As an example, a couple weeks ago we ordered a custom designed birthday cake for our toddler’s upcoming third birthday. She watches Paw Patrol with her dad every morning before he starts his workday. The design I googled and picked is of one of the characters, Skye. She mentions her the most though she likes and knows all the rest of the characters.
In the weeks since DD has been absolutely obsessed with the original Boss Baby movie and I wondered, should that have been the cake design? She’s also renewed her interest in Nacho Libre (we can blame the parents on that one, we love it).
Anyway, none of this is a big deal but I’m curious how you pick birthday themes when your kid is constantly changing their favorite thing. I don’t think she’ll be disappointed with the cake but I am questioning how to keep up with her interests!
Post by maudefindlay on Jul 18, 2021 7:30:36 GMT -5
Well it sounds like she hasn't changed, just has multiple interests, so I think you are doing well. My DD has 2 big interests. I will use one for her bday theme and the other I will get her a gift that is merchandise of that interest. Other than waiting close till an event and asking for kid input there isn't much you can do. Kids are soaking in the world and learning what they like and dislike sometimes at rapid rates. Most kids will be so happy with any cake, it's cake, and the excitement of it being their bday that it just all works out and if not a little disappointment is ok too.
Post by expectantsteelerfan on Jul 18, 2021 7:38:12 GMT -5
LOL wait till it's time to nail down a Halloween costume.
J/K, I know it's awful being told 'just wait' from people whose kids are older. But yeah, fickle toddler choices are a part of life and you need to just gauge your own willingness to deal with it, and when you hit your limit, go with neutral choices for things that are bigger (like bday party themes, costumes, room decor, BIG holiday gifts, etc.) until they are old enough to understand that once they pick something, they are sticking with it. Or you can go with what your kid is into when you're ready to pick, and then just keep trying to talk that thing up until the event.
My dd was pretty notorious for changing her interests and favorite colors. She went through so many phases of LOVING something so much it was all she wanted...started before she was 2 years old with one of ds's thomas trains (salty) that she ended up sleeping with. Then she moved on to Minnie Mouse and Daisy, then Finding Nemo (specifically Dory), then Lion King (then Lion King 2, and yay for me, a LONG obsession with Kovu, when all she asked Santa for for Christmas was a stuffed Kovu, and I chose to splurge and buy one from Ebay only for her to stop caring about it shortly after), and a short obsession with Frozen, along with loving Paw Patrol, Omizoomi, Daniel Tiger, and PJ Masks at different times too. Luckily for me, an obsession with all things animal was pretty prevalent throughout, so I was pretty safe with keeping things animal themed in general. We did puppies one year, barnyard animals one year, zoo one year, safari one year, etc.
In general, we've mostly tried to avoid themed clothing, cakes, parties, etc., due to this. Many of his cakes have been topped with a toy/figure.
A few years ago DS had his heart set on a dragon cake. I didn't want to pay for a custom cake, so I ordered a dragon figurine on Amazon that I was merely going to place on top of his cake. The day of his party we took him to pick up a cake at the store, and he chose a giant rainbow cake with fluffy white clouds. LOL.
With Halloween costumes we don't allow him to back out after the money has been spent.
Post by timorousbeastie on Jul 18, 2021 8:25:59 GMT -5
We just blended all of DD’s ever changing interests at that age. Planning for DD’s 4th birthday party started out as a Daniel Tiger party. By the time the party came, it was a Daniel Tiger Ghostbusters Firefighters Pink Party. When she turned 6, her space party turned into a space unicorn party. At least it’s getting a little more manageable as DD gets older?
LOL wait till it's time to nail down a Halloween costume.
Haha, this! My DD spent all of trick or treating last year informing people "I'm not Elsa, I'm a witch!" She had 3 costumes to choose from (none of them a witch) because her grandma has given them to her as dress up clothes, and she chose to be Elsa. Then a week before Halloween she asked to be a witch and I was not having it. I'm not crafty enough to make a costume and I certainly wasn't going to buy her one when she had 3 perfectly good ones to use that year.
Post by ellipses84 on Jul 18, 2021 10:12:59 GMT -5
I involve them in the decision making process, but let them know they can’t change their mind after a certain point and I avoid discussing it again. The 2 littlest bdays are the same week as their dad, older brother, and another holiday. This year they just wouldn’t make a decision or share a theme, so it was very last minute and total chaos for me to be properly prepared. I told them in future years they need to decide in a theme a month ahead of time or I will decide for them. 😆 For halloween costumes I try to buy early and the cutoff is when I buy it, but they are free to change their mind and wear other old costumes we have to some events as long as they wear the one I bought 1x.
All good points! Perhaps I won’t sweat it on doing anything themed for the rest of her party or just mixing it up.
Fortunately I think I nailed it on the cake flavoring - chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling and chocolate buttercream on top. She’s a chocoholic and also loves ice cream so we’ll have vanilla custard on the side.
Post by chickadee77 on Jul 18, 2021 14:21:25 GMT -5
If we do themes, I try to wait until, like 2 days before and double-check. "You still want a pig birthday cake, right? Because once it's made, you can't change your mind." Getting them excited about it helps, too, I think - I've never tried "springing" a birthday theme on my kids, as it just sounds like a recipe for, well, what you're sort of afraid of. So I get them involved.
ETA: same with cake flavor. They get to pick, but at a certain point, it's too-bad-so-sad if they change their minds (which they haven't yet, because I talk it up with them, lol)
Post by CrazyLucky on Jul 18, 2021 19:12:27 GMT -5
Somewhat off topic, you can sign up to have Paw Patrol call your phone and tell your kid happy birthday. They text first to let you know they're about to call and then they call so you know to give your kid the phone.
Somewhat off topic, you can sign up to have Paw Patrol call your phone and tell your kid happy birthday. They text first to let you know their about to call and then they call so you know to give your kid the phone.
I also feel very lazy compared to everyone else on this board because, to me, the theme of a birthday party is just "birthday".
Oh, you’re not alone! I think I’m trying to put in a little more effort just because it’s another grandparents-only “party”. We’ve been so isolated that she really doesn’t have any peers to invite and we’ll probably have to be indoors because the heat is too intense for me.
My neighbor asked me what her birthday theme would be over a month ago and I just blinked at her. The cake is the big deal. Her birthday is in 10 days and I haven’t gotten anything else, except her presents.
My DS1 had the rapidly changing interests thing too. For one of his birthdays we had all the Ninja Turtles gear bought and cake ordered and he started to want to do something else. I just remember we kept putting Ninja Turtles back on TV the week before his party and he had amnesia about his other ideas.
Meanwhile my 3yo DS2 has a deep and unyielding obsession with Monster Jam and I’m sure will be having Grave Digger birthday parties forevermore.
Birthdays 1 and 2 were my choice. 3 and 4 were her favorite colors (rainbow and pink, respectively).
This year (turning 5), I asked what she wanted and she said “mermaids.” I asked favorite color and she said “pink and purple.” I asked what kind of cake and she said “pink.” Lol.
For things I’m trying to choose (like Christmas/Easter dress, birthday presents), I show her pictures of things I’m considering and buy what gets the best reaction. This way I’ve pre-approved items and she gets the thrill of choice.
For something like a birthday cake image, since about 3yrs old I've always taken my kids to the grocery store and let them pick out the picture on it. That way they definitely pick something they want and then spend the next couple weeks leading up to their birthday getting excited about their "spiderman" cake or "mario" cake or whatever. Generally I find if the kid is involved in picking stuff, even paper plates, they're more likely to not be ambivalent about it when the time comes. It makes for a fun assortment of birthday themed randomness at the party
In your case, I wouldn't even second guess it and would stick with your original plan.
My son is very fickle -- he's very hot on something and then he drops it instantly. It definitely makes picking out Halloween costumes and shopping ahead for gifts hard. Typically, I shop for him more last minute than I do for my girls, who are pretty predictable in their interests.
Now that he is older (7), I can point out that once we choose X (birthday theme, Halloween costume), we are sticking with it, so you have to be sure. He gets it now, so we haven't really encountered problems. He just takes longer to decide.
Post by pinkdutchtulips on Jul 21, 2021 11:51:28 GMT -5
I always let dd pick her theme and cake flavors … once something was picked that was it. I didn’t take her cake ‘shopping’ until 7-10d before the party. When she was younger it was based off what she loved (1- lady bugs, 2- Minnie Mouse, 3- Hello Kitty) and when she could tell me what she wanted.