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The Aftermath of a Birthday Party

Everybody is glad that the birthday weekend is finally over. It was fun, don’t get me wrong. We are so happy to see our twin boys superhappy. But the aftermath wasn’t that nice.

It all started on Friday, their 5th birthday. I delivered them and two football-shaped (soccer-shaped to you, North Americans J) cakes to pre-school, one for each pre-school class.

Saturday was the big day. Three hours in an indoor fun hall with 12 other kids. Bouncies, slides, bump cars, they had it all.

On Sunday morning, family and relatives dropped by with more presents. By Sunday afternoon, the boys were crabby, demanding, and outright impossible. The birthday boys turned into post-birthday monsters. They were drunk with all the attention, overwhelmed with all the presents, gorged with sweets, and just plain exhausted by all the excitement. So what can parents do in such a situation? How did we handle the aftermath of a birthday party?

  • Keep some of the presents for later – We didn’t want to open several boxes of Legos and Playmobiles at the same time, not to mention the puzzles and games. So I put the presents in two cardboard boxes in the cellar, making sure that I knew who got what from whom (I made notes at the gift-opening). My husband and I then showed R his box of presents and F his. We took a look at each present and explained what is inside, for which age group, and approximately how long it will take them (with Daddy’s help) to assemble each. We then came to a deal. Every two weeks (marked in the calendars!), they can each choose a present to open, assemble and play with. They saw the advantage to the strategy: they will constantly be getting new presents in the months to come – enough to last them till Christmas.
  • Get back to the old routine as soon as possible – We are staying at home today, Monday. A friend called to ask whether we’d like to join them at the poolside. I declined. My boys spent the whole morning in the sandbox making mudpies, twisting in the swing, or rolling in the grass. It’s back to their old routine: mommy’s home-cooked meal, fruit snacks instead of cakes and sweets, midday quiet time. No visitors, no visiting, no parties. Even the trip to the supermarket was postponed till tomorrow. It was a peaceful, relaxing morning for everybody. My boys were almost back to the easygoing boys that they are.
  • Write thank you notes – In a couple of days, we will be sitting down to write thank you notes for all the presents they got. Just to show them that when receiving something, we also have to give a little bit of something in return.
  • Get ready for next year – No, we are not going to do away with birthday parties in the coming years. But now we know what to expect afterwards. We will be prepared!

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