Jack’s 2nd Birthday & Anxiety

I can’t believe that Jack turned two over the weekend. I  mean, we’ve been training him to say “I’m TWO!” for a month now, but still… suddenly it’s like he’s less of a baby and more of a little boy.

Weird how that happens.

Jack’s actual birthday was on Saturday, but Travis had to work.  Besides me sporadically breaking into the Happy Birthday song throughout the day, we didn’t do much until the evening. That’s when he got his gifts from us – a super cute vegetable set from Plan Toys (from the Citrus Lane shop) and a golf set from Little Tikes that I’ve been hiding since I used a Plum District deal in the fall.

playing with plan toys citrus lane

We also let him have an Elmo cupcake after dinner… which left him quite blue.

 blue face

I had gone back and forth about the idea of having a party for Jack. I really just wanted to celebrate quietly with just Travis, Jack and myself. However, my mom convinced me that I should have something for family to attend, so I tried to keep it as low key as possible with Birthday Cake & Ice Cream at our house.

mommy daddy and jack

I forgot how overwhelmed I get.

My mom, dad and brother came, but my sisters were at school and unable to make the trip. From the in-law side of the family, we had 8 guests (3 were kids). I get along with my in-laws, however we just don’t see them very often so we’ve never really clicked on a personal level.

I’m pretty much a classic introvert when it comes to small group interactions, so it was stressful for me. Just having so many people in my SPACE was difficult. Adding to that anxiety was the problem that Jack skipped his nap, which is a recipe for disaster. He was thrilled by the gifts and other little people to stare at, but a bit uncomfortable with ‘strangers’ picking him up and kissing him.

I was more than a bit uncomfortable with the other kids throwing balls at the wall in my den, beating each other with Jack’s new golf clubs, wrestling loudly in my family room and opening Jack’s gifts so that they could play with them.

I guess it was just ‘boys being boys’ but when you’re not used to that behavior, it can be a bit much. It was obviously a ‘me’ problem though, because Travis was totally fine with everything. I guess I can just be a bit high-strung, especially in situations that are uncomfortable to me.

On top of everything, Ollie was freaking out because of so many people running around and trying to touch him. Travis and I alternated holding him to keep him from biting anyone/throwing up in terror. We tried putting him upstairs in his crate, but his barking and whining was worse than just holding him.

To be honest, I wanted to kick everyone out of our house after an hour.

And I feel terrible about that. I really wish I was the type of person who could just relax and be comfortable in these situations. But I’m not.

Everyone else seemed to have a good time though and the cake and ice cream were delicious. Yes, I had a small piece even though I’m still doing the DietBet. I’m still eating like ME, just a less.

Jack's 2nd birthday party

Jack was totally spoiled with gifts and as soon as everyone left, he decided that ‘MelMo’ (aka Elmo) was the shiznet.

I have also decided that MelMo is the shiznet, because this morning he suddenly came to life and tried to hug Ollie as he walked by… scaring the bejesus out of him!

joules

So tell me, are you an introvert or extrovert? Do you have anxiety when small groups of people come over to your house? Am I a bad person for wanting everyone to leave?

Disclosure: The Citrus Lane and Plum District links are referral links. If you click through and choose to purchase anything I will receive a small referral credit. Thank you in advance. Every penny helps keep Pocketful of Joules on the internet.

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16 thoughts on “Jack’s 2nd Birthday & Anxiety”

  1. My only comment is that today I share a small dissimilar form of anxiety with you. Hope that lights up your day at least a little!

  2. I get more extroverted as I age, but I’m a hardcore intovert if I don’t specifically set out to be otherwise. I have to psych myself up for gatherings with people beyond my inner circle. You wouldn’t know it because I hug tackled you when we first met, but that was an anomaly. You’re SPECIAL, Joules!

    1. And for the record, Jim and I would both have been super on edge if kids were throwing stuff in our house. This post has convinced me that all future children’s birthday parties will take place in rented venues because I just can’t.

    2. I also can totally fake being an extrovert. It’s funny, I recently read an article that described introverts as being totally fine speaking in front of a crowd of 100, but totally anxious doing the networking afterwards. That’s totally me!

      And you’re totally special too and I can’t wait to figure out a time I can come to Chicago to hug tackle you again!

  3. I am definitely an introvert. And I have a similar anxiety. My daughter wants to have a sleepover for her birthday every year and I just cannot handle even the idea of that. So far I’ve managed to come up with an alternative every year, but I am sure I’m going to have to give in soon.

  4. I would have wanted everyone gone in an hour (or less) too. Especially the kids opening my child’s gifts! Regardless of my son’s reaction, I would have put a stop to that nonsense right quick.

      1. Yeah… “Helping.” Not to slam anyone, but if I were at a child’s birthday party and my kid started opening up the gifts, I would make him stop.
        And, those kids just taught Jack that it’s okay to open someone else’s gifts. How festive! 😉
        I’m sorry it was so stressful for you. Please know that you are NOT alone.

  5. I’m an introvert. However, small gathering at MY house is fine. But, small gatherings at other people’s houses, I’m a freak 🙁

  6. I am a classic introvert for sure! I cannot take loud noises and I work so much better in silence hahaha. Huge groups of people just makes me uncomfortable–even if they are family. Glad he enjoyed himself on his birthday! Knowing that my baby skipped a nap drives me a bit crazy. I’m thankful my family is used to my behavior 🙂

  7. I am a total introvert who for the sake of my job has to be a fake extrovert Monday-Friday, 9-5. So by the time I’m home I’m DONE. We’re talking, stick a fork in me.

    With friends, I’m ok one on one and in small groups going out. I’m even ok if one or 2 people comes over to my house. A large group at my place? I’d be freaking.

  8. I am an introvert, and a military wife. Imagine the stress of setting up your entire life all over every three years or so, helping your kids make friends and trying to find some for yourself. Oh the anxiety. I get it.

  9. I totally feel for you. I am a super massive introvert married to an extrovert; I consider socializing reading a book with a ton of characters. Ok, I do have real life friends but my job forces me to be social and talk one on one to strangers which is so far outside my comfort zone. I wasn’t there, I don’t know all the context, and it sounds like they were all family but the present opening thing?!?!? That struck me a rude. It’s probably a “kids will be kids” thing and I don’t have kids but that would just bug the crap out of me.

    On a happy note – the pics are super adorable! Jack looks like a sweet little guy! I love the party hat on you…. you should rock that look more often!

  10. Ok you know me, I am loud and proud and I was kind of shocked when I first read this because I didn’t think you had introvert tendencies when I met you this summer.
    Not that there is anything wrong with that…ala Seinfeld.
    I get that parties are OVERWHELMING.
    Especially kid parties.
    If I were there, I would have TOTALLY YELLED at the kids trying to open his presents.
    KARI DON’T PLAY THAT.

    1. I am a master at the ‘fake it until you make it’ school of thought. Also, while I was having a blast at BlogHer with you all… as soon as I got back to my room I totally crashed and enjoyed the quiet in between the crazy. =)

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