My kids are at the age where we receive birthday party invitations a couple of times a month, and, depending on who has lost the coin toss, either my husband or I dutifully trudge off to honor our daughters’ social obligations. My husband is Irish and lucky so I’ve attended a disproportionate share of toddler birthdays, and I meticulously plan their own birthday parties each year, usually around a theme that the kids ignore in favor of going off to dig holes in our backyard. Sometimes they wander back to eat cake, sometimes not.
This past year, around Christmastime, my oldest announced, “My half-birthday is coming up.”
My heart began beating faster, and a cold sweat broke out across my brow. “Half-birthday? What’s that?”
Of course, I knew what a “half-birthday” was. I’d heard other
overzealous Moms speak of it and I had hoped my children would pass into maturity without being aware of “half-birthdays.” I’ll let my daughter explain what they are.
“It’s six months after your last birthday, and six months before your next birthday.”
Because this is how children mark the passage of time. It’s all relative to their birthdays.
I was afraid my daughter was expecting some sort of celebration to mark her “half-birthday” and I would be forced to spend the next few days frantically racing around, searching for some obscure prop that I was convinced would make the party perfect. Once, I spent two weeks trying to find plastic replica pith helmets (theme: African Safari) and in the end had to settle for coconut bras, which made
Captain Spaulding my husband and I (we were the only ones who wore them) look like some tired married couple involved in weird sexual role play, rather than African explorers.
But my daughter wasn’t expecting any sort of celebration for her half-birthday. Perhaps she understood that she and her friends wouldn’t have much luck digging holes in the frozen tundra of our backyard in mid-December; perhaps she was just alerting me to the fact that I had six months to prepare for her next birthday. Anyway, I made her favorite dinner (Kraft Macaroni & Cheese mixed with broccoli) on the day of her “half-birthday” and she seemed satisfied.
I am getting to the point, hang with me for a bit longer.
The other day, I was watching the A&E television show, American Justice, which featured the story of Wanda Holloway, the infamous Texas mother who tried to hire a hit man to murder her daughter’s high school rival and/or the rival’s mother. The “hit man” turned out to be a police informant wearing a wire that caught Holloway laughing and saying, “The things we do for our kids!”
Since she wasn’t talking about wearing coconut bras, or celebrating half-birthdays, she wound up convicted of solicitation to commit murder.
With Holloway’s quote still ringing in my ears, I came across this story, Mother Charged After Stripper Party Probe. The quick details of the story: On Monday, Judy H. Viga, a New York Mom, was charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child because she (allegedly!) hired strippers for her sixteen year old son’s birthday party. I showed the story to my husband, who, because he is Irish, he is lucky and also quiet, just raised his eyebrows but did not comment.
“I guess she couldn’t afford to get him a car? How much do strippers cost, anyway?”
“Less than a car.”
“Do you think she told the other parents that the theme of the party was ‘Endangering the Welfare of Children’?”
“I think not.”
“And the party favors were probably condoms.”
“What do you think we should do for our kids’ sixteenth birthdays?”
He shrugged his broad shoulders and said, “I’m glad it’s a long way off, and I’m glad we had girls.”
You can find more photos and information about Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (and even LIKE it, along with nearly a million and a half other crazy people) on the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Facebook page.
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