My youngest daughter turned two last week.  Yeah, my baby.  Two!  (Who allowed that?  She was supposed to stay six months old forever *sniffles*)  So, we had our version of a  toddler birthday party and cake.  She likes flowers, so I made her a sunflower cake.

Hush!  It does to look like a sunflower.  *ppfffttt*  Besides, she enjoyed eating it, so there :p  Plus, she got to dip the candle in the icing and eat it off the wax (ewww!).

Recently there has been news about celebrities throwing lavish parties for their toddlers and small children.  Spending obscene amounts of money for something most kids are not going to remember.  I believe they do this more for themselves than the children.  I think the most lavish I ever got was paying $4.00 USD per person for a party for the oldest girl at the local ice cream parlor (everyone got a cone and a hotdog and chips).  She was in elementary school at the time and the biggest thing she remembers was her and one of her friends taking off their shoes and sliding up and down the aisles in their socks.  Yeah, see.  Expensive parties (even cheaper ones) are no match for sliding on linoleum in socks.

I grew up in this fashion.  We didn’t have traditional birthday parties.  We had family (usually parents and siblings) stand around a cake with candles and sing happy birthday after dinner.  We did get presents when we were older (really, come on, what two year old is going to care if they get the latest trendy toy or not?).  And we never got expensive things.  We just weren’t that kind of family.  We got something we had wanted, but, really, other than the Gloria Vanderbilt or Calvin Klein jeans (which I never got), we never wanted anything outrageously expensive.  Our original Nintendo, if I remember correctly, was purchased because my mom wanted to play Mario Bros.  (It may have been a hand-me-down from my aunt and uncle, their son was a big gamer from the start of the plug into your tv game system days, but I don’t really remember that clearly.)

So, our parties (or lack thereof) and presents (usually practical and inexpensive) are a product of my upbringing.  I didn’t consider her first birthday that big of a deal (I just wanted to curl into a ball on the bed and cry and deny the fact), but my husband insisted we do something (holidays and birthdays were a big deal for him growing up, I think).  So, I went out and bought a cake at the last minute and the five of us sang happy birthday.  Then, after the sugar high wore off, she fell asleep on his chest.

I’m not against birthday parties by any stretch.  I just don’t think they should be made out to be the social event of the season.  Birthdays are for family and close friends.  (And for mommies to cry over how much their babies are growing up.)