I had a slightly out-of-the-ordinary request on a birthday party invite this week: “To keep the ratio more kids to adults, we suggest only one parent accompany one’s toddler.”
With the mom heavily pregnant, and their daughter’s last birthday party plenty massive, I could totally understand the request. It did get me thinking, however, about how rare it is that I see TWO parents attend a birthday party with their kids anyway.
In fact, the last time I saw a large cluster of kids with both parents in tow at a birthday party just so happened to be at this particular child’s party. No wonder her parents are throwing this out there – they’d love to throw a simple party just like everyone else!
It’s age-dependent, of course, but I’ve found that by and large at least one parent will stick around at a kid’s birthday party to keep track of their own kid. Not doing so is even more considerate than tromping in with a pile of siblings that the hosts know have to feed and entertain. But there seems to be some sort of unwritten rule that unless these are close friends or relatives, the invitation is kid-specific. Which means parents aren’t really invited so much as they are expected to appear . . . and stay on the sidelines.
The party is, after all, about the kids.
I confess we’re part of that one-parent-to-a-party system anyway, so the request didn’t bother me. My husband has attended just two children’s parties with me in the four years since our daughter was born (not including hers, of course). One was a family party, the second a close friend. The greater share of other parties have been thrown by people I’m closer to, so I’ve been the natural chaperone, and he’s never batted an eye at my decision to go it alone.
Do you attend kid’s parties as a family?