MTVs Sweet 16…..I mean, 5 year old birthday party!

$10,000 for child’s birthday party?

I really appreciated reading this article today. The timing could not have been more perfect. Next month, we are celebrating my older son’s 5th birthday. (5!??? When did that happen?) And, instead of the usual 20 kids plus parents and siblings (which don’t fit in my house anyway, so that means hiring, renting, depositing on something impressive to host such a crew of people… and then get gift bags and food and… ok, I am exhausted already and have totally digressed into my own flipped out panic about the scenario…) I have decided to have a small group of kids this year. Isn’t the rule of thumb: have as many kids as your child’s age? And as it turns out, my son picked 5 kids all by himself; I am thrilled.

But the stress is still there. I feel badly we won’t be inviting all the kids that invited him to their parties. And what if those 5 kids can’t come? And will he feel like this is ENOUGH of a birthday party when his friend’s got to have theirs at My Gym or Gymboree or Pump it Up or somewhere cool like that? And then (I can’t believe I am admitting this), what will the other moms think?

You can see how easy it is to get spun out about this. And I am trying very hard not to… as I sit here and wring my hands frettfully…

But what makes this decision easy is that my son does NOT like any excessive attention put on him. He doesn’t want the fuss that is made at those cool birthday party places. When we go to one, and they ask him his name in the big group circle with all the moms and dads watching to see if he is a “nice” boy and if he will be cute when he responds… he runs and hides in the ball pit. He’s just not into that whole deal. I get it.

So not this year. Not for us. We’re going OLD SCHOOL. 5 kids and pointy hats.

So what kind of party should we have?  He loves Star Wars so we’ll go with that theme. Did you know my son has NEVER played pin the tail on the donkey?? Shoot, I’m not even all that sure I would know where to find Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Maybe I can find a big Darth Vadar poster and we can pin the light saber on the Darth… (oh wait, I’m having flashbacks to my bacherlorette party when we pinned the “macho” on the man… snap out of it! This is about your SON’S BIRTHDAY! Get a grip, girl…). I am also thinking about taking all 5 kids to a movie once we’re done with cake and games. And that reminds me, you better believe I am making the cake. I only hope a simple round “death star” cake passes muster… although he did mention a Boba Fett cake. Uh-oh. I am fretting again.

Anyhow, the point is I agree with this article whole heartedly. We moms desperately need to take the pressure off our own shoulders and stop feeling so bound by this new over blown form of birthday party etiquette. And here’s an idea, lets ask these kids of ours what THEY want. They could really surprise us. So all the moms with birthday parties to plan in the near future, repeat after me…

“I (insert cool mom name) do solemnly swear that I will make sure whatever party we choose with our child is really fun, really reasonable and really not about what everyone else is doing.”

Ok, now I feel 100% fine with my small but oh-so “old school” party for my son. Its kind of freeing really.

By the way, does anyone have a Boba Fett cake pan???

p.s. I guess I am not the only one flipped out about this issue. This website has been designed entirely to curb out of control parties. While its a good educational site for moms like me, I wish there were more suggestions about how to keep parties reasonable and imaginative. Their ideas are kind of lame!



Filed under Parenting

3 responses to “MTVs Sweet 16…..I mean, 5 year old birthday party!

  1. When is your son’s party? I could probably help you with some ideas if you want. I can imagine how this could be really stressful, but you’re smart for not doing a huge party. I mean- come on! Cake with the family is good enough in most cases. And when they want a bigger party (in a few years), go to the park (or better yet, the lake), and set up a volley ball net, and barbecue some burgers. As for the other kids who he didn’t invite, why don’t you do a special play date with each another time?

  2. tcmom

    Yeah, you know I never knew what an “industry” b-day parties were until I started going and seeing that 20 kids plus fams was the norm as was the rest of the hoopla. (Often these party places expect a 20 kid minimum.) I actually JUST got back from one about a half hour ago – and yup, Thomas hid in the ball pit for certain parts again. Now don’t get me wrong, they ARE fun and no disrespect to any mom friends who choose to have them… but I feel very overwhelmed by those kinds of party options (hmmm… thats where my kid gets it) and can’t understand why there aren’t more plain old parties with a few kids, pointy hats and a game of tag out back. I honestly don’t think I have been to one like that yet. Anyway, I’m with you, C. And I am already planning to bring cupcakes to school and cupcakes to playgroup to cover the kids with no invite. And am bascially telling ppl too we are doing something small this year. But why do I feel so apologetic? Issues… I have mommy guilt issues.

  3. Gail

    Parties are for the kids not to impress other parents. You seemed to really enjoy your picnic parties at Glen Echo with rides on the merry-go-round, the picnic menu you got chose, and running around making all the noise and mess you wanted, then chasing the birds who were very thoughtfully cleaning up the mess. There was nothing overwhelming. Yes you were the center of attention, but that never bothered you. Poor Kevin of course was stressed by the merry-go-round.

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