The baby that inspired this blog is now officially four. FOUR. That means I’ve been at this blog-thing (I still call it a blog-thing, as though I’m not sure if I’m going to stick with it or not) for the same amount of time I spent at high school. Or, for the same amount of time I spent at college (go Bruins). I feel like I deserve a diploma. Or a medal. Or maybe a crown.
Yes, a crown seems about right (I’m sure this is shocking for those of you who know my pageant-girl past).
So, in the spirit of celebrating crowns, we had a celebration that I playfully called “Princess Palooza” last weekend — a shamelessly-frilly birthday party celebrating all-things girly, all-things frilly and all-things fun (for 4 year olds, anyways… although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to having a blast watching the combined personalities of fourteen 3 & 4 year olds rockin’ their best royal impersonations in my backyard). And, as these mini-princesses relaxed on the grass (with THE MOST ENGAGING, INSPIRING and AS-CLOSE-T0-THE-REAL-DEAL-AS-POSSIBLE Snow Queen, who actually led them through constructive and interactive activities — Southern California parents, find her and more of your favorite fairytale icons at Papillons Entertainment), I realized…
I have graduated to the next stage of motherhood. I’m more confident to do what I think is appropriate, as opposed to doing what I think others consider standard protocol. You get me? At first glance, our pint-sized party was pretty typical… girly, princess-y, pink and purple. But in many ways, I went against the grain of what birthday parties are these days (here in LA, anyways).
RULE #1: NO BOYS. GIRLFRIENDS ARE *REALLY* IMPORTANT. I’ve always valued my girlfriends, but becoming a mom has prompted me to lean on the women in my life more than I thought I’d ever need to. (I mean, who else can you get free therapy and support from when you have an argument with your husband about child-rearing?) Which is why this birthday party was girls-only. As arguably-important as it is to let girls play with cars and boys wear pink and let them all learn how to play with each other, across gender lines (which every single party we’ve attended to this date is like)… it’s also never too early to teach our growing little women that you sometimes need girlfriends-only days. For us moms, girlfriends-only means women-talk… for them, girlfriends-only means not having to scream your head off because a boy is chasing you to pull your hair.
RULE #2: NO BOUNCE HOUSES, NO GOODIE BAGS. What a mean mommy, you say. Anyone who’s followed me knows how much I hate bounce-houses. Always have. Can’t explain it. And, not to harp on goodie bags (I do know they take a lot of effort), but let’s just say that I’ve never been a fan of small bits and pieces of candy made in China that I have to sneak into the garbage can once we get home. So when I found myself considering “get a bounce house” and “what should we do for goodie bags” in my head weeks prior to our party, I had to bitch-slap myself a bit. Stop. You don’t like that stuff, so why are you doing it? Out of fear… fear of “what will the kids do?” and “so many other parties do it!” I took a breath. We can be different. It will be ok. It will be fun. (It was.) No bounce house meant: Our friends actually played, talked, sang and crafted together… they were social. No goodie bag of
worthless junk stuff meant: Our friends got a theme-centric takeaway surprise that might actually get put to use regularly… a book. Gasp. (One of the moms actually thanked me for not giving a bag of junk…)
RULE #3: DON’T MAKE IT HIGH-MAINTENANCE. I’ve been a longtime proponent of moving fast, planning ahead (for parties) and saving time… this coming from a gal who actually does like to make homemade cakes and do all-out decorations for parties. But sometimes you just need things to be easy. This time, I really needed EASY. (It’s a party for toddlers… perspective, right?) PSXO party boxes proved to be my answer. For about a $100, an all-inclusive party box is delivered to your door full of crafts, decorations, a larger-than-life balloon, bubbles and favors for 10 guests… complete with easy, detailed instructions for how to put everything together (we snagged the Winter Sparkle themed box).
I will be brutally-honest when I tell you that, before actually opening it’s contents and sifting through everything that’s included, I was inexplicably skeptical about this product… even though I used to co-host an online show with one of it’s founders. EVERY SINGLE THING YOU NEED for a party – minus the food and few minor additionals – IS IN THIS BOX. I will tell you that this box is worth waaaaaaaay more than $100 (having to buy everything that this box comes with separately would’ve cost me about double… plus the time/effort driving around from store to store, etc). Bonus? Included inside is a big rock for mom to wear (okay okay… PSXO actually provided 10 as part of their favor bags, but I put them all out for the guests to wear instead).
I’ve never seen such detailed supplies packed SO TIGHTLY into a box. Like, airtight. Impressive. (And nothin’ really impresses me.) You can follow the provided instructions, or get resourceful with the contents to create your own vibe (I mixed in my separately-purchased princess stickers with the fabulous fairy wand craft supplies).
It was (thankfully!) a happy, happy day. This might seem absolutely ridiculous, but a big part of me felt proud of myself for sticking to what I feel is appropriate for a 4 year old’s birthday party. (No bounce-house! Yeah!) Love and gratitude to my 4 year old “princess” for inspiring me to get smarter and feel more confident over the last few years. Now can I get my crown or what?
DISCLAIMER: I was generously provided a complimentary party box from PSXO, with no expectation or requirement of posting a blog about it. All opinions and experiences are honest and my own.