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From the Bad Mommy Files: birthday party October 26, 2011

Posted by Merrilee in Family.
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We have a birthday coming up. In less than 2 weeks, our daughter will be 5. We are sharing a birthday party with another kid from our school which is great — sharing the planning also helps to lower the effort required to and and execute, and we avoid scheduling over one another.

Last year both kids had been in school for two years, so it seemed like they knew everyone. This year, it seems different — lots of their good friend have left and there are seemly tons of new kids in the “train room” (where the little kids are). I know it was probably the same last year, but this year I’m constantly thinking, “who ARE these kids?” In any case, rather than inviting the whole school (which is what we did last year) we are making a list.

About a month ago, I asked Karydis who would come to her party. She gave me a seemingly random list of names, leaving off kids I would have expected she’d include and naming kids I don’t think she even likes. So I’ve decided I’m making the list, choosing kids I think she has a connection with, kids I like, and kids whose parents I like. Bad mommy. To make things even worse, I’ve decided I’m not going to tell her about her party until the day before. More bad mommy. Both of these things simplify my life, but will probably result in a child who feels disenfranchised.

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1. Chris - October 26, 2011

So, here’s my take on the issue: with two different children with two VERY different personalities, giving them too much say in matters does not seem to help them to feel empowered. So, picking the invitees does not strike me as that bad. Thinking back to fifth birthdays, with one kid I just invited the whole class (because there is no way he could chose and stick with his choices OR keep quiet about who was invited and who was not) and with the other I told her she could invite five friends because she was five, which suited her sense of propriety.

Of course, I might be biased because you may have given me an idea for solving my own birthday dilemma. Right now I’m dealing with an upcoming birthday in the same period and am not getting any guidance on what to do from my high school freshman(!). At home? “I don’t know!” Go out? “I don’t know!” Invite kids from your high school? “I don’t know!” Invite only old friends who don’t go to your high school? “I don’t know!” A mix? “I don’t know!” At this point I think disenfranchisement and Mom throwing a “surprise” party at a local pizza place and inviting everyone I can find on Facebook is the way to go. It will either be terrific or terrible, but it will be all my fault if it is terrible and that may be what’s needed here.

Merrilee - October 27, 2011

Part of why I’m not telling her about the party is so she won’t talk about it incessantly at school. She knows she’s having a party, just not the details, and that will have to be good enough.


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