Last year at preschool, David’s class sang a song that he called the Octopus Song, even though it’s actually called the Butterfly Song. He specifically loved the line, “If I were an octopus, I’d thank you Lord for my good looks.”
And because he loved the song so much, and because he related so much to the octopus, he asked for an octopus birthday party.
I said yes immediately, even though I had no idea what constituted an octopus birthday party. Mostly I was just excited I wouldn’t have to make a Lightning McQueen cake for the third year in a row.
Now that David is five, I feel like we’re finally starting to figure out how to do birthdays. Can any other parents relate to that? His first birthday was all about the parents. We invited mostly our friends, had our favorite foods, and I chose decorations that I liked. Slowly, for us, birthday parties are evolving into mostly family affairs. Every year, I suppose, we’ll have to decide what sort of celebration is appropriate for the kid, the age, and whatever stage our family is in at the time.
Regardless of the size of the party, we just hope our kids feel special and celebrated on their big day.
Every celebration starts with anticipation. We love making countdown banners — I’m not sure when this started. But I first did it to help the kids conceptualize how far away their special day was. We’ve made banners to countdown to my due dates, or a visit from a friend, or Christmas. Our favorite banner is a birthday countdown banner.
His started out like this; David helped me make the numbers.
And I put a sea creature over each day as his birthday approached.
After his birthday we hung them in his room with the ducks I made for Mary Virginia’s birthday.
The shark is my favorite
For his party, I made octopus cupcakes. This was the actual extent of the “octopus” theme.
I got the idea for these from E over at Teaching Sam and Scout, who also threw an octopus birthday for her son’s fifth birthday.
The directions I found suggested large gum drops, but since I couldn’t find large, I went for the small gumdrop/oversized eye look instead.
And I also made some “octopuses who’ve gone underwater” when I ran out of gummy worms. I cannot emphasize how much the kids loved those.
Late in the game David said he wanted his birthday to be a octopus/shark party.
Since I saw it as an excuse to buy a bag of Oreos, I made these and told David no more adding. Octopus-Shark-DONE!
For the party we threw all our little octopuses in the pool and served Costco pizza.
This is a bad picture of the birthday boy and his sister, but I loved it because Thomas looks like such a big kid pounding that pizza.
Blowing out the candles
And, viola, my biggest boy is five. And having a 5, 3, and 1-year old sounds much more manageable than having a 4, 2, and 0-year old, but it also seems impossible because I still feel very new at this motherhood thing. Yet, somehow, my kids are getting so big — especially my firstborn who is incessantly paving the way.
Happy birthday, David.