This past weekend, our family celebrated Mason’s 1st birthday.
This is our third child and I sometimes wonder if the nostalgia and excitement of having these soirees will eventually wear off. Guess what? It hasn’t and I’m pretty sure it never will.
At one point, a few weeks ago, while my wife and I were in the initial planning stages, she initiated a conversation over dinner about what ‘she’d like to do’ and ‘who would be invited’.
I love this stage of the game, because I’m not really responsible for any heavy lifting just yet. I casually nod and generally agree with her thoughts, because she’s an incredible party planner. Unless of course, she comes out of left field with something that eclipses the clown (complete with live rabbit) we brought in for Ava’s first birthday or the full-blown carnival that we set up in a backyard in Georgia for Charlie’s first birthday. Short of having the Blue Angels fly overhead or the 101st Airborne parachute into our living room, I’m pretty sure that whatever she suggests will be fine.
It shouldn’t surprise my wife that, every time we have another first birthday come around, during this conversation, I snap out of my robotic-nodding-while-looking-at-the-TV and ask, ‘Wait, who is even invited to this thing? He’s one, he doesn’t even have any friends yet. Can’t we take a mulligan on this one and check back in when he’s two?”
The answer is always an unequivocal and emphatic “NO” and I completely understand why (but it doesn’t hurt to ask sometimes).
First birthdays are a giant monument in kids lives. That first year is so chock-full of experiences and physical and emotional development (for the parents as well) that it’s worth celebrating. Perhaps the party isn’t just for your child, but also a little bit for you, for making it through the first year – which can be no easy ride.
I don’t need to remind you about waking up every three hours throughout the night to feed, burp or change diapers. Nor do I need to remind you about fielding a blowout diaper while you’re at the grocery store, transitioning to soft and then solid foods and the insane mess that comes with it. I probably shouldn’t even bring up the teething…..ooooh, the teething. You made it passed that stage where they think it’s funny to bang their heads on stuff purposely (giving themselves bruises and bumps that make you paranoid someone else might get the wrong idea and call CPS) and go from rolling over to crawling to eventually walking, getting into anything and everything, threatening your way of life in your own home.
You survived it all.
So in some ways, this party isn’t just about them turning one, it’s also a chance for you to celebrate together.
Unless you’ve been a parent and gone through this rite of passage, figuring out what to buy a one-year old for their birthday might come off as quite a formidable task, but it doesn’t need to.
As I’ve said before, most of the toys I had as an infant and baby were made by Fisher-Price. There’s just no denying that they’ve got their finger on the pulse of what keeps these little munchkins engaged and excited. Even though my professional relationship with FP is relatively new, my personal relationship goes years beyond.
All three of my children have had their favorite toys, albeit some of them may have been older versions or variations, but they were absolutely in love with them.
In honor of Mason’s first birthday, he and I came up with a list of his Top 5 favorite first birthday Fisher-Price toys.
5. Rock-a-Stack – This is a classic that has been around forever. There have been a few variations over the years, but the general theme has always stayed the same. Bright-colored rings that can be stacked in ascending order (or chewed on if you’re like me as a kid). Unlike the earlier versions, the top ring now doubles as a rattle!
4. The 3-in-1 Bounce, Stride and Ride Elephant – Mason got one of these a few months ago and has transitioned perfectly from using it as a walker to actually sitting on it and scooting himself around the kitchen.
3. Ocean Wonders Soothe & Glow Seahorse – All three of my kids have loved this. We’ve passed the same one down to each sibling and it’s held up perfectly. They loved having the soft glow and music of the seahorse in the corner of their cribs while falling asleep. I was lucky enough to meet the designer of the horse while at the FP HQ in East Aurora, NY last year – Beth is like a parenting celebrity!
2. Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Home – Endless hours of fun with the recent version featuring a handful of new ‘bells n’ whistles’ (not really, but you know what I mean – FP knows better than to give kids sirens and whistles). I have no problem with Mason wanting to crawl in and out of the front door a hundred times while I watch him and do dishes.
1. Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy – My daughter and first child, Ava, has a pink version of this from a few years ago and since then, FP has added it to their Laugh & Learn Smart Stages collection, including developmental settings that will grow with your child.
Mason loved Ava’s so much that we had to get him his own, AND, he wants to give one to you too. Simply enter below and we’ll send one lucky winner their own puppy! DISCLAIMER: We’re not shipping out real puppies, stuffed learning doll ONLY.
Many of you may have some of these already for your own kids and if not, consider them for that first time you get invited to celebrate a one-year old’s birthday! They won’t be disappointed!
Considering the fact that Mason is ONLY 1, he may have forgotten or overlooked some of your own Fisher-Price favorites – we’d love to hear what they are – let us know in the comments box and it will also give you a shot at the puppy!