Is Your Child’s Birthday Party Pissing People Off?

Sadie CakeI recently went to a birthday party for a friend of my children and about halfway through it  it occurred to me that there are some unspoken rules to having a party and these people were breaking every single one of them. Now before you go thinking I’m a judgmental shrew who should just be lucky my kids are even invited anywhere, let me clarify. If you invite my kid to a drop-off party you may do pretty much whatever you like and I will be grateful that you are even having a party. But, if said party is for a kid between the ages of say three and six or seven and I need to be with my kids, there are some simple rules that are just common sense. And okay, if you break a few, I’m still going to be happy I had somewhere to go with my kids so thank you for inviting them even if you did give them too much sugar.

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  • Time limits 1 of 7
    Time limits
    There needs to be a time limit. 2 hours is ideal and what we're used to. Anything longer and we moms start to get uncomfortable. It's like a therapy session that only feels safe when it's 50 min. If after 90 min your shrink was to say, "No keep going, this is just starting to cook" you'd run! So stick to the unspoken format: an hour of playing, food, more playing, cake, wrap it up.
  • No pot smoking! 2 of 7
    No pot smoking!
    No pot smoking. Do I even have to tell you that? I shouldn't have to wonder aloud if I'm at Coachella or a five-year-old's birthday party. If you really can't wait until the party's over to get your party on, go to your car, to a neighbor's house, to rehab somewhere other than in the vicinity of my kids.
  • Easy on the sugar 3 of 7
    Easy on the sugar
    Yes, I get it. It's a party. But there are limits to how much sweets you can throw at a kid before they completely lose their shit. Cake is one thing, but cake plus, candy, plus a popsicle plus a goody bag full of junk is like building a bomb and sending it home to explode. Not fair.
  • Use Evite 4 of 7
    Use Evite
    or other online invitations. Sure, hand written invites are quaint but once I've RSVP'd I guarantee I won't be able to find it again. That means that the day before the party (which I'll only remember because someone asks if my kids are going) I have to frantically call people from the roster to find out where it is and what time it starts. "Why don't you put it in your calendar, dumb ass" you may be saying. And yeah, I could do that but how about just sending an evite which will automatically remind me? See?
  • No clowns 5 of 7
    No clowns
    Most people follow this rule without being told but every once in a while you get a random family that thinks a clown is just the thing a crowd of four-year-olds will enjoy. They won't. I don't care how unassuming the clown is, whether or not they keep to themselves and just make balloon animals for three hours (yes, see rule one again), someone will end up crying and at least half the guest will end up having nightmares (and that includes the adults).
  • Provide something cold to drink 6 of 7
    Provide something cold to drink
    If it's hot out and it's a party in your yard, please provide a cold drink for the grown-ups (and kids of course). There's no worse feeling than roasting in the heat for three hours (see rule one) with only a warm Diet Coke to sip.
  • Don’t make us participate! 7 of 7
    Don't make us participate!
    Don't make adults participate in activities. If the kids are very little of course that can't be helped. But I'm talking about when you have a group of five and six year-olds and you try to get the adults to do the hokey pokey or play baseball. Just no.

Jellybeans pic Dreamstime

Clown pic Dreamstime

 

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