Yesterday we celebrated Aiden's 3rd birthday. It's kind of hard to believe I have a 3 year old. The last three years have really flown by. However, when thinking of where we were at three years ago, it also feels like a life time. Has it really only been three years? I keep asking myself, while simultaneously thinking, I can't believe he is three already! It doesn't really make me sad that he is growing up so fast, but it does make me a little sentimental (ok, a lot).
I wanted to make this birthday extra special for Aiden because I knew it would probably be the first birthday he might remember. My goal: low-key, but lots of fun. I decided to go with a theme this time and chose "Where The Wild Things Are", but ended up doing something quite different. Here is the problem, I am a perfectionist. By that I do not mean that I get things perfect, or even close, but rather I expect perfection from myself and therefore am never satisfied with my end results. Plus I tend to procrastinate, which is a really bad combination. Friday rolled around and I still hadn't gotten everything together for the party (or even close) and I started to realize that my "Where The Wild Things Are" theme was not going to come together because I simply didn't have the time. So instead I decided to decorate the house like a jungle and have my sister paint the kids' faces as wild animals. Instead of the games I originally had planned, I told everyone to bring their kids' bikes because we got a bike for Aiden for his birthday and figured it'd be fun for them all to ride together (Aiden really isn't that into organized games yet anyway). We had hotdogs and hamburgers to grill and I made carrot-pineapple cake. Sounds great, right? However, instead of "low-key", it felt chaotic (now that I think of it, what kids party isn't slightly chaotic?). The cake was kind of dry, and I mindlessly followed the recipe using walnuts, not thinking about the fact that one of Aiden's friends has a nut allergy! And for some reason I just could not get my original birthday plan out of my head, and so instead of seeing the kids having a good time and being pleased, all I could do was compare it to my original plan and feel like I had failed. (Sad, right? I know. I wish I could go back in time and change my attitude and just have fun.) Then when it came to opening presents all I could do was feel terribly guilty that Aiden had so many gifts! We only gave him the one, but with family and friends, it all adds up. He could barely appreciate the first gift he opened before he was handed another. I don't know why that made me feel so terrible, I mean he was thrilled! I just couldn't help but think about all the children in the world who don't even have what they need, much less all this excess. Don't get me wrong, I was not mad at anyone for getting Aiden gifts, nor was I mad that he was getting gifts, I simply felt guilt. Sheesh, sometimes I really get on my own nerves.
At the end of the day, when everyone was gone, I was running around the house cleaning up in my typical crazy-lady way, when Aiden called me. "Hey mommy! Let me show you something really cool!" (That is exactly what he said. When did he start talking like such a big kid?!) I went to see what he had to show me and he was holding up his new slinky and dropping a little truck through it. He was so happy with his new game that he kept doing it and looking at me for my approval with a big grin. He was sitting on the floor, surrounded by tons of awesome new toys and games, and there he was, playing with a slinky and a little truck, completely content. It kind of broke my heart (in a good way). Then I asked him what his favorite part of the day was, not really expecting a answer, when he said, "My favorite part of today was playing outside with Hannah, Bella, Kaylin, Anna, and Oliver too." His exact words. When did he start speaking in full sentences?! He made up for his maturity by asking me for some "spicy-juice" (soda) though, so that made me feel a little better. He's still somewhat my little baby. Although, he prefers the term "big boy". I can live with that.