My kid turned 2 on Halloween (the same day Jon turned 39). We dressed her up as Mary Poppins and took her around to four houses where she refused to say "Trick or Treat," and wasn't even much into the candy. But she did realize it was her birthday--AND DADDY'S--and really enjoyed the balloons and cake.
Everyone in our lives was annoying me about a birthday party. I was hoping to get away without one this year, because, well, she's TWO. But after it seemed we would be having a series of dinner parties for which the house needed to be presentable and a meal/entertaining would be necessary for each, i booked a Jump Around/Bouncehouse/Pump Up place. They decorate, serve the kids food/drink and let them play their hearts out on all this inflatable equipment and other crazy toys. What's not to love? And the entire thing is completely done in two hours.
They have the system down to a science.
Ro is coming out of her shell. She was confused about why it was her birthday again, especially because I had just reinforced that "every day is not your day" and "this present is for someone else; you don't get to open presents every day" 72 hours prior to her party. But she went with it, and had a blast.
I was almost paralyzed by sensory overload. I think in my old age, I'm losing the ability to retain focus in any situation whatsoever. Perhaps it's because I don't sleep anymore. I felt a little shellshocked when it was over.