Birthday Party Etiquette


So now we have a child which means we are required to attend other children’s parties.  It’s not an option anymore.  It’s a given. Have a kid = Attend kid parties.  Here’s the thing… I freaking loathe 21st century children’s birthday parties. Parties fit for a Kardashian.  For every single birthday.  For every single child. Gag me with a party hat.

We’ve all been to one or a dozen of these parties… The ones where you bring your kid over to some rented out thirteenth-century castle where everyone as to dress up.  With-in an hour sugar-filled tiny humans are on the lose and rearing to tear up anything in their path.

30 years ago my brother and I shared a birthday party.  My mom baked a cake and bought some freezer pops (the ones you tried to open with your teeth for hours before resorting to ask a parent to help you with some scissors). Maybe we played pin the tail on the donkey and the most expensive gift I got from friends was a few packs of Garbage Pail Kids cards.

Listen I remember April… We’re not innocent.  We did have a “Nautical Themed” party…  But for the most part I’d like to think it was more for the adults then it was for the kids.  At other times, other parties, I’ve seen people freaking out… Wives going bananas over Pintrest and Facebook for the perfect party ideas and gift giving trends.

Then there is the actual process of dragging my 20 month old to a circus parade when he has no idea why he’s even there. You get stuck with all the dads (most of whom you don’t even know) sitting in a corner talking about how they’d rather be home watching the NFL games on today instead of slapping your child’s hands away from the birthday cake apparently made for the show Cake Boss.

It’s getting a little much… Here is an email I recently received from a Parent at Jax’ daycare:

“Dear all, For Ava’s birthday, she has requested a real, live Unicorn. I will be collecting Unicorn money via her book bag in the playground (Additionally I’d like a Ferrari and Leonardo DiCaprio, so by all means, do feel obligated to contribute to this too). If you don’t wish to, please don’t feel any pressure from the countless emails I intend to follow this up with and clog your inbox. Love and thanks!!”

Luckily I have friends who get it.  Parties at their house with a bucket of beer and some hamburgers, or an indoor playscape in the winter because it’s too cold to play outside… nothing big, nothing crazy… hopefully it stays this way… because I cannot in any way afford to keep up with these MTV Sweet Sixteen Parties! In all honesty, what is wrong with a homemade cake, a swing-set, yo-yo and some stickers? Or crayons and a coloring book? These kids are toddlers, they don’t know what is going on anyway. Just give them a normal birthday party with some Disney characters or some cartoon movie and tell him “Here, this is not what you like.”

Who’s with me?

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One thought on “Birthday Party Etiquette

  1. Ha! This made me giggle! We only have a 3 year old, so haven’t been succumbed to the party pressure yet, but I can sense it all around me! We did just celebrate his birthday and it was the first time we had a party for him. We opted for coffee and pastries in the park, with a bounce house to occupy the kids – very leisurely and about my limit! x


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