Well if you time it right, you can potty train your child right in time for Super Bowl weekend; which could make things absolutely pun-tastic! If you’re anything like me, by the time your third kid comes along, you’re planning has mostly resorted to a last minute now-or-never wave of effort. I literally think we finished the nursery the week of his arrival. (And don’t get me started on number four, who is already one with an unfinished nursery.) By now, we already know things will turn out fine… the biggest concern during my pregnancy was about what we were going to drive- that could accommodate all of the carseats.
But finally my Elijah, baby number three is potty-trained and it was time to celebrate. Admittedly we’re a little over-the-top with our celebrations… but life is too short not to celebrate everything from the mundane to the mile stones! And because I am not above bribery to my children (or “incentives” if you will), I promised a party, with a cake, and presents when the diapers were off… A Potty Party! So you send out a few invitations to your closest friends and family, to let them know the moment has arrived. It’s a last minute thing really, because you have to strike while the iron is hot- you have to go with the momentum. The texted invites have been sent! (No time for snail mail in a moment like this).
Then, since you’ve had a couple days to prepare but haven’t called about the promised cake, you swing by the supermarket to try and pick up an undecorated cake… because he wants lightsabers on his cake, and you’re like “Cool, I’ll pick up a couple edible gel pens and make some lines and call them lightsabers, because I’m just glad everyone’s teeth are brushed and hair is combed, and we’re out the door.” But your awesome supermarket has a Star Wars cake for sale in the showcase because your timely son has chosen something that all kids want right now and happens to be readily available. Score!
Now, you’re winging it remember, so don’t worry about making a reservation at your local Chuck E. Cheese. You never have a problem walking in anyway! That is until you realize that everyone in town has a party planned this weekend, and your particular Chuck E. Cheese has a record setting 25 parties on the same day. Ok, keep it cool, this isn’t your first rodeo. Find the first available open table, that’s where you are putting your awesome cake and setting a meeting point. The kids aren’t going to be sitting for long anyway. You split up the team, and have someone go order pizzas, drinks and tokens right away; because it’s going to take a while to get that food. You pass out those tokens and let the kids play, because that’s why we’re here!
Greet your loving and accommodating friends and family as they arrive. And if you were five minutes late to your own party, thank the ones who are already there and apologize for your lack of organization. Make sure to give them plenty of tokens and please ask them to go enjoy themselves! As adjacent tables open up to the one you’ve managed to snag, grab ’em. You’ll be ready for all to eat by the time the pizza is done.
When the pizza arrives send out any messengers available, including yourself, to get the word out. Rendez-vouz back at the table to feed the hungry crowd. It’s also a good time to open presents, since everyone is gathered. (But that’s not how I did it, I let them off as soon as they were finished eating; because the kids were still excited and wanted to play more. Then I had a second rounding up, as some of my guest needed to leave but wanted to see Elijah open his gifts. So that is merely a suggestion from experience, but if you’re still flying by the seat of your “big kid” pants, you just keep going with your own flow.)
Lastly, reward your child with presents. Sure some people use sticker charts and M & M’s, but not us. You got to do what works for you. And look at that face. That’s a proud big kid! He did it! Hurray! Let your guests play and eat until the food is gone and the tokens are out. Congratulations, you pulled it off! Three down and one to go! (But who’s planning?)