Thursday, September 20, 2007

***Update*** Red coughed all night. And I mean that in a very literal sense. He woke up this morning with a slight fever. I shouldn't have complained. Now Murphy's Law has crept up on me... no birthday party for us today. In a way, I'm relieved. In another way, I can't help but feel bad. Red was quite excited for this party :( But, I'm still curioius about your answers to my questions... so... keep reading!
Red has been invited to a birthday party. It is to be held at a place called Pump It Up where they have a multitude of inflatable bouncers for the kids to enjoy. I called to RSVP and the mother of the birthday boy asks me how many adults would be accompanying Red to the party. Um...there was nothing on the invitation about this. I tell her I was unaware that he needed an adult (or two?!) to accompany him. She sighs and explains that he needs someone to watch him and keep him out of trouble. Now, I don't think she has ever met my son. She's just assuming that all 8-9 year old boys are trouble makers and will cause her problems. Which, really is probably a safe assumption. But, Red is really a polite kid. He may sass me at times, but I have never heard him talk to another adult disrespectfully. So, I'm taken off guard by her comment. I told her I couldn't come without my other two kids and she said to bring them along. They will get to participate in the bouncer stuff, but what am I supposed to do while they are opening presents and eating cake and such?? My two younger ones like to "help" when it comes to gift unwrapping. Now, some might say that this would be a good learning experience for them. But, it's not a social mountain I am willing to climb in front of a huge group of strangers. Should we sit in the car for this part of the party?? I don't have the cash to get a sitter and hubby won't be off work yet, so they have to come.
Here's my next question: is this normal?? Do you usually accompany your children to birthday parties? Whenever we've had a party for one of our kids it's been a "drop your kids off and be back in an hour or I'm setting them out by the curb" kind of thing. Okay not really, but you know what I mean. Kids stay. Parents go. Kids have fun. Parents come. Kids go home. Everyone is happy. This is how all the parties we have thrown have been. And all the parties they have attended have been. And if I had needed parents to stay and help, I would have personally asked them to stay or included that information in the invitation.
ANYWAY...she seemed annoyed with me like this was something I should have known. Have I made some kind of social faux pax? Fill me in bloggin buddies. I really am at a loss here. Oh, and if you hear weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth tomorrow afternoon - that would be me trying to keep my younger two from ripping the paper off all the gifts.


Nancy Face said...

I'm very opinionated, so here I go, haha! I think the same way that you do: invite kids, parents drop them off and leave, kids have a blast playing/eating/hollering, parents come, kids go home! On the rare occasion that we've had parties away from our home, I've been worried that I might have trouble keeping track of all the kids, so I have recruited responsible relatives to help me. I don't think the parents of the kids should have to come as you're being expected to do! :0

One year, when my youngest was turning three, I wanted to throw him a party with his little friends and cousins (that's a LOT of 3 year-olds, yikes!) so on the invitation, I specifically invited an older sibling to come with each child, and it was WONDERFUL! I just planned games and treats that were fun for both age groups...and the moms were happy! ;)

Yvonne said...

I can't imagine expecting parents to come--unless they were good friends who wanted to be there. If a person invites so many kids that they can't deal with them and don't have their own help, maybe they should re-think the numbers.

I hope Red has a good time at the party.

Tonya said...

Oh boy, I'm at a loss on this one. My son is 4 and so far, I have been with him at all the birthday parties (the whole 3 or so) that he's been invited to. I would think that as they get older then they don't need parent to come with them. I think that it would be more reasonable to ask some close friends to help monitor kids if you are going to have that many at a party. I wish I was there to lend a hand. Good luck!!

Holly said...

We don't have a lot of birthday party experience. (My children are deprived.) With my older son, if he's gone to a party, I've always just dropped him off and picked him up later. His birthday is in the summer, so we've never actually had a friend birthday party for him (he's 9), we always go to the water park as a family. It's just the way it's worked out.

My younger son (6) is asking for a birthday party in January. He's been to a couple and again, I just dropped him off and picked him up, and it was fine.

I'm with Nancy, in that if I hosted one away from home I would specifically ask for additional help, I wouldn't just expect every parent to come and I wouldn't necessarily want the extra siblings. If my son went to one that was away from home, I wouldn't assume that I could or should just come, but I'd probably ask if they needed extra help.

Dedee said...

Honestly, if the woman needed help, she should have asked for it, not just assumed that everyone would be coming with their kids. Seems a bit rude actually.

I keep my kid pary numbers small so I can manage. I know that ca cause problems, but I really want every one to have a good time and me be sane at the end of it all.

Heather said...

I think the general rule is that parents aren't expected to attend unless specifically noted.

Jessica said...

HA! If it was me I would have taken my younger ones and LET THEM open the presents, just to prove a point~but that is just me :)

When I have let my kids invite more than I thought I would be able handle I have had my mom or sister come help.

Jean Knee said...

when Lean was younger the moms all came with their kids. At age five they started sending them alone.
but I've had it each way. I think that mom didn't think it through and just assumed you would come too.
Take your kids with you. She didn't give notice that you would need a sitter or whatever. there's always extra cake, might not be extra treat bags so keep that in mind.

Kimberly said...

No way I'd haul younger kids to an older kids party. Noooo way. I think it's an age thing. Once the kids get past 5 or 6, I won't expect the parents to come, of course. For a party full of three years olds? Ummm...yes parents. Please come.

diana said...

i can't believe this. no, i don't think you've committed any social faux pax - i think the other mom did.

if you want help at your kid's party, you ask your friends or ask for help on the invitations. but even that seems wrong to me. if you're having a birthday party, you need to take the responsibility for all those invited.

i was wondering, had you gone and taken the other children, who would have paid for you and your kids? doesn't seem right for you to have had to.

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

where are the parties for the parents who survived the little one parties?? :)

i sure enjoyed our kids when they were so little! now, i get to experience the primary kid little ones. my awesome neighbor, ~A, says i should have grandchildren. eekk! no way, not yet, our girls are still teens! i do look forward to maybe someday being a spoiling grandma who would come to my grandkids' bday parties when they are little.

happy saturday melissa,
kathleen :)