Q. My triplets are about to turn 4. How can I make the birthday memorable for each girl?
A. "With multiples, the goal is to acknowledge each child as an individual -- without having to overspend or drive yourself crazy," says Maureen Doolan Boyle, executive director of MOST (Mothers of Supertwins), who's tried "almost everything" with her triplets, now 11 years old. Here are some options:
Hold A Separate Bash For Each Girl
While this choice requires some added expense and work, says Doolan Boyle, it's possible to keep it simple. For example, instead of holding parties three days in a row, let each child pick a different time of year to hold her own festivity, such as a half-birthday or the day they were due. Each bash can have its own games, cake, music, and location. "This way, if the kids have the same group of friends, the guests won't feel like they're going to the same party three times," Doolan Boyle says.
Break The Party Up
Hold one large party with three "subparties" going on at once. This will avoid later accusations of one being "better" than another, and works best if each child has her own group of friends. Each table of kids can participate in a different craft before joining together for larger party games. When it comes time to blow out the candles, you can serve a sheetcake divided in three.
Many parents choose to escape birthday spills and clutter by going to a restaurant or skating rink. But who gets to pick the spot? "If they don't agree, consider your price range first, and then take a vote. If all else fails, what Mom says goes," says Doolan Boyle. And no matter what route you take, singing "Happy Birthday" three times is a must.