Tag Archives: First Birthday

Keg-Stand Birthday Party

We threw a keg party for our oldest little dude’s first birthday.

I mention this not to subject myself to abuse, although I have a feeling that’s just what I’ve done.

No, the reason I mentioned it was as a way to continue the discussion about memory and youth. On Monday, I  talked about how I should have saved a lot of money by not taking the young dudes to Walt Disney World until they were old enough to actually remember going.

Here’s the thing: I can’t tell you the number of first-birthday parties to which I’ve gone that were complete wastes of time, energy and cake.

There is no way that a one-year-old little dude or dudette is going to be participating much in the festivities, unless there’s a drool off at some point, much less remember it with fondness later.

A lot of parents seem to forget that their adorable little spawn-of-their-loins doesn’t have an actual brain at one year, nor much control over their muscles (not to mention bowels).

Unless you’re desperately short on cute onesies, then, what’s the point of throwing a huge, big-time party for a one-year-old little dude?

The answer to that question is staring you right in the face. Well, it is provided you’re standing in front of a mirror and looking at it.


It’s you, dudes. You parents are the reason for the party.

No kid will ever remember nor appreciate the party you throw for them. Considering we didn’t remember this when it was time to force Walt Disney World on ourselves, it’s a miracle we remembered this little tidbit.

My wife, known to many as She Who Must Be In Charge Of Every Kegs of beer are one of the most important ingredients when you're throwing a keg party. You could even go so far as to not purchase any cups, but you've got to have the keg and the tap. Can't forget the tap.Little Party Detail Or Else, and I quickly realized that every first-birthday-party was, in fact, for the parents. So we decided, if that was the case (and it is), then let’s really make it for the parents.

Which brings us to the keg party.

Before the actual party began, we had a little celebration with the proto-Sarcasmo involving cake he could barely eat, candles he couldn’t blow out and presents he didn’t understand. But mostly it was about pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Then we cleaned up the mess and got to the fun. We held the keg party to celebrate the fact that we’d managed to procreate and had kept the resulting mass of replicating protoplasm alive, functional and cute as all get out for one complete revolution around the sun.

We invited friends, family and, for one rather fuzzy moment, the mail carrier on his appointed rounds.

A good time was had by all.

Although, now that I think about it, I’m not sure we really achieved anything different by holding an adult party instead of hosting a party for a young dude who wouldn’t remember the party.

Considering the number of kegs we upended that day, it’s a cause for another celebration that anyone remembers any of the party at all.

Although I’m sure it was fun. At least, so I’m told.

Share on Facebook

Freaky Friday: Looking Backwards

by Richard

Don’t go celebrating your baby dude’s first birthday just yet.

A lot of parents see the first birthday as a chance to celebrate by switching their baby dudes and dudettes from a backward-facing car seat to one that faces the front, giving them a chance to smile at their young child in the rear-view mirror.

According to a new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics, though, you should probably put that off for at least another year. What they’re saying makes a lot of sense.

The new policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics, published Monday in the Pediatrics medical journal, is buoyed by research that shows children younger than age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are in a rear-facing child restraint.

Basically, the problem with moving babies to a front-facing car seat is that they all have really, really big heads. No, seriously. Babies have large heads compared to the rest of their bodies, and that’s normal. In a rear-facing car seat, they’ll have the car seat to protect their heads from injuries, both from impact and from whiplash-type injuries.

Those big heads of theirs aren’t strapped in and, because their bones are relatively soft and small compared to the size of the heads, they can move around far too freely in a crash.

The new guidelines, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, are meant to encourage parents not to rush transitions from one type of car seat or restraint to the next, said Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, a member of the committee that helped draft the recommendations.

“The biggest issue is the perception that moving from one stage to another in terms of child passenger safety . . . that those are positive steps forward, graduations or developmental milestones. In fact, they’re not,” said Hoffman, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico. “The truth of the matter is that every step you make along that continuum, you lose protection.”

In addition, the AAP recommends that you keep your young dudes and dudettes in at least a booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, when lap and shoulder restraints will begin to actually fit them correctly. One other recommendation, which Hyper Lad, my youngest dude who is 11, will absolutely hate, is that young dudes should ride in the back seat only. At least until they are 13. The reasoning behind this last one is that, until they are that age, they’re going to be too small to survive air-bag deployment. If your young dude is in the front seat during a crash, they’ll likely be hit in the face and head by the exploding air bag and that’s bad news.

Yeah, keeping your young dudes facing away from you might be a pain, and I know you’ll have arguments with the young dudes about staying in the back seat, but it is worth it.

If you’re unsure about whether you are using your safety equipment correctly, you can go to the National Transportation Safety Board website or contact your local police department.

Share on Facebook

Birthday Bash

by Richard

The first birthday present I ever gave to the young lady who would eventually become my wife was a piece of trash. It was something disposable that got improperly disposed of and wound up in my possession. Looking back, that probably sounds worse than it is. Let me explain.

I first met Alyse, known to me as She Who Must Be Named Only On Her Birthday, in my sophomore year of college at the University of Florida in an oh-my-gods-it’s-way-too-early-in-the-morning biology lab class. She thought I was a jerk because I kept sitting up front every class. What she didn’t know was I only took that seat — no, not to be near her — because it was the only seat available when I rolled into class .37 seconds before the bell rang.

Then, of course, over the length of the course she fell madly in love with me, but I wasn’t interested because I was too busy playing the field. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. She can tell her version of the truth when she gets her own blog.

For whatever reason, we didn’t see each other after the class ended for more than a year. Then we kept running into each other. We met at a party at my fraternity and actually had a good time together, talking and drinking and having fun. Then, without planning, we met again in a bar in Jacksonville the next night the evening before the Florida-Georgia football game. I’d never been to one before. She’d never been to one before. It was pure chance.

Luckily, she was desperate. That is, she needed a date to an upcoming mixer at her sorority and didn’t have anyone worth taking in her life. Thanks to her roommate, she asked me if I’d like to go. No matter what you might think, I’m not an idiot. Of course I said yes. Then her friends wanted to leave the bar and my friends wanted to leave the bar, so we said we’d call and then we both left.

The next morning, on the way into the stadium, we ran into each other again. It was a little awkward since we barely knew each other, but already had a date set up for a couple of weeks in the future, though it was fun to see her again.

After the game, my friends and I went looking for a party to celebrate the Gator victory. We ended up at a house where one of my friends said he thought there was a party. There wasn’t. There was, however, Alyse’s roommate. She told us there was a party on the beach and we should go. She then winked at me and added that Alyse would be there.

Of course we went. And, thankfully, Alyse was at the party.

Somehow, we ended up walking on the beach and talking — literally — all night. Holding hands as we walked. I still can’t hear any song by Wang Chung without thinking about that night. While we were talking, Alyse told me that she loved sea glass, something I’d never heard of. Turns out sea glass is glass from — usually — a beer bottle or something similar that’s been thrown away in the ocean. The glass breaks and then the pieces get scrubbed and abraded by the ocean sand and water for a long time and eventually wash up on shore. The glass has gone from transparant to opaque with a singular texture.

And then I found a small-ish piece of white sea glass on the sand. I managed to pocket the piece without her knowing. We watched the sun rise along the Atlantic Ocean and then walked back to the house where the party had been happening. It was long over. Alyse and I settled down on the couch and she — setting the stage for most of her nights in the years to come — promptly fell asleep on that couch. She gently tipped over and her sleeping head landed in my lap. I looked down and smiled. Then I almost screamed in fear when she started snoring loud enough to rattle windows and scare sheep. Eh. I was young and falling in love. It was cute.

Eventually we all made our way back to the UF campus. I knew her birthday was coming up shortly before our date at her sorority function so I decided to give her something as a present. I found a nail and got out the sea glass and started scratching. It was not easy. But, working diligently (hey, any excuse for a college student to not study is a good excuse), I managed to etch the following into the sea glass: The sun also rises. What can I say, I was a pretentious college student.

I wrapped it up and gave it to her as her first birthday present from me.

I bring this up, not only because today is her birthday, but because I recently ran across that piece of glass in her jewelry box. She still has it. When I showed it to her, she smiled fondly and we reminisced about that night.

I’ve been thinking about that sea glass. We, Alyse and I, took something that was worth nothing to anyone else and made from it something lasting, something beautiful, something wonderful and imbued with meaning. I leave the obvious analogy to the reader.

So today I wish my wonderful wife a happy birthday. A time for reflection and for celebration. And a time to remember that, for the next week until my own birthday, she’ll be a year older than me and robbing the cradle. Don’t you dudes just love older women?

Share on Facebook