the confidence in others' abilities tend to produce a negative result: the abdication of responsibility.

No one actually got hurt, aside from the odd hairpull or eyepoke, and everyone had a lot of fun, babies included. Maybe it's not so much an abdication of responsibility but rather a more realistic parenting approach. Stop the smothering. They are remarkably resilient and, sing it Aretha, they will survive.

All in all the party was awesome if exhausting. We had a blast, the wee man had a blast and think the guests had fun too. I'm looking forward to next year's celebration, but it can most definitely take the whole year to arrive.

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