Baby Beez turns 3 on Thursday. For her first and second birthdays, she had fairly traditional parties: lots of friends, lots of family members, lots of kids, lots of sugar, lots of chaos. Now that she’s turning 3, our family doesn’t expect a whole shabang like they did her first birthday. Most of her little friends go to daycare with her, and they’re going to be celebrating her birthday on Friday with cupcakes, so she’s already having a party that we don’t even have to plan.
For her birthday this year, we decided to keep it simple– a little boat ride on the Gateway Clipper (she loves boats, trains, buses, all kinds of methods of transportation). We invited her grandparents of course and a few close friends. Of particular importance was the attendance of Elena of Orange Chair Blog renown. She and Baby Beez are about 8 months apart, and even though they’ve always been forced friends, they genuinely are great buddies. A plus: Elena is pretty mellow and Baby Beez looks up to her, so Baby Beez is sometimes on better behavior when Elena is around.
The cruise we selected was the Ice Cream Sundae cruise. It is a 2 hour boat ride with ice cream sundaes and a little magic show. Unfortunately for you, dear readers, today’s cruise was the last of the season. But it will be back next summer! And for most sailings on that cruise, kids are only $1. The boat was stuffed to the gills with kids, and the usual chaos and stress that goes with a boat full of kids, but also there’s a lack of stress when we’re surrounded by kids, because we don’t have to worry about little ones conforming to adult behavior expectations. This is a really long way of saying that the boat outing was a great fit for this little one’s birthday.
Baby Beez had one specific request for her birthday: A “Spiderman Girl” cake. I fretted over this request. I know what Spiderman is, but I had no idea what “Spiderman Girl” meant. And since she’s a toddler, Baby Beez couldn’t very well articulate her thoughts. I asked her if “Spiderman Girl” meant that she had a different colored costume than Spiderman? Or maybe she wore a bow? Baby Beez had no idea what I was talking about and just kept saying “Spiderman Girl! Spiderman Girl!”
By Friday I was running short on time to order a confection, and still hadn’t figured out what she wanted. Also, since we were only feeding a handful of people, I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a cake. Finally I just drove myself down to the local Giant Eagle and ordered their standard Spiderman cake. She’s only turning 3, how much of a difference could this cake make? Who the heck knows what “Spiderman Girl” is anyway?! Well as luck would have it…Baby Beez set eyes on the standard no-frills Spiderman cake and squealed “SPIDERMAN GIRL!” Success! And whatever she meant, which I still don’t quite know, it made me very happy, because obviously it means that “girl” doesn’t have to mean pink and purple, “Girl” can be any color, and that made my little feminist heart happy.
Everyone seemed to have a lovely time on our outing. Baby Beez is very happy with her presents, which included a Jake & The Neverland Pirates Captain Hook set (she’s spent the evening stabbing me with her sword and waving around the hook hand), butterfly wings (she often is either a butterfly or tiger or dragon), a bike with a baby seat for her baby doll, a Spiderman doll with suction-cup hands, and a number of costumes (Lightening McQueen, Sully and actually a Spiderman Girl dress) so she can play dress-up.
When Baby Beez is big enough and can articulate that she wants a birthday party, sure she can have one. But for her expectations and our time constraints this year, a small outing was just perfect. We had all the essential elements: friends, cake, balloons and Spiderman. Happy Birthday little miss!