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Sunday, April 17, 2011


When do you stop having birthday parties for your kids? We used to have 50 people over for my kids' parties. Our families and then our friends who feel like our family would come. Then the kids would want a separate party for their friends and it would end up being a lot of work and a lot of money. Again, the appreciation factor didn't always match the inconvenience factor so I was starting to resent doing it. We stopped parties and said we'd let them choose two friends and we'd do something special like go to the movies or Dave and Busters and then the kids could have the badly wanted sleepover. Nico has 6 best friends that hang out all the time. How do you choose 2? Even Tommy and Belle said they could never just choose 2 (which is why they have never done that). Someone's feelings would get hurt. These days it costs a small fortune to take that many kids anywhere so it defeats the purpose of not having a party. The thing about birthday parties is that someone's feelings are always going to get hurt because everyone can't be invited to everything. I live in a community where everyone is friends with everyone. Adults and kids. We aren't all best friends but this community of people have been very good to my family and it would kill me to think that my kid hurt their kid's feelings. I probably care too much. There have been parties that my kids haven't been invited to and they have survived because they have learned that they aren't going to be invited to everything but it still makes me feel icky to think of my kid being the reason why some other kid feels bad. The other part of why I hate the whole birthday party idea is that every idea has already been done and it feels like each party tries to out-do the last. The kids want something different and exciting. Different and exciting usually means hard and expensive. In this land of "one-upping", I'd like to opt out for good and not do parties anymore. The three older kids didn't get a friend party this year. How long do you think I can get away with that?

We had a little get together yesterday for Nico's birthday with just my family (which alone is over 20 people). Even that was not without drama. I usually do pizza but this time I did tacos, which Nico informed me that he no longer likes (I wish he would have told me that before I cooked 9lbs of meat). My mom is very neat and organized (no spare paper lives in her house longer than 30 seconds) so I wanted my house to appear neat and organized. I'm pretty sure I broke a "how not to become a hoarder" rule and threw everything that I keep meaning to go through in a black garbage bag and hid it in my room. That alone shocked me into going through it, ironically enough, while I was watching "Hoarding: Buried Alive". Anyway, the subject of sleepovers came up because my kids think that if it is with their cousins, my answer will be different. I didn't want to think about it while I was doing a hundred other things so I said no nicely. The kids would not let up, Gia was crabby because she didn't nap all day and I felt bad because I bought the wrong game for Nico from my mom and I finally snapped. My poor nephew asked me one more time and I started yelling, "FINE! EVERYONE can have a sleepover. They can all go to the other person's house so I could get a break and Isabella can go knock on neighbors' doors to see if anyone wanted her to sleep over since my nieces were already going to be at one." I was fuming that another get together was ruined and that my kids have not learned not to bring it up in front of everyone. The children not caring that I just lost it and not being able to see past their own wants thought it was great that I finally said yes but my sister said to forget it because she knew I was upset. My kids sleep in on the weekends if other kids aren't here, Nico has a game and I am tired so I already told them no sleepovers this weekend. Standing your ground sucks. Now I am "Mean Auntie ReRe."

Edited to add: I forgot to add that Leo was a huge help to me at the party and then after the party. He cleaned the whole thing while I had to deal with Gia and all of her crabbiness. It was a wonderful surprise to come downstairs and see the whole kitchen clean.

I should have mentioned how wonderful Belle was in helping me get ready for the party. She did whatever I asked her and didn't complain once. Although she did ask for a sleepover on Friday, she finally knew enough to not ask yesterday. I am very lucky that Gia loves her so much because while I was doing stuff for the party, Belle entertained her.

I am always writing about how they drive me crazy but I want everyone to know when they make life a lot less chaotic. I would have been lost without both of them this weekend!


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