My little baby is turning 1.
The first birthday here in Brazil is a MAJOR deal-the biggest of all birthdays-requiring a huge celebration. I'm talking about a party wherein the parents must invite all of their friends, their friends' friends, relatives, co-workers, relatives of co-workers, acquaintances, people whom they've never actually spoken to, but who live in a 3-block-radius, and anyone who may have laid eyes on the child sometime during his or her first year.
I explained to our maid that in lieu of the Party of the Decade we (the cheap, practical Americans) prefer to have The Simple Family Party.
I tried to explain to her the elements of The Simple Family Party:
- A cake, specially made by moi, from a box mix. Normally a 9 X 13 cake still in the pan, but if it is really special I might make 2 8" circles and stack them up.
- A traditional rendition of "Happy Birthday"
- Allowing the birthday baby to strip down to his or her diaper and make mincemeat out of a piece of the cake.
- A few presents
- Maybe a few games for the older kids, depending on my energy level and mood.
But the look on her face just killed me. Next to me and Guapo and possibly his grandparents, there's no one else in the world that loves him more than Vanessa. And, I started to doubt myself and my parenting skills-maybe I was screwing up my kids by not adequately commerating their special day.
So I gave her 50 bucks and told her to knock herself out planning a party for Pedro, and that she could bring her three kid and husband over for the American/slightly Brazilian festivity. (She spent over $1,000 USD on each of her 3 children's 1st birthday parties, so I'm sure she was appalled at my cheapness in regard to my son's milestone).
So her whole gang came over on Saturday and helped set up. Here's what she did:
(look at the front of the tablecloth/ruffle thing-those are pictures of Pedro that she printed out and laminated-cute huh? and check out that extra-special-double-decker-cake! Vanessa was less than impressed with my skills)
The birthday "table" is very important here. I'm finally getting that. The parties here are centered around this table that is elaborately decorated with a particular theme in mind. The normal theme for a 1 year old is clowns. Don't worry, they weren't too scary.
Here's Vanessa with Pedro:
Here he is playing with some confetti (do you know how much Guapo loves confetti inside the house? A whole lot.)
And here he is enjoying his cake:
(you can't tell me he would have been any happier had we dropped 5 grand on his birthday)
To prove to the Brazilians we know how to party we got out the
I'm not sure we convinced them that The Simple Family Party is where it's at, but we all had a good time.
Happy Birthday Pedro! I love you!