It's taken me some time to realize that since my boy is in daycare, and since he's around the same bunch of kids day in and day out, and since this situation closely resembles school, although they get to do pretty much whatever they want to do and nap and eat snacks all day long and someone is cleaning their butts, that this means when a kid has a birthday, the parents are expected to bring cake and ice cream PLUS the infamous goodie bags for each and every child in the room.
I'll admit, for Mateo's first birthday party, I went a tad overboard with the goodie bags, filling a very large plastic bag with a whole mess of cheap crap that none of the kids probably cared too much about. But, in my defense, I didn't know what I was doing. Now that Mateo's been to a few birthday parties (our friends with kids since he obviously doesn't get what a friend is yet), and has been in his toddler room for a while now, he's received a bazillion birthday party goodie bags.
The thing I don't get one stinking bit (first time moms who don't know when enough is enough (ahem, like ME) are excused) is that by the time kids are age two, moms should have a clear sense of two things: 1. age-appropriate toys for goodie bags, and 2. don't stuff a goodie bag full of crap.
When I picked up Mateo from daycare yesterday, there was a goodie bag in his cubby, presumably left over from Friday since his Daddy picks him up on Fridays and never once thinks to look in his cubby (one time he left a sealed bag full of wet clothes in Mateo's cubby, and I got the pleasure of taking the stewed clothes out of the bag Monday evening), the goodie bag was left there over the weekend. I looked at the contents, and there were two suckers, which I could see Mateo shoving into his mouth to the back of his throat and gagging on (that's if I let him have them, which I wouldn't), a really cheap slinky that would break in two seconds and then cause sharp bits of plastic to become lodged into anything and everything, but mostly small, chubby feet as they walked on the broken plastic bits (that's if I let him have it, which I wouldn't), and some spinning top thing that looked like it would fall apart the first time it was slammed onto another hard object (again...that's if I let him have it...etc.).
At one point my purse turned into the goodie bag dumping grounds; I have all these random cheap plastic toys floating around in it that Mateo will never see and never play with. This goodie bag I left in the car, and at some point either I or my husband will throw it away. And come February, when it's our turn to "host" sugar and cheap toys for Mateo's second birthday, I will be providing goodie bags with one thing in it for sure: Playdoh. My sis did this for her boys' second birthday party, and I think it's a grand idea. You can buy a huge pack of smallish cans of playdoh for cheap, kids like playdoh, parents shouldn't fear the playdoh (too much), and it's not even fun to eat.
There will be no candy, no stupid plastic slinkies, tops, or kazoos, and nothing that a kid wouldn't naturally want to play with and get something out of it (unless, of course, your kid absolutely hates playdoh, then you'll have a problem). I'm even considering a coloring book and crayons. Not that I think any of the kids can color in a coloring book, but at least the coloring book won't fall and break or choke someone.
But, if Mateo's second birthday is anything like his first birthday, he may just spend it in the ER and then the remainder of the week totally sick out of his mind and causing much worry for me and my husband, but also saving us from the cake and goodie bag woes.