Friday, 24 March 2006

not sure I'm cut out for this

This weekend C is going to a birthday party. He's squirmy-can't-sit-still excited and chattering. The little boy turning five is one of the boys C plays with the most, so I'm sure he'll have a terrific time. I was chatting with the mom in question this morning and she mentioned what the boys will be doing. Remember when birthday parties were just cake and ice cream and run around the back yard? Me too.

This weekend, he'll be painting little wooden cars, watching movies, and bowling. A party down our way last fall had the kids dressed as pirates, with a buried treasure hunt and rides on a haywagon kitted out to look like a pirate ship. One next month has a Spiderman theme - kids are encouraged to wear their costumes (or pj's) and there will be skating and a Tai Kwon Do demonstration.

Are these people kidding me? He's four and a half. I'm all for giving him new experiences, but this is an arena I'm unwilling ( and unprepared) to compete in.

I like to think I'm a relatively creative person. I'm never going to be a designer, or the person people run to for style advice, but my house is attractively put together (okay, I have ideas about how to attractively put it together) and I'm not boring.

But I'm not sure I can do this.

Judging from the current crop of kids' parties, I'd best get a move on picking a theme, favors, goodie bags, games and entertainment.

Do kids still like magicians?

October's gonna be here before I know it.


Shinny said...

I remember dealing with that when Alex was younger. I must have been thought as the "Bad Mommy", ok I know I actually was the "Bad Mommy", but anyway. I just did the old cake and ice cream at our house and fortunately had a big yard for the September b-day, 10 wild boys running crazy party. I remember him going to the bowling or the swimming parties. No way was I going to be responsible for someone else's kid not getting drowned, because you know that the mothers all dump and run for these parties. Don't be scared to do your own thing and you don't have to keep up with the Joneses(is that how you spell it, that's how it sounds?)

julia said...

Exactly. Don't try to keep up with the over-acheivers. Do whatever kind of party you want to do and can afford to do. These huge deal parties for a kid who's 5 or 6 years old are just ridiculous and more about the parents showing off than about what the kid wants. Of course the kid is going to love it - who wouldn't love a pirate ship treasure hunt bowling party? But the bottom line is that the parents are showing off for the other parents, trying to one up each other.

I really hate that shit. This is why I can't stand suburbia.

daysgoby said...

Shanna (and Julia!) - Thanks to both of you. You're absolutely right. I'm astounded that it happens here - we're so not suburbia (Suburbia has about 10,000 more people than we do) but I suppose those darn Joneses are everywhere!

Joke said...

Damn. I was pleased when we had a cowboy party and rented a pony.


P.S. In case you didn't know, I was scarred by a pony-at-a-party experience. As a child, I mean.

julia said...

The best birthday party I went to as a child featured pin the tail on the donkey, clothespins into a milk bottle, bobbing for apples and eating donuts off a string. And cake. Lots of cake. There was also a lot of running around and shrieking. It was great fun.

My mother did a pizza party for me once - we went to Papa Gino's, a local chain, and everyone got to make their own pizza. It was way cool, but I was 10 or 11. Cass may be a bit young for that.

daysgoby said...

Joke -

Scarred as in psyche-wise? Or as in 'And then this battle wound is from the time I...'?

Jess, enquiring

Julia - I remember one a lot like that too. In one of the photo albums from when I was growing up there is a magic markered macaw that my mother made for pin the beak on the birdie - now she was creative!

Joke said...


The pony had three hooves in the glue factory when he arrived at the party and put in the 4th one mid-festivities.

One kid suggested we take turns riding the late pony as the others dragged it.

So, no ponies, TYVM.


P.S. Because I am a sick bastid, I want to throw NTS a "Chicken Little" themed party, catered by KFC.

Sweet Coalminer said...

You know, the fanciest party I ever went to was at McDonalds. I LOVED it. I BEGGED my mom to let me have my party there. Kids don't care. Do what you think will make him happy.

MsCellania said...

Checking in late to comment on this. I have 4 and 5 yo sons, and we seem to attend 2 parties a month. I can tell you the party that both our sons are still talking about was an at-home party (Gasp!) with a guy making balloon critters for the children, and a roving magician. They played traditional games (pin the kid on the T-Rex, musical chairs, etc) and only had cake/ice cream. The goodie bags had candy, period. They children got to take home their balloon critters.

The best party we've ever had was a party at our local fire house. The firemen gave a 10 minute presentation, complete with full gear, and then the kids got to try on all the gear and climb all over the huge fire trucks. I provided food and cake, but could've gone simpler with that spread. We had 2 craft projects, but the hit of the party was "Baby Bocce" - each child was given 2 ball pit balls, we threw out a bigger ball as the 'pea' for them to aim at, and let them throw balls, measure to see whose ball was closest and then do it all over again. For an hour, the kids played that game outside. I had a scavenger hunt with clues at the end to lead them to the goodie bags, which were just candy.

Good luck. This party stuff really gets out of hand!