The Curse of the Third Child

by Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 

When Evan turned three a few years ago, I hadn’t planned a party for him, rationalizing that he was only in pre-school, didn’t really have any friends of his own yet, and wouldn’t know the difference anyway.


My precious third child woke up in the morning chanting “It’s my birthday today! It’s my party!”

For a mother who hadn’t actually planned a party, it was like a knife in the heart. I spent the day frantically orchestrating a last minute party for him; pizza, cupcakes, party hats, favors, available friends with young children… He had the perfect little party of his dreams and never knew it hadn’t been planned for weeks. The unfortunate twist occurred after the candles had been blown out and presents ripped open when I heard the key in the front door and realized in all the commotion that I’d somehow forgotten to inform my husband about the change in plans. Whoops.

I vowed that night to step up my game and give my baby the future birthdays he deserves. It’s not his fault he was born third in the unfortunate month of December.

Flash forward three years.

About a month ago, Evan started counting down the days to his birthday. “Only 33 days ’til my birthday!”, “Three weeks ’til my birthday!” “19 days ’til my birthday!” And, suddenly last Saturday, “Only one week until my birthday!!”

That can’t be right, I nervously whispered to Jeff, at the dinner table. Can it?

It could.

It was. Where the hell did November go?

So, once again, I find myself frantically pulling together a last minute party for my baby. You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson the first time this happened, but no. Apparently not.

I have learned one thing, though, and that’s not to ever promise that I’ll do better in future years, because I now know that I won’t. I used up all of my type A parenting with the first two kids and the third is lucky to be fed and (occasionally) cleaned.

There’s no shortage of love for him, though, and I keep telling myself that’s all that really matters.

But I’m putting the money I’ve saved on big parties towards his therapy fund. That’s the least I can do.

UPDATE: I managed to throw together a last minute party at a paint your own pottery place and he was thrilled. Couldn’t have been more thrilled had a spent a month planning it. Damn, I love that kid.

This article was originally published on