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I Am the Birthday Grinch

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Am the Birthday Grinch

I don't know if I did a post on this or not. I could go back and look but am too lazy right now (that is for another post...looonnngg night and not because of Gia). Tommy and Isabella's birthday is next month. When Nico was their age, he didn't have a party. He chose two friends to go to Dave and Busters and then had a sleepover (this won't work with the twins). I cannot stand birthday parties. I feel bad for the twins because I didn't always feel this way. I used to be excited about Nico's parties. I used to be excited until I realized I couldn't keep up with the demands of what my kids wanted to do for their parties (Nico had parties at Jeepers, the park district and a scientist came to our house). We always did the park district parties because again, I am lazy and didn't want to come up with ways to keep the children occupied. It was always complicated with the twins. Do you do two separate parties and then do you do them the same day? Once we did Isabella's from 1-3 and then Tommy's from 4-6. Longest day of my life. I didn't want to do that again so the next year we did them at the same time on the same Sunny Acres. I still break out in a cold sweat when I think about that day. Complete and utter chaos! You can't leave anyone out so we had 30 kids (15 boys and 15 girls) Sunny Acres. Leo took the boys with Nico and my sister, Nikki and my mom, a friend of mine and I took the girls. Several bee stings later, I was ready to never do another kid party again. The next year I did them on different days. One at the mall with glow in the dark mini-golf (20 boys) and one a gymnastics party (20 girls). I hated that after Tommy's, there wasn't the, "I'm glad it is done" feeling. Instead there was a "Crap. I have to do this all over again next weekend" feeling.

 I feel blessed that my kids have a lot of friends but it gets really expensive and even then, I know we hurt someone's feelings by not inviting them. That's the other reason I don't like birthday parties. My kids have not gotten invited to parties where their feelings have gotten hurt and I hate to think of  a child's feelings being hurt because of my child. Last year I got by without doing a party for them because we went to Disney. I was really hoping that would happen again but no such luck (talk about an expensive birthday alternative). This year, I haven't said anything and the twins are assuming that they are going to have a party. Tommy keeps talking about Leo taking him and a few friends to Great America and I have to laugh because that was never really an option. Belle just keeps asking me what kind of party she should have and I keep saying, "The kind where you don't have to worry about who to invite." She asked what kind that was and I answered, "The kind where there isn't one." She stomps off not happy and I have to admit, I sometimes get why the boys aggravate her.

It would be great if I could tell them that they could have three friends come over for the well sought after sleepover but that could never happen because they could never just invite 3 friends and is it wrong that I don't want two individual nights with 15 boys or girls here? We always have a family party which is small. Just my family and Leo's mom and Arnie and I thought about combining the family and friend parties but it never works when you have cousins and friends together. This year, our weekends are so booked up that the day we were supposed to do their party, I had to cancel because Belle has a cheerleading competition so time is another issue. It's around their birthday that I realize just how busy we are and how crazy our schedule is. So if you are reading this and your kid is friends with either Belle or Tommy and they didn't get an invite to a party, it's because there wasn't one.

I don't want to be the Birthday Grinch. I would love to celebrate the kids' birthdays with their friends but I feel like it is just another way for kids to be left out and parents to feel bad. Plus, kids really have no clue how to handle the situation. It's not their fault. They are young and if they had fun somewhere, they want to talk about it and they don't pay attention to who they are talking to (from birthday parties, to sleepovers to playdates to getting feathers in their hair). All of my kids have told me that after their parties, someone asked them, "Why wasn't I invited?" That's a loaded question for kid to answer.

I don't know what I am going to do. Bribery still works. Maybe I'll offer to get Tommy the drums he's begging for (hmmm...even as I wrote that, I'm thinking no).  I wonder if I think about it too much. Does this subject stress anyone else out?


At September 13, 2011 at 9:29 AM , Blogger Chris said...

Yes! Trying to figure out what to do and with whom stresses me out terribly! And the expense...a few years ago I told the kids that they could either have a birthday party or a birthday gift from us, but they could not have both. In Kuwait, it was so easy to drop a few hundred on the simplest of parties, and I just could not justify a party AND a gift. To be honest, that system has worked very well for us. This year Connor asked for an XBox 360, which was above our budget, but with the grandparents kicking in $100 each and Connor saving $100 between allowances and Christmas money, I paid for a second controller and a game. He had one friend come over and they had pizza, cake, ice cream, video games and a sleep over. Suited me just fine. :) I suspect Erinn will want a party this year, however, and hopefully I can provide! :O :D


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