Children’s birthdays are something equally great and potentially exhausting. Many parents go to great lengths to organize birthday parties with themes and decorations and invitations to half the country to come and join, effectively spending two months planning, preparing, cooking, baking, decorating, wrapping, sending, receiving, calling and in the end falling into bed dead from exhaustion and several pounds (not British ones, actual weight) lighter in the bank account.
So when Nico’s second birthday rolled around, we went into a completely different direction. Since his birthday is in the middle of August, the weather forecast was warm and dry and as some friends only could come over the weekend after, we decided to go basic, pack a lunch and go to the local park with water games, which are great for cooling off and playing. Oh, they are free, too, always a plus
Since it was supposed to be warm, we did not want to go heavy on the menu, so we ended up making ourselves some light sandwiches with some turkey breast, cheese and lettuce, a cut-up hot dog sausage with some plain pasta for Nico (aka “Mr. Sausage”), some dry, fried Chinese noodles, some cucumber, some baby carrots, a little juice, water bottles and for dessert some of Nico’s (and Papa’s) favourite: Chocolate chip cookies. We found the one picnic table like spot in the area that had some shade and set up, Nico was amazingly patient throughout the whole lunch, especially since the water fountains etc. were tempting, but he stayed until the middle of dessert.
Running through the water (which btw, is absolutely frigid, but oh so refreshing when you get it onto you and survive the initial shock), waiting for the fountains to start, a little sliding and swinging in-between and back to the water, it was a delight to see him run and squeal with joy, only coming back once or twice for another bite of cookie.
We had to tell him that we were going to go home, for him to come back and let us wrap him in his nice and warm towel (he was frozen from the water), ending a beautiful day with a great, light lunch in the fresh air, free refreshment courtesy of the city of Chateauguay, and lot of smiles and giggles by Nico, the best reward we could have received.
So unless your child really, really, really insists on a big and themed party, propose something easy, basic and natural (if weather, season, area etc. allow, of course) and you will be amazed how rewarding it can be to “just” go to a simple picnic, your nerves and wallet/bank account will also thank you
This is a nice way you can enjoy your child on his/her special day.