New Year’s Eve changes when you have kids. No more going out to fun places and watching the ball drop. No more watching the ball drop at all, actually, because you are asleep hours before it drops, unless you mean watching it via the variety of pre-recorded NYE countdowns that Netflix has to offer.
But this year we discovered that this change isn’t so bad. You just need to work NYE back into your lifestyle in a new way that is parenthood compatible. My husband came up with this brilliant plan to host an intimate toddler mixer at our house with friends and family. I originally thought he was crazy. The thought of toddlers running around my house, no way! He insisted it was a good idea. An early NYE- he called it. Okay, I said, hesitant if anyone would actually even come.
We started asking our friends what their plans were and surprisingly, everyone said nothing. So we invited some neighbors who have 2-3 year olds, our daughter’s 3-year-old friend from school and his parents, and my husbands’s sister, our brother in-law and their two kids (2 and 5). So we had five small children and their parents over around 4 pm.
We had tons of appetizers and snacks, wine, sangria, whiskey, and some non-alcoholic drinks as well. The adults hung out and snacked on beer dip and whimsical beverages while the children ran around yelling, playing and tackled our 11-year-old son to the ground while the sounds of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse loomed in the background. They were having a blast and so were we.
Around 7 pm we gave out glittered hats (glitter now lives in the cracks of my Brazilian Cherry floors) and noise makers, and played the pre-recorded Netflix countdown to NYE, meanwhile, the kids had no idea what was going on. So you know what we did? We replayed it. We cheered, “Happy New Year!” The kids still had no idea what was going on but probably felt like they were part of something big.
The adults did a champagne toast, to the pint-sized-precious-chaos in our lives, and we had desert while the kids shoveled cupcakes into their mouths just as the crankiness started to settle in. I probably drank three glasses of champagne by that point. Then, everyone simultaneously started rushing them home around 7:45 to catch the sugar crash at bed time so we could all enjoy the real NYE, asleep in our beds before midnight, after having a short lived moment of alone time with our spouses.
This is how you do parenthood compatible NYE! Who would have thought? Next year, everyone should take part in an early NYE bash!