Age Appropriate Birthday Parties For Kids

At 36 weeks and 4 days I begrudgingly got out of bed and staggered, eyes still shut, towards the bathroom. I had slept in longer than I had anticipated because these days, I usually do. All that was on my schedule for the day was my two-year-old nephew’s birthday party.

Sighing dramatically, I tried to find an outfit that would allow me to walk around all day without my feet turning into roasted honey hams, and something that could be worn in the heat but would protect my thighs from chaffing. Getting dressed these days is a battle that I am constantly losing and it really rains on the start of my day.

With the bags under my eyes covered, and my hair pretty much all in place, I opened my weather app to check out the forecast. The birthday party was 100% outside and I wanted to know what I was in for.

Rain. Scattered thunderstorms.

Immediately, I took off the comfortable orthopedic flats I had on and put on some sneakers, put on some yoga tights and a comfortable t-shirt that could be worn under my light rain jacket.

It was going to be a rainy day, and it was also going to be crazy humid and hot. Suddenly, I found myself wishing I didn’t have to go. I am a pregnant woman who will have nothing to do at Toronto Island’s Centreville which is a small amusement park for kids. Of course I want to see my nephew, but the party is actually a week and a half before his actual birthday. I would much rather see him on the day, get some one on one time with him and not be out in the rain.

Mentally I battled with myself about going and told myself to just go.

Which meant I had to drive downtown to my mother’s where I could park for free (parking downtown is atrocious), then we had to Uber to the Ferry Dock, take the Ferry across to the Island. Walk through the island to the amusement park area and find where they had set up the party tent.

It rained on my drive to my mom’s which was already a bad sign. Rained a bit in the Uber and then it seemed to die down. The wait for the ferry was short and dry but once we got on, it again started to spit. Right away I could feel that wet chill in the air and was happy to have worn my rain jacket, but kicking myself on my decision to go. This close to delivering, I was nervous that I would get sick. I am already fighting off constant discomfort and misery.

We got to the party tend which was only big enough to cover two of the four picnic tables and it started to pour. It rained for about fifteen minutes, big, heavy raindrops. This happened four times before I finally said my goodbyes and left.

On the ferry ride home with my younger brother, who is 18, we wondered about the choices of a lot of parents. My nephew was 2. Although a lot of his guests were between the ages of 6-10 (aside from the adults, and there was only one other guest there his age), having a party at a place where he couldn’t even go on any of the rides didn’t really make sense.

He was completely happy with an umbrella, running around the grass and chasing the birds. They had spent a great deal of money on a venue that made absolutely no sense for a 2 year old.

It got me thinking about all the other parties that didn’t make sense for the kids and the guestlists. When children are that young, the simplest things make them happy. When I was a kid, we had parties at my house. Friends came over and had food and cake and they left after a few hours. We never really went anywhere for our birthdays.

My husband was raised pretty much the same way.

Although I am not against taking your children somewhere for their birthdays, I don’t understand bringing them somewhere they can’t even really enjoy. Who is the party for at that point?

Most of the older kids had run off, they were going on rides and keeping busy. The parents seemed to hang out together with the four children who were under the age of two. Other parents stood around smoking and keeping themselves busy.

The birthday boy was being chased by myself, my sister, and my mom to keep him away from the little pond where they had swan paddle boats that was about twenty feet in front of us, and the train track for the train ride that was ten feet behind us. Although him being chased was the time of his life, we could have done that anywhere, and we could have done that inside somewhere, dry where most of these kids wouldn’t be complaining about cold side effects today.

When your child is under the age of five and you plan these types of parties, who are they for?

I had suggested an indoor playground where there had been a party room and everything from a ball pit for the younger kids, climbing structures, trampolines, everything to keep all the kids busy. Plus, it works for any weather. The party room is a place all the parents could hang out without being in the way and always knowing exactly where their kids were.

Waking up today, with a cold, I wished they had thought about a party that made more sense for a 2-year-old and the weather.

I hope I am more logical when my baby girl arrives.

Who knows, maybe I am just pretending to know what I am talking about now, and will be just as silly later.

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