Last weekend, my beautiful baby girl had her first birthday. We celebrated by taking her to a doctor’s office and sticking her with a needle in each leg, sending foreign chemicals coursing through her body, and then taking her home to drug her so that she may better tolerate and hopefully not remember about the chemicals. We then had 25 people that she barely knows come to the house and shout a song she’s never heard before very loudly at her while we tried to force-feed her something she’s never eaten. But it sure beat what she was doing last year.
Despite the overwhelming amount of seemingly unwanted attention (and drugs) she received, Mabel enjoyed being out on the porch playing with her cousins and her new toys. But this party wasn’t for her. It was for mommy and daddy. It was our chance to show off what awesome and fun parents we are. So we (Jenn) spent the night before the party making teddy bear-shaped cookies and cupcakes, with Nilla wafer ears and chocolate chip eyes. It was like Christmases to come, waiting for her to go to sleep so we could get to work on her presents. We (Jenn) also found napkins and plates with teddy bears holding a number one. We also bought Teddy Grahams and Gummi Bears and took the C.E.O. to Build-a-Bear so she could have her own new teddy that she (kinda) picked out. And finally, we (Fiona (Jenn’s friend)) had a little cake with her name spelled on Nilla wafers and a Teddy Grahams stuck in it, etc. that looked totally like we knew what we were doing. Which was awesome because I had no idea what we were doing. Jenn told me last weekend her birthday party was going to be teddy bear-themed. I wandered aimlessly through Target looking for all things teddy and eventually bought burgers and hot dogs, mumbling “There’s no Teddy Bear-themed stuff in here!” to myself, Mabel and three teenage girls walking by. But the C.F.O. knows how to throw a theme party. Apparently.
The party was scheduled from 12-3pm. Mabel went down for a nap at 12:30, like a good hostess. We’ve all had those kind of parties, right? We woke her up at 1:30 so the party attendees could all see the cake-smearing before they left. So not only was Mabel just woken up from a nap that probably should have lasted another hour or so (remember the shots?), but we immediately forced her into the spotlight and made her perform. So it’s not too shocking that she sat there staring at all the sugar just hoping daddy would cut her up some strawberries and save her from this. So it wasn’t the happy, cake-smearing birthday everybody wanted to see, but there was some grimacing and stares of judgment that made up for it.
A special thanks to all who came, notably Aunt Karen who helped put the streamers all over the deck in a way that looked like she had taken a class on it and Aunt Michele who, by the time I had turned around to offer to take back over for her, had cooked all the hot dogs and hamburgers we had. And of course to Fiona for the awesome cake that didn’t get eaten and my sister’s family for making the long drive down with the boys. And for everybody who brought presents. Except for that damn cat that I can still hear yelling “Catch me!” from the bottom of her toy box whenever I move it.
But mostly, thanks to everybody for taking pictures. The C.F.O. and I were too busy to remember to do that or assign it to anyone. Thankfully, you can’t swing a stick these days without hitting somebody that has a phone with a high-res camera with video capability. So thanks to all of you and sorry about hitting you all with a stick.
See you all at the two year party! Which, since Mabel will have thoughts and opinions by then, will be more about her and less about mommy and daddy. Which is fine by me. At least we’ll have someone else to blame.