As we have the last two years, we threw a birthday party for ThingOne, shared with two other kids born around the same time, Hannah and Jake. We hired a room in a community centre in Cambridge, and many parents and children came. It was toddlermonium.
There was face painting, pass the parcel, many ride on toys, musical bumps, a sit down lunch for the kids, and much exhaustion for the parents.
Many of the three year olds now have younger siblings, so I'm not sure if this sort of affair will be practical next year, but the kids really seemed to enjoy it. ThingOne has been looking forwards to it since Christmas, and woke at ten to six this morning talking about her plans. Through the bedroom wall we could hear, "...and then I'll put on my tights, and my vest and my dress and ask Daddy to help me put my shoes on and then we'll go to my party and we'll sing Happy Birthday and I'll eat some cake and..." We were worn out before we'd even got up.
All ThingOne's boxes were ticked. She got to wear a nice dress, wear tights, play in bubbles, eat Party Rings ("Biscuits that Lola eats"), cake, cheesy biscuits and chocolate, blow her candles out, and sing Happy Birthday. She even got to open a few presents, despite it not being her birthday until Sunday. The lucky girl.
The cake was particularly impressive, with a monkey, lion and hippo on it, and a sparkler in the shape of a number three.
ThingOne managed to remain calm for the party. Having played up a little recently when we'd had visitors we'd had words about her getting over excited at the party and told her that she may need to come out and sit with me for a bit to calm down if she did, but she was fine and just seemed to enjoy herself (though she decided she shouldn't handle balloons after she'd burst two in quick succession). I didn't see any toddlers having tantrums come to think of it, which is pretty impressive and indicates the aprty was a success.
Unwilling to merely blend into the background, ThingTwo showed her prowess on a ride on toy which we'd not seen her demonstrate before. I think we know what we'll be getting her for for her birthday in six weeks.
Here's a slide show of 69 photos from the party (or Flickr set here if you don't like the slide show). Probably a bit too many if you don't know many of the people there.