Lately, I have watched as many of my parent friends have struggled with how to go about having 1st birthdays for their subsequent children. When you are a first time parent, you often feel the need to go all out for that special day when your child turns one. Some invite the whole neighborhood; some hire party planners and/or photographers; some buy ridiculous decorations and gifts, and all this is for a child that will essentially do the following things no matter how dressed up he is: smile, scream, soil himself (usually in a big way), smash a cake, fall asleep. As these same people enter the world of multiple children, they tend to step back and evaluate the pros and cons of repeating the process.
When I reached the milestone of having my 3rd child reach his 1st birthday, I was kind of limited with the amount of time I could spend on party planning (not to mention the money aspect). Luckily, both of my boys have birthdays within 3 weeks of each other. So last year, while my baby was blissfully ignorant, I simply added his name to my older son’s cake and bought an extra cake for him to smash at big brother’s birthday party. It was a fun celebration without an extra party! Woo Hoo. Ingenious.
But what to do on baby’s actual birthday? I didn’t want him to feel like he missed out when he looks at his photo album in a few years (of course he has no clue right now) but I was not about to use up what little energy I had left planning a huge celebration. So, I did what any
lazy logical mother of 3 would do, I found the perfect birthday outfit and I made cupcakes. And now, I am going to share my secret recipe for a magical third 1st birthday day with you!
- Step 1: Outfit your child for the special day. This involves diligently searching various stores until you find a cheap birthday tshirt/onesie in the clearance section at Target. Add some jeans, shorts, or those diapers that look like jeans from the dresser drawer located in your baby’s room. And, WALAH (sp?), you’re done with costuming, your child will be comfortable and you won’t freak out when he gets icing all over himself! Congrats.
- Step 2: The Cake/Cupcakes. Dig through your pantry until you find an old box of cake mix that you bought when the mixes were on sale buy one, get one free and make sure that it’s not too far past the “best if used by” date.
Mix the ingredients up as fast as you can and pour them quickly into a muffin pan because pretty soon the baby will soil himself (as previously mentioned) and you don’t want to be in the middle of making a food item when he does.
Find a clean spoon. Scoop whatever is left in the mixing bowl onto the spoon and insert in mouth. That wonderful taste and smell will help you ignore the aroma that is coming from the playpen as dear baby has started the soiling process.
Place the pan in the oven and allow the batter to bake for the appropriate amount of time. Run over to stinky baby to deal with the soiling issue, then promptly wash hands and give big kisses to the baby before pulling the cupcakes out, letting them cool and placing them on the nearest platter you can find.
Pull out that can or bottle of frosting that you secretly keep for times of stress. Check that it is still fresh by pouring a large amount directly into your mouth.
Once satisfied by the frosting fix, decorate the cupcakes to your liking with the remainder of the can (they don’t have to be pretty because you can always hide them with a cute cupcake topper and your baby will just smash his to make it “prettier” anyway). Hand out the cupcakes to your family and enjoy.
- Step 3: The Presents. Save the boxes/wrapping paper that others used when giving your baby presents and present them to him for his enjoyment. Nothing says I love you like an empty box or perhaps one filled with packing popcorn. (Be warned that if baby happens to swallow a piece of packing popcorn, you will have to revisit the “soiling” step.)
After all is said and done, your baby won’t remember a thing, but you can still get some cute pictures to remind him that you took the time to revel in the excitement that was his actual 1st birthday day, even if it is your third 1st birthday day.