Back when I was a perfect parent (before I had kids of my own) I used to think, “I hate all this branded crap! I wont buy my kids Disney/Nick Jr/Whatever is big right now stuff. Instead they’ll enjoy wholesome, handmade fare like wooden toys and one-of-a-kind art.”
Yeah. I was stupid.
Ok, maybe “stupid” is a little harsh. I was idyllic and ignorant of the ways of the world. It was foolish of me to think I would stand a chance against the marketing giants of these brands. Those guys are powerful marketing dictators! They are very good at infecting the psyche of a child. This is why last year, Brecken’s birthday was 100% Disney’s Cars ™ themed. There was so much branded crap I could have stocked my own kiosk at the mall.
But I’m beyond all that now, right?
Of course not.
This year’s theme was SPIDER-MAN! It is the newest obsession. There was Spider-Man cake, red and blue balloons, wrapping paper, presents… Aunt Danielle even brought a bunch of stuff from a guy who works at Marvel.
I’ll admit to feeling a little trepidation at having to make a Spider-Man cake. All the pictures of cakes I found online either looked amazing or terrible. In the end I made a cake that falls comfortably in the middle – not all that amazing, but none too shabby if I do say so myself.
At one point Brecken got confused by the “Happy Birthday” Spider-Man sign. He said, “It’s Spider-Man’s birthday too?!” so I said, “Yep. And he wanted your face on his birthday cake.” Brecken’s eyes got big and he looked pretty awe-struck. We didn’t bother to tell him we were kidding. In Brecken’s world, Spider-Man shares his birthday and is just as much a fan of Brecken as Brecken is of Spider-Man.
It was a very low-key party. I didn’t invite any kids from pre-school, which according to Jesse is akin to child abuse. I stood my ground though. No school kid parties until their friends are old enough to be dropped off! It’s challenging enough to plan a party for a bunch of kids let alone their parents. (Anti-social much? Why yes, yes I am.) Brecken didn’t seem to mind. He ate his cake, opened his presents, and gave me a very sweet birthday interview.
Because I wronged my king in a past life, or committed some other atrocity, we will also be taking the kids to the new Cars park at Disney California as a birthday treat for Brecken. We’re doing it when my parents are visiting next week for the fourth of July. Yes, you read that right; THE FOURTH OF JULY. It’s going to be beyond crowded. We may not all make it back alive. Why do I do this to myself Internet? WHY?