So, here's the deal... I have no clue how to be one of those cool parents organizing play dates, crafty things, managing childhood conflicts, and all that. I can't even manage to keep my house in order long enough not to cringe if someone knocks on the door. Suzy-homemaker I am not. I'm more comfortable being the 'I'll bring my kid to your kid's birthday party' type of mom. But having two children, of course they want birthday parties, too.
The very first birthday party I threw for my son was in 2010, a couple weeks into his Kindergarten year. I knew no one, so what better way to meet some parents than having a party. Boy, was I wrong. All I was introduced to was the concept of a "drop off party". I was a little astounded that these parents were like "Hi, I'm so-and-so. We've never met before, you could be a serial killer for all I know, but here's my kid, I'll be back in two hours." Try managing 20 kids whose names you don't even know and who were bored of bowling after 5-6 frames. I didn't even take pictures! This is from the family party:
Yeah, I swore off parties after that until last year when I figured I owed my daughter at least one party like her big brother had in Kindergarten. (That whole even-steven thing.) This time I was introduced to the concept of I'm going to bring siblings because, wow - you're having a mini golf party and that's way cool. (That whole even-steven thing, I guess.) When I tell you we barely scraped by with drinks, I sweated over having enough cupcakes for the kids (and it was like 95 degrees that day!), and had to pay-off my niece to forfeit her goodie bag to one sibling who was too young to not care about it. But my girl had a blast!!
I bribed my son not to ask me for a birthday party that year by promising him an iPad. **Tip for parents, research your bribes first - I really did not know how much it would cost!
This year, I explained to my kids that there would be no birthday parties for a legitimate reason - money. My daughter just made her Communion (which was a huge expense), we're going camping in a few weeks (they LOOOOVE it and cannot wait), and we're going to Disney in July!! That on top of day camp and all the summer activity costs that will come - trips to Splashdown, the zoo, etc. We just can't promise both of them a party (one at the beginning of summer - late June, one at the end - early September) and we can't just have only one either - yep, even-steven.
My daughter doesn't understand. She's had three parties to go to for friends last month alone and another coming up. She's literally cried every time we picked up a present, and when we've left each party, because she's not having one. My little social butterfly is sad and I don't like that. So, I am e-mailing her 3 BFF's parents to see if they can go see Inside Out when it comes out to celebrate her birthday with a movie and pizza. I hope my baby will be happy.
Oh, and now I'm introduced to the dilemma of whether to pay for the parent's tickets, too, if they want to come. I figured $30, in the scheme of things, isn't worth the awkwardness.
Any advice would be welcome!