I’d like you to meet the oldest members of my household – Blue Puppy, Itty and Precious. You see, even though those adorable but somewhat ratty stuffed toys have only existed for a few years they have each celebrated at least 100 birthdays!
One of my kids favorite activities is throwing birthday parties for their beloved friends – maybe because when you are 5 your birthday is the most exciting day of the year. Or maybe it’s just a clever way to get an extra dessert in the middle of the day. I am happy to indulge them because I love watching the three of them work together to create a magical party for one little animal. And once one animal has a birthday party I know that we will be celebrating the other two shortly.
It starts in the morning when they run down the stairs “Mommy, it’s Itty’s birthday today” My response is “How wonderful, Itty must be at least 600 by now”. “No mommy, he’s only 345”. And so it starts – we need presents and cupcakes and hats and we must sing happy birthday at least a dozen times. On occasion we celebrate in the play kitchen but most of the time mom is expected to whip up some birthday treats. The celebrations were so frequent for a while that I kept a Costco sized package of mini cupcakes in the freezer.
First, they have to wrap presents for the birthday boy or girl. I give them a roll of tape and a big bag of wrapping paper scraps. They find all sorts of trinkets around the house and spend a good 45 minutes wrapping presents. This is one of my favorite parts – they chatter excitedly about the party and work together to wrap their pile of gifts. I get 45 minutes of peace!
If I don’t have frozen cupcakes or can’t convince them to celebrate with treats from the play kitchen we get busy in the kitchen and bake. My preferred treat is mini cupcakes but sometimes we splurge on full size ones – Crazy!
One requirement for birthday celebrations is hats. We rummage through the closet and dig out all the leftover hats from birthdays past. My daughter may be wearing a my little pony crown and the boys big bird, but it works. Fitting those hats on tiny little beanie babies can be a challenge but we persevere.
Finally we pull it all together – we gather our presents and party guests. Everyone finds a seat at the table and then we start singing. At least a dozen times – because it’s so much fun! Just don’t light the candles – stuffed animals and flaming candles don’t mix. Trust me on this one.
It’s a simple tradition and they love it. In a few years no one but me will want to have birthday parties for stuffed cats on a random Sunday afternoon but I hope it’s a childhood memory that they cherish.
Do you celebrate your beloved animal friends in your home? What are your special traditions?