Saturday, November 26, 2011

Who doesn't want a 3D cake? I don't. Not anymore.

Alright, here's the thing about birthdays. I love/hate birthdays. I love them because they are so much fun. I hate them because I'm insane, and have to stop myself from overdoing everything.

I used to be the mom that every other mom ended up hating after the birthday party was done.

But over the years, I did get better. Now, I'm at the point where NOT doing anything is a huge relief. Oh, but THAT's right- just when Bugs is too old for parties- the girls are starting to want them.

When Bugs was 3, we invited EVERYONE over. I cooked, cleaned, baked, decorated, filled waterballoons for the kids, fed, and BBQ'd for hours. It was horrible. I barely remember that party. But, it was the first party I'd thrown, so I didn't know any better.
The year he was 4, we had a family and some friends at a waterpark and the goody bags were individual pinatas (they took forever to make, and I learned my lesson- sort of).
 For 5, we had family, friends and children at the waterpark with a homemade pinata (I swear, I don't do pinatas anymore).
At 6, we went to an amusement park and chased a billion kids around.
Half of the billion kids.
At 7, we went to a "ChuckECheese" style place, his cake was a 3D tank.
At 8, we were back at the amusement park- with less children but a 'ninja cake'.
9 was the year we were in Ontario visiting family- so I got a 'by'.
10 saw us back at the amusement park with a 'Zelda cake'.
This year he only wanted to have his friends do a day of video gaming (we switched that to a day of laser tag and pizza). Thank GOD! I still made a cake- of a skull erupting from a grave (I love kids- they're disgusting and hilarious).

Last May, I saw a 'Groupon' deal which involved 6 x costumes for the kids (to keep), crafts for them to do, gift baggies, cupcakes, a head table and all for only $40? Done. That's super easy. I got two of the tickets. And we're having the party at the Children's Museum tomorrow. It should have been super easy.

Except I have friends with little girls who are Brat's age, and boys who are Bugs' age. And family. Aw dammit! Right now, attendance is standing at 19 kids, and 13 adults. That's straight up B.S.- but it's my own fault for having friends or family I suppose. I'm moving to a hermitage.

One year, Brat had a party at the museum with a 3d Princess cake, and I made the goodie bags from the dollar store.  And the next year we went to Michaels' Craft Store, and had the party there, including crafts and lunch. Easy. Pay the money, have the party, leave. Good plan.

This year, I discovered something. It could/ should still have been so easy. Pick one or two kids from school and invite them. But no. No, girls are very different from boys. And that sucks for me.

It was never a problem with Bugs if we only invited 2 or 3 boys from his class. No big.

It's a BIG deal now. You can't invite just one or two of the girls from the class. If you don't invite them all, your child will get ostracized by the girls who are left out! How did this happen? Because parents let their kids decide who to invite. And because little girls are evil. Pink tutu owning, tiny wing wearing, tiara headed demons.

I gave out the invites with my breath held, hoping that at least 3 of them wouldn't be able to make it. No such luck. Most of them are coming- and some have smaller siblings that are coming too. Fine. I'll cope- because turning kids away from a day at the museum just isn't my idea of nice- especially when their older sibs are going. But it's out of control.

When I was a kid, mom had a rule, and that was, if I was 7 there could be 7 (AND ONLY 7) kids at the party. 8=8, 9=9. I hope you get the picture. It was never out of control. And it was at our home. And my mom got to make the cake herself.

I understand what happened here though. What I don't understand is why other parents fall for it. It can't possibly be the exact same situation for all of us? Can it? Are you all being railroaded too?

My theory is this: kids have gotten so smart that they've fooled ALL parents everywhere into some kind of ridiculous birthday race. Every kid wants the coolest party, and the biggest coolest cake (okay, I want the big, cool, cake too). And they threaten social stigma if we don't give them the best party.

Well, after this year, I'm officially out of the race. I won't play this game. It's going to be downhill from here for my kids.

I NEVER want to have a children's party at my home-  because I have NO desire whatsoever to clean up after school aged horde of locusts. But maybe I'll try to convince my daughter her birthday is in June and use a park.

I don't know what we'll do when Monster is old enough for parties. Maybe we won't ever tell her about her birthday. If she never knows when it is, she can't ask for a party can she? But then the fun for me is in the cakes- and I don't want to miss out on cake.

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