We all survived Baby Girl’s birthday party. We shoveled out the house (the main level, at least) and I finally came to grips with the fact that preschoolers don’t need gourmet meals. Apparently, something short-circuits in my brain when it comes to birthday party planning. I can’t handle the pressure. My rational mind can’t seem to overcome the panoply of “shoulds”.

I think I should:

  • identify a theme for the party
  • make the invitations by hand to fit the theme
  • send the invitations with several weeks’ notice
  • make all of the favors (and fit the theme, of course)
  • make the house spotless and inviting to kids, all at the same time
  • provide fun and stimulating games and crafts (did I mention the theme?)
  • serve healthy, homemade and delicious food
  • make the cake from scratch

Instead, I slapped together invitations 5 days before the party. No games or crafts. As for lunch, I added peas to the mac and cheese. That’s healthy, right? I ordered the cake. Couldn’t even muster cupcakes from a box. Sigh.

I managed to put a small amount of effort into the favors. I made a batch of play dough and some blank books.


The books were just A2 folded cards from Paper Source and halved printer paper for the pages. I pamphlet-stitched them together with waxed linen thread. Fancier than is strictly necessary for the under 5 crowd, but a satisfying project nonetheless.

Before people started to arrive, I was hanging up Baby Girl’s fabric bunting (I made it for her 1st birthday and hang it up each year). Baby Girl pointed to one flag and with mild displeasure in her voice asked, “why did you do that to my shoes?” Huh? It took me a second, but then it dawned on me that she recognized the Alexander Henry print. She just couldn’t figure out how I had gotten the animals from her shoes onto the fabric bunting.


Quite an eye, that girl! No wonder she is so good at Memory