Creating a 4-year-olds magical, princess day
‘Tis the season. No, not for Christmas madness, for birthday chaos. My “baby girl” Hayden turns four-years-old this month. I’m having a hard time saying that since it seems like literally yesterday that she was born. But I guess every parent feels the same way.
Every year it’s been a challenge to figure out where to host her birthday party. I’ve had an elaborate 125 person affair at Stepping Stones Children’s Museum in Norwalk and I have had just 35 of her closest friends jumping like maniacs at Bounce U in Norwalk. I try to vary the party every year to cater what she’s into at that point her life. This year posed a challenge. What does she love to do? She loves to dress up like a princess.
I’m sure many of you are reading this and smiling because you know what will come next–but unlike what many New Canaan and Darien moms already know–I had never heard of “Let’s Dress Up” in New Canaan. I spent hours scouring the Internet trying to decide between awkward Living Social deals at dance places I’ve never heard of and pondered in my head whether I should just see if Loehmann’s would consider me bringing in 30 kids to randomly take over their dressing room. I would just supply clothing from the showroom floor and possibly have pizza delivered to the backroom. (Has anyone besides me ever noticed that they have a TON of sparkly clothing? If you are ever headed somewhere that requires a full-length sequined gown, look no further than Loehmann’s.)
At some point, I came across the website for Let’s Dress Up. Seemed too good to be true. Was this actually a place that had kids dress up gear and catered to little girls who insisted that they were Snow White? Why yes, yes it was! Still uncertain that a place like this existed, I explained to Hayden that we were going to visit a possible party location. I told her there was dress up–but she could not even grasp that a place like this could exist.
As usual, the moment we got into the car, she fell asleep. Like a stalker I parked outside of their business on Cherry Street for a good thirty minutes peering through my windshield. Could I be seeing this correctly? Pink boas and chandeliers. Everything decorated in light pink and crystals. Finally, I could wait no longer and tried to wake her up. Unfortunately, she was in one of her deep sleeps that she cannot be awoken from. Carrying her sound asleep in my arms, I walked in.
Of course people must think I’m crazy. Hayden is almost four, certainly over 40 pounds, and tall for her age, but I stumbled into the fairytale store clutching her (half out of breath) because my inner child couldn’t wait to get inside. My eyes opened wide. It was literally Hayden (and every little girls) dream come true. As I explained to the woman that I was thinking of hosting Hayden’s birthday there I heard a small grumble…then an annoyed sigh…followed by “Mommy, where are we?!” and with that reaction, I knew we had found the perfect venue for my princess’s birthday. Problem? Hayden has plenty of “boyfriends”–aka–friends that are boys. There are approximately five knight costumes, not quite enough for this princess’s court!
Of course, I had a mommy drama moment. As a working mom, I hadn’t had a lot of time to get invitations. Weekend warrior truly describes my life lately. I had to come up with a way to get invitations done quickly. I would order from Snapfish and have it printed immediately at Walgreens. Genius, I thought. I proudly strolled in to pick up my picture invites one hour after ordering them online. I paid a whopping $20 dollars for the invitations–and they were perfect–or so I thought. I was giving myself a pat on the back for being an efficient working mom when I did a double take. The invitation read “Join us for Hayden’s 3rd Birthday.” Sigh. She’s turning four. I guess this efficient, genius, mommy makes mistakes too.
I brought them back into the store with my head hung low and much to my surprise; the manager took pity on me and returned my $20 dollars. They will have a forever loyal customer for that small act of kindness, and I did what I should have done in the first place, send Evites.
Every day Hayden asks me if it’s time for her birthday yet. I guess I got something right! Now, if I could only figure out when I’ll make goody bags. Hmmm, what can I find in our office supply closet that will make entertaining gifts for kids?
Anna Zap is the Show Morning Co-Host and Midday Personality on Connecticut radio station Star 99.9. She has performed stand-up comedy all over New York City, Westchester County and Fairfield County. Make sure to check out her obscured views of Connecticut at CTBoom.com and her adventures in motherhood at rantingsofafirsttimemommy.blogspot.com Her most important role though is as a Mommy to her beautiful three year old daughter Hayden, and wife of seven years to her college sweetheart, Paul. Together, they are making it in Fairfield County. Follow Anna on Twitter @AnnaZapOnAir.