Mommy, I want Peppa Pig.
That’s how it all started! After 14 rounds of I want, or I like, I told Hunter it was time we settled on his birthday theme.
We went in rounds about 10 more times, until I finally decided upon a common pattern for all of his likes and drew one conclusion, he liked all things British!
Thankfully, I took the stress off of myself this year and let him decide most of the details of his party. It’s one of the little luxuries of turning three. I’m not a fan of the much sought after box parties. You know? Where the parents pick the matchy-matchy theme plates and accouterments from Target 10 minutes before the party. I like when things are a little different, and that Hunter sort of marches to the beat of his own drummer when it comes to making his own choices.
After canceling our reservation at one venue when they wouldn’t honor our party price, and quickly gaining another last minute reservation, things seemed to be looking up. Time to fly the Union, the British are coming!
But what about the favors?
I was panicked. The week leading up to our chosen theme party, London Calling, and I could find nothing U.K. imported or inspired in the entire city of Spokane. It was like a long string of disappointments as I went store to store, only to hear they had nothing resembling or related to Ol’ Blighty. My last thought was to drive up on a Wednesday and look in Seattle but decided against it, and instead trekked to every party store, or rental place in Spokane after a raging snow storm had just rocked the Northwest.
Nada. Zip. Zilch.
I don’t come from the biggest town in Eastern NC, but I vaguely remember a Brit-Port theme party we once threw for a friend who was moving overseas. Our local party store was stacked, from top to bottom, with virtually everything British.
How did I move to the one place that had nothing even remotely related?
Finally it was time to bite the bullet on Monday morning, two days before his party, and face the fact that I might have to do a box party from the store. I pulled into the parking lot of our apartment ready to tell Hunter, after coming back from Barnes & Nobles with the two cutest kid’s travel books about London and I was about to break it to him that Mommy couldn’t make his party as promised. I was sitting in the car, literally on the verge of tears when I had a sudden moment of clarity. I turned the key back over and headed about a mile from my house to Cost Plus World Market.
When I was a kid, being from a family of military brats and they still had access to places on base we always had things that came from somewhere else. I always got imported chocolate for the holidays, or when my grandparents or family got back from a trip. Then I found it, on the middle shelf, and a wave of relief came over me…Maltesers!
I picked up 10 mini bags of the American equivalent of Whopper’s, and tossed them in my basket. I hit the tea section on my way back toward the front of the store and picked up a box of Lady Grey, which turned out to be decaffeinated, and after remembering a Pinterest tutorial I saw on decorating coffee cups with Sharpie’s everything seemed to be falling into place. I had the favor bags completed! No tears, and now all I had to do was find tea cups. I headed to Goodwill, picking up 10 cups for $6 and thus the end of my torturous and labor filled journey to throw the perfect third birthday.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
Did the cups turn out like I wanted? Nope. The sharpies that I got ran, and even after baking some of them for the time suggested they smudged.
Were the kids happy? Yes.
I can report that everyone loved their tea cups. Am I still partially in denial that my kiddo is three? You bet.
Just like that, and it’s over, but every single minute of panic was worth it. Parenting is like this magical, beautiful, hair raising, faster than the speed of sound roller coaster ride through life. Enjoy it, because just as soon as you snap your fingers they’re taking their first bicycle ride around the living room when it seemed just last year they were learning to walk.
Happy 3rd birthday Hunter. My sweet boy, Mommy loves you!