>I am very honored to have one of my favorite bloggers and top commentors here with us today. She writes with humor about her family on the fabulous Daily Dribbles and today, she is here to share her top 10 tricks on “How to Appropriately Plan Out a Child’s Birthday Party”.
Give a hearty welcome to Kmama.
I’m here to provide a much-needed Public Service Announcement today. If you are a parent or ever plan to be a parent, please listen (read) carefully.
My oldest son, Buddy, is reaching the age where he’s starting to be invited to a lot of birthday parties. This post could be about how annoying I find birthday parties for children, but I won’t go there. What I want to share with you is more important that my dislike of birthday parties.
Time and again, as Buddy is invited to a birthday party, we go through the typical routine. I first ask him who the kids is, and more importantly, if he plays with and likes the kid. Then I check our calendar and go through the various steps to RSVP. If everything goes smoothly, we purchase a gift in time for the party, Buddy attends said party (and hopefully has fun), and we leave.
It should be an easy process. But it’s not. Nothing ever goes smoothly when it comes to a child’s birthday party. So, to help alleviate all the issues, let me offer my list of How to Appropriately Plan Out a Child’s Birthday Party.
1. Don’t invite children not related to your child (i.e. school and neighborhood friends).
2. If you’re down here at number 2, that means that you didn’t listen to number 1. Go back to number 1, reread it, and follow the directions. Proceed to number 3 only if you wish to make the “shit list” of the other mothers.
3. For the love of all that is holy, please put your name on the invite when asking people to RSVP to you. There’s nothing more annoying than calling somewhere and asking “Can I please speak to, umm, [insert birthday child's name here]‘s mom?“
4. On the same token, when asking someone to RSVP to your cell phone or email address, it’s probably best to have a G-rated voice mail message and email address. BigTTs (at) emailserver (dot) com doesn’t exactly give a parent warm fuzzies.
5. Don’t invite children of which your child is not a friend. For one, it puts the parent of the invitee in an awkward position. Do you force your child to go? Second, it can create a hostile situation at the party when kids, as we all know that they do, form cliques and someone is always left out.
6. Have someone taking names and phone numbers from the parents when the children are dropped off. If we arrive and I see several other children already there and I offer my name and phone number before leaving and you search high and low for a piece of paper to write it on, well, I might just take my child home with me.
7. It’s bad etiquette to let your smoking friends be the greeters at your child’s birthday party. Nothing says “child friendly” quite like a big cloud of smoke.
8. If a parent asks for suggestions for a present, please, please, please do not say “Oh. Anything would be great.” Really? Because Jimmy wants a doll??
9. If you give a time frame for the party, try to stick to it. Arriving to pick up a child and finding out that they have only just finished the games and they still have to eat, sing happy birthday, have cake, and open presents might make a parent hate you as they “stick around” waiting for all the festivities to end.
10. Karma is a bitch. Don’t forget that when you’re buying the trinkets and trash for the goody bags. That includes whistles. Whistles will probably get your child blacklisted from every birthday party invite list for the rest of their lives.