Before you plunk down big bucks for your child’s next birthday party consider this, kids just wanna have fun. Sunday was Tyler’s birthday and we had a great time celebrating without spending much money. We actually started celebrating on Friday and continued through Sunday night. I don’t think he would have had any more fun if we would have had a party with 20 screaming kids at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Of course, some kids will prefer the parties but it’s a good idea to ask your child what their preference is before you begin your party planning. For Tyler, being able to spend time with me and his father was enough for him. Although his father and I are no longer a couple we get along for Tyler’s sake (it wasn’t always that way, mind you) and that has made a world of difference. Before Katrina we lived about 5 minutes away from each other, now we are three hours away so Tyler treasures the times he can spend with his father.
We basically allowed Tyler to plan what he wanted to do and the result was a very pleasant three day birthday celebration. On Friday we allowed him to pick out his present which he had already decided on — a handheld V-tech learning system. He already has one that plugs into the TV but he wanted one to take with him while he’s traveling or playing outside, etc. Once we bought that he was in heaven! So for the rest of the day he played his game and roughed it up with his dad and then we had pizza later that night.
On Saturday, we went to the USS Alabama, a former battleship. This was a great experience. We got to see actual clothes and items that the crew members used. Plus their quarters, the sick bay, the doctor and dentist offices and much more. True, maneuvering was a bit tricky, but he had a great time and we got some awesome pictures. From there it was shopping for toys again, this time a gift from his grandmother. After that we went to the movies (Santa Claus III — very funny) and then out to eat at Applebee’s .
Sunday morning we had brunch at IHOP and then we played basketball outside. His father thinks just because he’s tall he can beat me so he challenged me to a game of free throws. Okay, he won but still I was just two points behind him. After that Tyler and my two nieces and one of my nephews played a bit of basketball and generally ran around making a lot of noise. Later we cut the cake and sang Happy Birthday and then started winding down. Tyler didn’t even want a special dinner, he wanted a Happy Meal from McDonald’s!
Birthdays are special days but remember sometimes all your kids want is your time and attention. So don’t run yourself ragged trying to plan the perfect celebration. Spending time with your child might be all that’s needed.