When did birthday parties for one-year-olds become such a big deal? I don't know many one-year-olds but the two that I do know both had birthday parties that involved purchased printed invitations, one with a photo of the child. One of the parties was very elaborate, with a monkey theme and gift bags for the children who attended. B and I felt very out of place at this party, since it was mainly other parents and their very small children. We felt as though we had forgotten one very important accessory. No one really wanted to talk to the couple that was standing around awkwardly, eyeing all the children nervously.
We just went to the second one-year-old's birthday party recently and this one was much more relaxed, just a bunch of food and a beautiful birthday cake set up in the backyard. Again, there were parents and children, but there were also a few adults without children. Not many, mind you, and I felt that the other childless couple we got stuck talking to were there because the husband was sucking up to his boss, the father of the birthday boy.
The party started at 2pm and we arrived at 2:20 or so, gift for the birthday boy in hand (I purchased a few board books). I surveyed the food and realized that non of it was pregnancy safe, so I went ahead and indulged in soft cheese and cured meat on a baguette. Then I stood around with B and waited for the cake to be cut. Time passed, I talked to the birthday boy's grandmother, his godmother, some other random people. We oohed and aahed over baby's we really weren't that interested in and were totally charmed by another baby wearing the best cable knit sweater ever. I had serious sweater envy. Yet, still no cake.
We ended up leaving almost two hours after we arrived and they had still not cut the cake. I left the birthday party without one bit of cake or cookies or cupcakes. That is just wrong. Isn't that why most people go to a birthday party? Or is that just me? I think if you are throwing a party for a tiny kid, you cut the cake within an hour or two of the start of the party. Or you have some sort of dessert ready for guests and then you can save the cake for whenever you are ready with the camera to record baby smashing cake into his face.
I think when our baby is one, we'll just invite family and close friends who have been really involved with the baby to come over and eat cake and watch the baby smash cake into his or her face. No invitations, no forced small talk with other parents, just pure old fashioned birthday cake enjoyment.