Do you like watching people writhe in misery? Does the thought of listening to hours of relentless screaming make you giggle? Can you find enjoyment where others only see torture? If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, you really missed one heckuva fun time at Angry Baby Manor this past weekend.
As for those of you who answered, “NO” to the previous inquiries? Congrats on not being a masochist heck-bent on stabbing your eardrum with the knife-like lamentations of a furious toddler. Also, be super-glad you weren’t here this past Saturday afternoon from 1:00-3:00pm.
Saturday was Angry Baby’s 2-year birthday party!
YAY Y’ALL!! (<— Sarcasm.)
What started as a simple desire to see Angry Baby scarf some cake and open gifts with her best buds and family, mushroomed into a 5+ hour death march through the scorching fields of fury and wrath.
You see, all summer I’ve hosted fetes, get togethers and ragers in our new backyard, all spur of the moment. When you have a pool it seems all one need do for a successful party is, invite friends and provide ice. My summer of parties and booze-fueled sun tanning left me with a false sense of Host Confidence.
I began planning Angry Baby’s soiree last month, and envisioned the party as casual, fun and uncomplicated. The fail-safe ingredients were: cake, presents, family, friends, and a pool/spa. Oh sure, I decided to fancy up the final product by adding goodie bags and having Rudy’s BBQ cater it, but for the most part I kept the prep low-key and laid back.
Day of the party we dropped Angry Baby off at her Granny’s house at 6:00am in the morning. My moms-in-law had graciously agreed to watch her until party time. It left Lover Fo Life and yours truly free to do all of our last-minute preparations and shopping.
My parents arrived at 10:30am and promptly began begging us to run over to my MIL’s and pick up Angry Baby early (we live but a mere 5 blocks away from her.) By 11:48 they broke us. Lover fo’ Life quickly returned with a perfectly coiffed and styled birthday girl.
The moment she toddled over the threshold of the back door, Angry Baby began screaming. Being as it had been July when my folks last saw Angry Baby, homegirl threw her snitch switch when she lain eyes upon them. Perhaps she had temporarily forgotten them, of even more likely, was punishing them for being gone so long, the end result was the same, she threw a grand hissy.
“Oh f*ck, it’s gonna be a long afternoon” I muttered to L4L.
And before we knew it, the guests began arriving. The party had a total of 25 people in attendance: family, close friends, and Angry Baby’s BFFs were on the short list of people there, all clad with gifts and well wishes, ready to have fun and pay tribute to our tiny despot.
Only Valor wasn’t having any of it. The sounds and sights, the sugary treats and doting admirers only infuriated her. Angry Baby decided to throw a MEGA-FIT. She screamed and tossed herself repeatedly on the floor, she threw things…all in all, choosing to throw her a Birthday Party was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made as a parent.
Last year, when she turned one, I knew we were dealing with a savage banshee of an offspring. We kept the party simple and it was ONLY attended by immediate family. Guess what? She was mostly fine.
This year, I thought she’d celebrate the departure from babyhood with her favorite people in one blissful afternoon of revelry. What a fool I was.
In reality, birthday parties are like Napalm to toddlers. It’s a sensory overload, and what do these
little jerks toddlers do when they are overwhelmed? They cry like freaking police sirens.
While my guests enjoyed Rudy’s BBQ and Craft Beers, I was treated to an adrenaline pump-a-thon. As Angry Baby’s mother, nature will not allow me to tune out her screaming and fit throwing. Though I’m used to the tantrums and it doesn’t bother me emotionally. On a cellular level, until she’s soothed, I’m biologically linked to her crisis. After much reassuring and holding, she calmed down for a while.
Then it was time to sing “Happy Birthday” and cut her delicious Elmo-festooned cake (devil’s food, of course.) But rather than tell you about the reaction this solicited from Angry Baby, I’ll just show you a picture taken at that moment which speaks volumes.
Pictured below are Angry Baby’s Uncle and Aunt, getting at least 3 or 4 more years of free birth control from this scaring moment.
After the cake came a mountain of presents to open. As you can guess, Angry Baby wasn’t really into it and wanted us all to leave her alone. After much fighting, and ripped tissue paper, we were through opening the presents. BTW: They were AWESOME and some gifts were hilarious (more on that later.)
After 3 solid hours of temper tantrum power, I was ready to get off the bullet-train to heck, so I played my trump card, the ONLY thing that is guaranteed to make Angry Baby happy to matter what…
“Time to swim, everyone!”
For those of you new to class, I live near the coast in Texas, where 85% of the year it’s so humid and hot, your teeth sweat. Rarely do we dip below freezing here. Because of this, if you have a heater to knock the chill off the water, your pool is literally swimable year-round. Thank goodness.
She finally decided to have a good time, sorta.
As she and her best pal, C splashed and giggled, the party eased into the relaxing shindig I had hoped for in the first place. It only took three hours of misery to get there.
Let this be a lesson to you all: throwing a birthday party for a furious toddler is a risky and foolish mistake. At best you’re covered in cake and wrapping paper remnants…at worst, it sounds like you’re sawing a baby in half for hours on end.
Yet I remain hopeful. Afterall, next year she’ll be turning THREE, surely she’ll be old enough to enjoy a party in her honor…what’s the worst that could happen?