Dear Holly: Your “Tea Party” Themed 5th Birthday Party

5 years old.

Dear Holly,

I have a feeling you’ll always remember your very special 5th birthday party we had for you, as we hired “Lil Swee-tea Party” to host a tea party at our house.

You and your friends were truly mesmerized by the fanciness of the occasion!

There were special crafts for you all to do, like making a special skirt for your dolls.

And it was very exciting to see how kitchen table transferred to something into something that looked like it should be from a Disney princess movie.

I’m so glad I was able to spend every minute there with you!



Dear Holly: You Love Serving Coffee and Tea to Everyone!

4 years, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

Growing up, I would see in movies, TV shows, and commercials where the young girl character just loved having tea parties. I always thought, “That’s not really how little girls act. They don’t really like to pretend to have tea…”

But now that you’re here, I have learned it’s not just some random cliche.

It’s real.

Here’s proof from our recent family vacation to Florida.

Pretty much all of your play time when we were in our condo was devoted to you carefully and meticulously arranging all the coffee pods on a plate, then serving them to us.

This past weekend, while we went out for time at Cracker Barrel, you saw a $4 set of miniature tea cups and dishes.

Mommy and I couldn’t say no.

Then back at the house as soon as you got home, you spent a solid 30 minutes pretending to pour tea in the tiny cups. I sneaked up and pretending to quickly gulp one down.

I loved the look on your face, as I could easily read exactly what was going through your head:

“Okay, so that is good that Daddy drank the tea and liked it, but now I do need to make some more so there is enough to refill that cup…”

That is what it’s like to be a 4 year-old little girl.



Dear Holly: Now I Finally Believe That Little Girls Really Do Instinctively Love Tea Parties

2 years.

Dear Holly,

Until now, I always thought the idea of little girls wanting to play “tea party” was just a concept invented by toy marketers to sell more product. And for all I know, perhaps it is. But if so, hey… it works!

Because for your 2nd birthday last month, our good friends Lena and Mohamad got you a tea set, and not only did you immediately want to play with it, but you instinctively knew what to do with it!

In fact, having our tea parties together has become a bit of a ritual. Your tea party set is getting a lot of use!

I will say though, for me, you change it from tea to coffee. That’s because for the past 6 months, with me working from home, you have observed me making my organic instant coffee twice a day.

Whenever you think it’s getting near the right time of the day for it, you always ask, “Daddy, coffee?”

My favorite story so far with this tea set was a few weeks ago when I was finishing up cleaning the bathroom upstairs, as part of my weekend routine. I had been up there for a solid 15 minutes.

Then you stood at the bottom of the stairs, and announced to me, “Daddy, coffee!”

Mommy helped explain that you had just made coffee downstairs for me and you wanted me to come down and take a break.

So I gladly did.

It was one of those precious moments that I just wasn’t expecting.

In your mind, you thought, “Daddy’s been up there a while. I bet he’d like some coffee right about now. I’ll go ahead and make him some…”

You are such a sweet little girl. How can I not be completely in love with my little sweetie?



The Masculine Version Of A Tea Party, Part 2

December 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm , by 

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

While I am quick to tell you all the things you’re good at, I have to be honest with you today: You’re officially not good at playing like a girl.

The picture to the right might imply that you are a 2 year-old boy who enjoys a good old-fashioned tea party. However, let me remind you what I said in The Masculine Version Of A Tea Party, Part 1:

“You are wired to choose action involving crashes and messes, not role-playing a sophisticated brunch.”

Turns out, I was right.

As you played with your cousin Calla’s new tea set on Christmas, you quickly pretended to eat all the icing off the plastic cupcakes and see how fast you could gulp down the invisible tea.

It was a cupcake cake eating contest, with tea to wash it all down… and you won, fair and square!

So uncivilized.

Immediately after, you moved on to Calla’s new dollhouse. It didn’t take you long to discover that there was a handle on the toilet in the bathroom you could press down to hear it flush.

Needless to say, the dollhouse quickly became more like a truck stop.

Later you decided to check out your cousin’s new Disney princess tent with her and Mommy.

As you can see in the picture here, you helped transform the event into Jack’s Jump House. It only took about 7 minutes before you bumped heads with Calla and ended the rockin’ party before its prime.

So while certain dads might raise an eyebrow to see their son so easily playing with pink foo foo girls’ toys, not me.

Because I know you simply make a joke out of anything a princess would find enticing.

Instead, you’re the king of the playground and all the world is your stage.




The Masculine Version Of A Tea Party, Part 1

December 6, 2012 at 10:32 pm , by 

2 years.

Dear Jack,

You have no desire for tea parties.

The thought of you pretending to drink tea and eat delicate crumpets with me while we sit at your Thomas the Train folding table… well, you would just try to wreck the party by plowing through the tea cups with your 4×4 monster school bus or your army of trains.

“Daddy, sit.” That’s what you tell me when you want me to play cars with you at your play table.

You are wired to choose action involving crashes and messes, not role-playing a sophisticated brunch.

Right now our version of having a tea party is pretending to be worried after a train falls off the table, serving as a cliff, because one of us deliberately pushed the thing off the edge. (That plot line is then repeated about 23 times.)

I have great plans for us, Son.

Eventually our “tea parties” will turn into us playing gentlemen’s games like chess, where sitting across the table from each other, we shall sharpen our strategic skills.

From there, we will move up to me teaching you to solve the Rubik’s Cube. We’ll see if you can find a way to beat my own average solve time of 3 minutes, 20 seconds.

Yes, you and I are usually pretty physically rough when we play.

Sometimes you ride on my back as I crawl across the carpet, pretending to be a hungry and angry lion, attempting to shrug you off and eat you for dinner.

Other times you want me to scare you as I hide in the corner, pretend to sleep, then suddenly jump up and act like I am smothering you as I gently lay on top of you, putting all my body weight on the floor, and none of it on you.

But for the times you feel like playing like a gentleman, we take out all that aggressive action on your toys.

Either way, we don’t do tea parties, we do demolition parties.