Last week, Diaper Diva’s red-haired daughter, Ducky, celebrated her second birthday and her very first birthday in the United States.
Born in Russia, she spent the first year of her life in an orphanage. During the mandated waiting period before the adoption became legal, she celebrated her first birthday with Diaper Diva and Bro-in-Law sitting on small chairs in the orphanage’s music room.
Leave it to Diaper Diva, she tracked down party hats, balloons, streamers, and a birthday cake in Perm, Russia (motto: “The Gateway to Siberia!”), so they could have a little party for Ducky and her orphanage pals.
Ducky’s caregivers at the orphanage said that no parents had ever thrown a birthday party there before. They made tea, set the table, and enjoyed the birthday cake along with Ducky and her new family.
What a difference a year makes.
Ducky (right) is a Brooklyn girl now. And Diaper Diva is a seasoned mom. With Smartmom’s help, they have both assimilated to baby life in the Slope. Ducky gets around in a Maclaren stroller; wears a chic T-shirt that says, “My other stroller is a Bugaboo”; goes to Music Together classes, as well as swimming and tumbling at Eastern Athletic; and eats low-fat corn muffins at ConnMuffCo.
And she had a big Park Slope-style birthday party last week. Not only was it Ducky’s first Brooklyn birthday, it was also the kid’s first birthday party organized by Diaper Diva (although she’s always been a big help to Smartmom).
True to form, she had the event planned to a “T.” Smartmom was full of advice, but Diaper Diva seemed to know what to do all by herself: the invitations went out weeks earlier; she’d purchased all the necessary Elmo party regalia; she hired Ducky’s Music Together teacher to entertain.
Still, Smartmom, wanting to make sure Diaper Diva did everything just right, accompanied her to Little Things for the all-important goody bags.
While shopping, Smartmom was full of sage party wisdom: You don’t want balloons in assorted colors (the kids will fight over the pink ones); you invited too many kids (tout le monde knows that you only invite as many kids as your child’s age, plus one); remember to serve the cake at the very end of the party (so the kids are home before the sugar rush starts).
Then this kernel of wisdom: give them out just as the kids are leaving (it avoids fights). Mr. Little Things was obviously listening in.
“You sound like a pro,” he said with a smile.
Diaper Diva was less charitable, joking, “I guess they don’t call you ‘Smartmom’ for nothing.”
OK, so maybe Diaper Diva was sick and tired of Smartmom’s wisdom. But in the first few months of Momdom, she found it quite helpful.
“But now, it’s just so annoying so stop it.” Diaper Diva said.
Maybe it was a good thing that Smartmom would be out of town for the actual event (the once-a-year vacation). That way, Diaper Diva could do this birthday ALL BY HERSELF!
But for Smartmom, it would be hard to be 3,000 miles away, not because she wanted to smother her sister, but because it didn’t feel right to miss even one of Ducky’s milestones.
On birthday, Smartmom and the Oh So Feisty One called Brooklyn and sang “Happy Birthday to You” into the phone three times. Then they listened to Ducky playing in the living room and Diaper Diva setting up for the party.Smartmom and OSFO were swimming in the pool during the time of the party. “The guests are arriving now,” Smartmom narrated. And later: “They’re probably eating the cupcakes now.” She had to stop herself from calling Diaper Diva during the party. That would be really annoying, wouldn’t it?
That evening Smartmom called her sister in Park Slope to get the full post-mortem. From all reports it was a great party. Ducky was a little cautious at first when the kids came in. She was very clingy and sat on Diaper Diva’s lap for much of the party. There were a few last-minute cancellations, so Smartmom’s sister ended up with too many gorgeously decorated cupcakes, extra party bags, and multi-colored balloons.
“Did you ever miss one of our parties?” Smartmom asked Diaper Diva on the phone.
“Maybe one or two.”
That made Smartmom feel better. Smartmom asked her to freeze four cupcakes for the family. As soon as they get off the redeye next week, their first stop will be Diaper Diva’s for a belated birthday breakfast. Cupcakes and all.
And Smartmom promised herself she would offer absolutely no advice.
©2006 Community News Group
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