There’s no shortage of items to put on this list, but honestly, unless you have a child, you have no idea how long your personal list of “things I never thought I’d do and honestly thought other people were crazy for doing that I now do” could possibly be. It’s long.
Most recent addition: A Birthday Party Filled With Children.
First of all, the party was for our neighbor’s son. We see them in passing pretty often, and they’re super nice, but they were the only people we knew at the party. Their son just turned 5, so (other than his little sister who’s 9 months) Zoe was also the youngest person there, at a “gymnastics” party. (read: party where the tiny kid sees the big kids doing things she wants to do and has no idea she’s too small to do them) This was the first birthday party we’ve attended where it wasn’t a child of a good friend (at least those parties generally have alcohol and friends). Here are a few things we learned:
- There must be some “code” among parents at “school friend” birthday parties. They didn’t even talk to one another (much less us), and there were a bunch of dads who came and sat on the bleachers alone.
- Small children at a gymnastics place run around a lot – and don’t realize they’re small. Bart got a heck of a workout chasing Zoe from trampoline to foam block pit to short beam and so on, while the “big kids” stood in line to swing on ropes and bounce and do forward rolls.
- Running around doesn’t necessarily lead to a good nap. We of course thought all the exercise would put Zoe right to sleep. Not so much (Bart on the other hand had no trouble). Oh, and dance party music with all the lights on in a room filled with screaming, tumbling kids is not that cool.
And finally, old dudes really come through when it matters. I have never, ever ever seen my husband move so much. Ever. When he started lifting Zoe over his head, I almost passed out (so of course I grabbed the camera). And likely he broke every “dad” rule in the book by being the ONLY parent who participated, making all the other seated-in-the-bleachers dads look lame ;)
Anyway, lessons learned. Our goal is to actually have some parent friends at Zoe’s school – and to do something a little more parent-friendly if we have a big “school friend” birthday party (which seems inevitable). Wish us luck.