Birthday Parties I Hate

The Kindergarten birthday party circuit has begun. And now that I’m on my sixth kindergartener I have made a decision: if I can’t drop my kid off and leave the party then we won’t be coming. Sorry. Your child’s birthday is not important to me. Isn’t it enough that we bought a present? Asking me to sit in a smelly bouncy house place for two hours is too much. TOO MUCH! I would do it for a best friend. But some random school acquaintance? Forget it! Life is too short to sit and make pitiful small talk. I’m not about to waste my precious Saturday on you.

Of course you say that it’s fine to leave. But I can tell from the feast of kid-unfriendly sandwiches and the relish tray that you mean to feed me so I won’t go. And then there are all the other parents who are standing around. I know they’ll raise an eyebrow if I take off. Maybe they’ll just be jealous. Just know this: as I sit in the corner glaring at you when I look up from my knitting, I don’t like you one bit.

| Filed under Bad Things, Birthdays, Kids

12 thoughts on “Birthday Parties I Hate

  1. Hmm. Be careful. You don’t know how your sixth child interprets your boycott. I was the baby of my family with a mother who had been thriving support with my older brothers–PTA president, bake sale organizer, den mother, etc. By the time I came along she was ready for someone else to step up to the cause. I’ve done all that that I want to do, she would say–I’ve put in more than my time. I learned not to give her the PTA notices that my teacher handed the students to give to their parents. I learned to lie when the next day the teacher asked for a show of hands from the students who had encouraged their parents to come to the PTA meeting. I knew my mother’s speech about the subject and didn’t want to hear it again. In my mind she was willing to do it for my brothers, but not for me. It hurt. It was many, many years before I understood my mother’s point of view. As a busy adult I realized what a sacrifice it is to come home tired after a grueling day and have to go out to a boring PTA meeting, or bake 10 dozen cookies, or make 50 artsy-craftsy Christmas elves, or …, or … etc. Yes, I understand. Just be careful that your youngest doesn’t grow up thinking that being the baby means being the lesser member of the family. Just a thought based on experience. Pick your boycotts wisely.

    1. I finally do not have a houseful of babies so I actually do/volunteer more for my youngest two than I ever did for my older ones. But I’m facing the next six months going to upwards of fifteen birthday parties. (My daughter was in Kinder last year and that’s how it worked out.) I just CANNOT do that. I mean, I could. But I’m not.

  2. Weird. My parents never came with me to any birthday parties. Granted, there was the one time in second (or was it third?) grade when we went to a Circus-Jungle Gym type place and the party just abandoned me there… then when I couldn’t find any of my friends I had to find an employee and tell them and they called my mom…

    A little off-topic, but I wish I could go back in time and punch that woman in the face.

  3. My parents (of 10 children) never came to ANYTHING. In fact I was stunned one time when they came to a “talent show” at which I danced in 2nd grade. I thought, “Why are you here to watch me? I’m nobody. This is nothing. You always have more important things to do.” I didn’t feel BAD at all that they never came. It was just a fact of life, like having brown hair. When I got older and started getting F’s, I was GLAD they never came to anything.

    You, of course, got the same treatment from me (Although I put on extravagant parties for YOU). Did you feel unloved, or were you glad?

    If you find out that Jasper feels bad not going to such parties, your mother will volunteer.

    1. I felt like you never gave a hoot about anything I did. And just like Paula, above, I learned not to bother to tell you when I had a track meet or a volleyball game. Sorry, you asked.

  4. My sister and I were just talking about all the over-the-top birthday parties that go on around here- especially the fact that the hoopla starts in great earnest when the are in Kindergarten.

    I will not go to a little kid party unless it is family or a close friend. If the kid is just an aquaintance, we usually skip the entire thing.

    My sis-in-law (from Eastern Germany) told me that kid birthday parties there are small, intimate, mostly family events. You do not have it anywhere but home and you only invite people that you have genuinely close relationships with. That sounds so much better to me than these parties with 25+ kids at bouncy houses where my kid doesn’t even see the birthday boy/girl because the place is an absolute madhouse.

  5. A. Men. I couldn’t agree more with you. I only had 3 kids but I was over the birthday party circuit by the second one. I can only imagine how you must feel. Nobody tells you about this in the prenatal class, do they?

  6. I love how you write what moms think but don’t say. So far I sorta like the birthday parties but that won’t always be the case will it?

    How many siblings do you have by the way?

    I hope our birthday party was fun! But you are welcome to drop your kiddos off anytime!!

  7. I guess I should feel glad Daphne is a little bit odd. She has only ever been invited to 2 or 3 parties. This year was the first time I took her to a party I had to attend. The mom SAID I didn’t, but it was an ice skating party. For SIX YEAR OLDS. Who have never put on skates before. And she was 1/2 hour late to the rink. so naturally I couldn’t just drop Daphne off. And then once everyone did arrive, how much time do you think we spent together with the other kids on the rink? o.o minutes. Becauase I spent the whole time holding Daphne up and keeping her from falling, going about 1 lap an hour. I never even saw the other kids until it was time for presents and cake, and then back out to the rink to skate alone with her. What a dumb idea for a party!!!

  8. look, I hate to be a downer on this one but can you be sure that everyone at that party is a good guy, that you would trust to be alone with your child in a back room. Jonny’s creepy uncle that just made parole? I will never drop off my little one at a party of some random friend from school. I know to well from personal experience, that not every party is a safe place to be for a kindergartner. Just say NO if you can’t/won’t go. It is not always about Mommy.

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