We are a household of ardent Richard Scarry fans. Of the few child-related things Nathan brought with him to our relationship, the Richard Scarry Lithuanian Children's Dictionary is easily my favorite, and George has taken a shine to it, as well as the big, beautiful Nursery Rhyme book, the silly Cars and Trucks book and the Busytown television show (not to mention the handful of other, small, Golden Books we've accumulated). The kid loves Huckle and Lowly, Hilda Hippo and even the sort of creepy apparent watch thief(?), Bananas Gorilla. So, it followed that he'd have a Busytown birthday party. The only other theme option was Wall-E, and despite my son's undeniable, undying love for that particular trash-compacting robot, I'm trying to avoid full buy-in to the Disney machine for as long as possible, even when it includes environmentally conscious messaging and strong female leads.
We thought about inviting lots of people, like we did last year, but the house is small, the days are shorter than our childless friends sometimes realize and we were all varying degrees of sick, so it was a good thing we stuck to George's besties and, of course, Mimi (my mom) who came through in a major way on the present front. More on that later.
George has been to plenty of his friends' birthday parties, plus mine, and he was really excited to have a party of his own. He "helped" us get ready, mainly by standing in the way of the vaccuum and eating all the snacks before guests arrived, but once people showed up he made the rounds giving copious hugs and generally being a pretty adorable host. He interacted comfortably not only with his little friends but also their parents, which is a relief on two fronts. I want him to be at ease with people of all ages, and I'm so glad that we have parent-friends whom he genuinely likes and trusts. It's incredibly interesting to see his social skills developing in the way they are; he's attentive and grateful and those are both things I hoped for, but didn't want to be too didactic about.
For favors, I made each of the kids a Lowly doll (half of which we forgot to give out),
and Nathan made a little plywood apple car for the kids (and my mom) to sit behind and have their picture taken.
I found some Busytown fabric at my favorite local quilt shop and made a little bunting and table cloth. We also used some of the stuff from Richard Scarry's Best Ever Make It Book (link at the bottom) -- a crazy awesome $1.99 Value Village find -- to make the invitations, spruce up the cupcakes and decorate the house a little more.
It was cute and (for all intents and purposes) went off without a hitch but, more importantly, George had the time of his life. He was thrilled to have everyone over and every time he passed by me, he was either giggling or had to stop and tell me "havin' fun!"
He got amazing, thoughtful presents, including this one from my mother, that is already the source of unending cuteness and hilarity:
He's a lucky little chicken, and I'm lucky to be able to celebrate him. Happy birthday to my best dude, who will soon be my oldest, but always my baby.