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PARTY TIME!!!! Or not.

Written by: Suzanna Palmer September 09 2012 To birthday party or not to birthday party? That is the question that is plaguing the Palmer house this week. Precisely one month from yesterday (that would be T-30 days for those of you not up to speed on your Gregorian calendars) our little guy will not be...

Written by: Suzanna Palmer

To birthday party or not to birthday party?

That is the question that is plaguing the Palmer house this week. Precisely one month from yesterday (that would be T-30 days for those of you not up to speed on your Gregorian calendars) our little guy will not be so little anymore.

He will be celebrating his very first birthday. The big numero Uno. The birthday to end, er, make that begin all other birthdays.

Of course, I’m thrilled we three made it this far. (Let’s hear it for keeping our kid in one piece and surviving our first year of parenthood! Hip hip hooray!) But, I’m also feeling a little unsure about how to mark this milestone.

Part of me wants to bake him a single cupcake, stick a candle on top and sing him a punctuated version of “Happy Birthday to You” before carrying on with the rest of our day as usual.

The other part of me wants to have an over-the-top extravaganza with real-life circus animals, a monster truck rally (Jacob loves cars), and a chocolate volcano with Big Bird emceeing the event, Curious George catering and Mickey and Minnie doing whatever it is that Mickey and Minnie do best.

And, still another part of me wants to spend the whole day trying to create a pill that will keep him at this sweet, cuddly, adorable age forever.

Basically, I’m a schizophrenic mess.

Here’s the pros and cons as I see it:

No party pros: No birthday party means no mess, no stress and more money in the bank. (For those of you wondering why we can’t have a small, simple affair—Tom’s immediate family alone—we’re talking only brothers and sisters and their kids—has close to 40 people in it. Plus, we have more than a dozen close friends with children Jacob’s age.)
No party cons: I may always feel a tinge of bad-mother-itis for not commemorating the occasion with a worthwhile celebration.
Party pro: Lots of cute pictures, the chance to put my decorating skills to work, and, most importantly to me, the chance to see the look on his sweet face when the “Happy Birthday” song begins and the candle is lit.
Party con: Mess, stress, cost.

I know that Jacob won’t remember anything that goes on, so in the end whatever we choose isn’t truly that big of a deal. Still, I want to make the best decision. Help me decide what to do by sharing your take on first birthday parties—are you for ‘em or agin’ em and why?—in the comments section below, pretty please with a #1 candle on top.

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