The other day we were walking back from the park when I suddenly came face-to-face with that bogeyman of new moms everywhere: the over-the-top first birthday party.  Sure I’d heard about them before.  Hell, I’d even seen pictures.  But seeing one in person was a whole new experience.  We walked on by, but luckily my sister-in-law was able to convince me that going back for a picture was the best course of action.  So I approached quietly and snapped a picture.  By the time I was close enough for any details at all, three dudes were giving me funny looks so I didn’t get any closer.  I didn’t want them to call the police, or worse, confront me about it.  So the picture isn’t terrific, but here it is for your viewing enjoyment:

Wherein baby meets the pigs

Balloons?  Totally normal.  A hanging “First Birthday Party” sign?  That’s cool.  A petting zoo?!  Over the top.  Granted, Adeline hasn’t reached her first birthday yet, but we’re almost there.  And I’m pretty sure a petting zoo would be a little beyond her.  Actually I think what she would be most interested in at this party would be the tables covered with fancy tablecloths and other not-for-baby goodies.  About five minutes into the party she would find that table, pull that tablecloth (isn’t that what it’s there for?) and champagne glasses, silverware and china plates would all go flying.

I’m going to give these parents the benefit of the doubt because there do seem to be older kids here and surely they would like the petting zoo.  But still.  Really?  Were you really trying to entertain your kids or was your main goal just to make the rest of us feel bad?  How can I compete with a petting zoo?  Apparently other first birthday parties don’t go the overly expensive route, but are equally panic-inducing.  Handmade party favors?  Homemade, incredibly delicious birthday cake?  What kind of stay at home mom am I, anyways?  If I can’t make a pink-and-green, individualized magic wand party favor, what am I good for?  First birthday parties, be damned!