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I wrote this up a while ago and just dug it out of my unpublished folder. 


The terrible twos weren’t so terrible, I’ve decided as we’re on the eve of the threes. Moms everywhere are telling me that the twos are nothing compared to the threes, so I guess I should get myself a helmet.

We have a few weeks left, but I already see what they mean.

Little Man has opinions.

Strong ones.

Like, water out of a blue cup tastes terrible if he asked for a green cup, and vice versa.

Last week, I made the mistake of asking Little Man if he wanted anything special for his birthday. (Stupid, stupid, stupid…)

“Thomas cake!” He replied.

Where on earth did he learn about character cakes?

“Thomas plates, Thomas cups, Thomas game…” and he marched around listing all of the fixins for a fully-themed Thomas and Friends party.

To my knowledge, he’s never been to a themed birthday party, so I’m not sure where he’s coming up with this. On top of that, we fork over enough money to Hit Entertainment as it is.

Here’s how events work around here. I cook a ton of food, we set out a couple of bottles of wine, juice boxes for the kids, and people come and be merry. There are no streamers, no pointy hats, no character plates, no clowns…

Italians don’t need that stuff. We eat.

I attended a moms group where we had a little group homework project, to come up with budget-friendly party themes. Coordinated cakes and decorations, organized games, the whole shebang. Some of these women really get into this stuff. Just check Pinterest.

Me, I can’t decorate for everyday, let alone for a party. I can’t even coordinate a proper outfit without a formula (jeans + sweater = allowed to go out in public). I hate to think I’m less of a mother because I don’t follow party protocol. But will my kid be jealous of other kids’ parties?

Kids came to my husband’s party. I’d say they had just as much fun tearing up the toy bins as they would have had doing organized games. (And who would referee the games? They’re 3!) And do they even notice decorations?

Maybe I’ll spring for the train cake. Maybe for some cups and plates, too. You’re welcome, producers of Thomas, and whomever else I may be funding Island vacations for…

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