Maybe I am setting myself up before the parties even begin, but I really dislike 1st Birthday Parties. Any other year, I'm there with bells on but the 1st Birthday Party has a definite theme. (I had to attend one today).
It is full of a mish mash of people - relations, close friends, neighbours and the "mums group" friends. All different groups of people standing around making small talk trying to get excited about Mary's first doll. There are always the group of people who don't have children who I feel for the most. At least when you have kids you can sneak away from the "small talk" to entertain your child. The childless have to try to act interested in toilet training issues, and the like without falling asleep whilst drinking their cordial and eating their fairy bread.
I am as guilty as the next parent as I have held now two 1st birthday parties, and I understand exactly why we do it. It is a momentous occasion and we want all and sundry to celebrate our child and it is a god given right to bore everyone else with their amazing achievements to date.
We seem to settle down a little bit after the 1st birthday and only invite those with children who actually play or spend time with the birthday child. Family members are usually kept to a minimum or a separate party is held to celebrate the said birthday. Thank god.
Please note, I am nine months pregnant and hugely intolerant of many things in general. I am actually usually a very nice person that coos over babies and doesn't whinge and bitch about a 1st birthday party.