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Monday, January 22, 2007Breastfeeding and childbirth, two of the "hot button issues" when it comes to the mommy wars get a lot of play on this blog. I've often heard it said (usually by people that disagree with me on the importance of breastfeeding) that "none of this stuff will matter in five years."
Apparently what I'm supposed to care about in five years is how I'm going to "keep-up" with everyone else when it comes to birthday parties.
Ask a parent about birthday parties and you'll probably get a sigh and a description of the last party their kid went to — limousine service, a petting zoo or Ferris wheel, and definitely elaborate goody bags — followed by their despair at having to organize their own equally expensive party for their child's birthday.
Really? Guess I missed that boat on that one. For Elnora's first birthday, we went to dinner with Greg's parents and his brother's and their wives. There were 9 of us. We came home, put Elnora in the high chair, she had a piece of cake, she went to bed. For her second birthday, Greg and I (plus the kids) went to his parents for the weekend. My parents went too. We ate dinner at his parents house and gave Nora a slice of birthday cake. She went to bed.
Emmitt's first two birthday parties will likely go the same way.
Who are these children that have 20 friends at the age of 2?
It makes me think of that line from "The Wedding Singer" ... "you're eight years old! you only know your parents!"
You know which birthday parties I remember the most growing up? The Murphy family that lived two doors down. They had eleventy billion kids (ok...five) and most of them had birthdays in the summer. That means that at some random point while we were all out playing, their mom would mention that we were welcome to come have cake that night. My brother and I would go home and mention it to my mom. She'd pull a couple Matchbox cars (dad always kept a good supply of new in box Matchbox cars for just such an occasion) down and wrap them up. Off we went to the "party."
It was a blast. It didn't cost anyone anything and since we were 5 or 7 or 9 years old...what did we care?
When I got older, birthday parties were usually sleepovers with half a dozen or so friends. We'd stay up, eat pizza and junk food and watch movies. (Dirty Dancing...Goonies...The Breakfast Club...) We'd play truth or dare and light as a feather, stiff as a board.
It was a blast. It didn't hardly cost anyone anything and since we were 11 or 12 or 13 years old, what did we care?
The "fancy" parties were the years when the parents would load a bunch of us into a minivan or two and take us to see a movie or to go bowling. I never once went to a party with a hired clown or magician. I've never been to a party at Chuck E. Cheese.
I don't remember coming home from someone else's birthday party with a gift of my own.
Now will someone please explain to my why I should feel obligated to throw an actual PARTY for my 2 year old? Or perhaps next fall when Elnora turns 3? Quite honestly, she's probably not going to get a party with anyone but family then either.
I look at it this way. When my child is old enough to both ask for a party and to tell me who she'd like to invite, she can have one. I'll ask her input, we'll plan it together, but I'm not taking out a loan to finance it.
"You have to perform to a certain level," says Carol Cadby, a teacher and mother of a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old in Arlington, Va.
"A lot of parents feel they're on a birthday-party treadmill that gets faster every year. They're afraid their birthday party won't measure up and their child will be disappointed."
Who ARE these people???
When did it become a BAD thing for a child to "end up disappointed?"
Labels: Life as a Mom