August 26, 2009

I am crabby.
Hey! Crabcakes sound good right now.

I am grumpy these days. Downright cross. Absolutely irritable.

I have composed no less than three different rants, none of which I feel comfortable even posting. Sigh. It sucks self-censoring, but I fear those posts will come across as passive-aggressive, judgmental and just plain mean-spirited. Perhaps because those posts were passive-aggressive, judgmental and just plain mean-spirited.


So..... I will talk about Arun's birthday party instead. While pregnant, viewing with an anxious eye the the calendar with October 15th boldly circled, I had grand, soft-focus visions of doing a Halloween costume party for my bundle of boy every year for his birthday. He would head off into his adulthood with cozy memories of his Halloween party. His life would be perfect, all because he got a perfect Halloween party every single year of his perfect childhood. I would be heralded for the centuries with my mad mothering skillz. An icon to be held up for the mothering ages. The End.

However. It occurred to me that perhaps, I should ask Arun if he would like a costume party. Maybe, he would prefer another party? That features animals? At a nearby nature center?

Why yes! Yes, he would. And so, it shall be. The reservation has been made and it was actually quite affordable. Not hosting at my house with 15 screaming kids? Well worth the money, anyway.

Thus, begins the complicated process of who to invite. I have so many friends with children. And now, Arun has friends of his own. And cousins. Not just first cousins, but "grandchildren of my dad's cousin" type of cousins with whom he plays. And then there are the siblings of his friends.

How does this birthday party invite thing work? What are the rules? Will I ruin my child's chance at entrance into high society if I get it wrong? Egads.


Average Jane said...

You and all of your readers who actually *have* kids will probably laugh me out of the room, but why not ask Arun who he'd like to have at his birthday party? You could prompt him a bit if he can't think of some of the obvious choices, but ultimately let him decide. Then you're off the hook.

Jenny said...

Totally with you on the self-censoring. Although, I for one would like to see you go off on a tear, because you funny, girl!

Jen said...

I like Jane's suggestion. Put down on the list (how many names?) his suggestions and the couple kids that you can't imagine not inviting. Then look at the list and see if there's anyone not on there that will be very very sad to know that everyone else they know is on there except for them and include them. Or stop and tell everyone else to shut up. ;-D

He's at the age now where his party can be about kids that get along well together and not about having every distant relative, grown-up friend of yours and general acquaintance there. It's part of the not at your home party.

If you want to somehow include all of them, then have a not as kid-y party BBQ in the back yard or the like, in addition to the real kids' party for all the family and your friends.

Look! I just signed you up to have two parties, instead of one! Better you than me. ;-D

MB said...

We are totally going to have this problem this year too. Each year I want the list to get smaller but it only seems to grow.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Cousins! I should have pointed out these are cousins he loves and with whom he actually plays. We have tons of cousins who he does not actually know that well. Cousins? We has 'em. Running out of our ears, y'all.

And I did ask Arun who he wanted to invite. He said "EVERYONE!" Yes, we are narrowing it down.

Great suggestions, everyone!

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Wow, he's a generous soul!

stephanie said...

Wow, Arun is (unsurprisingly) quite the popular kid! I never had more than 15 friends I had to narrow down for a party. I supposed it helped that my family party was always completely separate and I only have two cousins anyway.

Are you planning on doing a separate family birthday party? Do you think inviting the cousins he is friends with just to the family party would be enough, or would they feel left out? Would Arun miss having them at his "friends" party, or would he not even really notice, with 15 other kids there? Would he actually spend more quality time with them at a "family" party?

Finally, if you have to make some cuts from the friends list, can you think of any of the kids on the friends list who just wouldn't be that into a party at a Nature Center? You wouldn't want to deal with cranky bored 4 year olds, would you?

Okay, I'm done with doling out advice from a non-parent. :-)

Melanie said...
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Melanie said...
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Melanie said...
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Melanie said...

well crud, i went from somehow posting the same thing three times, to somehow deleting them all..... ARG so I will sum it up as


Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Oof! I should have mentioned that I specifically request, nay, BEG for a "no gifts" at the party. I do a very simple party, the kids basically play and get a cupcake and some ice cream. I don't even do party favors because I figure the parents also want less stuff in their house. :-)

The cousins are equal to friends and Arun is VERY close to them.

lorib said...

Aahhh...the birthday party madness. Ours didn't get totally crazy until preschool when everyone invited the entire class (twelve total) and then of course Duncan wanted his neighbor friends, etc. I think we had nearly kids at his last party. Figuring out who to invite is always so hard. We generally do no gifts, no favors, but this year after going to 10 parties where the kids had both, I succumbed to the kiddo-pressure. EEK! What was I thinking -- twenty toys invaded our house one week before Christmas.

Wow, talk about a rant. You were looking for helpful advice right? I say stick with the friends and cousins Arun plays with most and don't worry so much about siblings or kids of your friends.

BTW, have you tried the crab cakes from Costco? nom nom

flybunny said...

Oh the birthday parties. For my sanities sake, I kept the # of guests below 12 not matter what the venue/age. At age 8 we began requesting no presents but would collect stuff for a local charity instead i.e. we collected art supplies for Childrens Mercy and pet food/toys for Wayside Waifs. Now the we are over 10, I even have trouble having a party. We do a family dinner/cake and maybe have a friend along but nothing much more than that.

And we do not do goody bags - I refused after spending way too much on them and knowing that I always threw that crap away, I said no more.

That being said, sounds like fun I will be waiting for my invite (just kidding :)

CPA Mom said...

I'm late to this party but I'll tell you that we invite everyone in his/her class (they go to private school so it's 14-15 kids). It's an issue when we have the zoo party as they only allow 15 kids total (incl. bday kid). It's worked out though as not everyone can come.

Goofy Girl said...

Yah, good luck with that "No gifts" thing. Kidz want to BRING something to the party, for some strange reason. Or maybe it's the parents. Who knows? Whatever....anyway, I totally stole a great idea from Surrender, Dorothy - do a book exchange. All the kidz bring a gift-wrapped book to the party. Then each kid picks a book (NOT his own - you have to watch them on this!) and they get to take it home. Everyone leaves happy. And you don't need to give away those annoying candy/treat bags. We've done this for a few years now and the parents and kidz LOVE it. Have fun!

MargieK said...

I tried to follow the "# of guests equals age of the kid, plus 1" guideline when it came to kids parties (mine are now 24, 21, & almost-19). But I hear you on the dilemma of where to draw the line.

We didn't have a kids' party every year, but there was always some kind of family celebration. Some years when we did a kids' party, there might be two different ones -- a "school friends" and "daycare friends" or "neighborhood friends." Yes, multiple parties sounds like a lot of work, but if you're keeping it pretty simply like it sounds, then it's more like having friends over to play and enjoy a fun snack. Which is not a big deal when you keep the numbers to just a few. Plus you have better control about who's comfortable with each other. Not fun to be at a party where the only person you know is the host, especially when you're a kid and everyone else seems to know each other.

Love the nature center idea, particularly if you're having a larger gang.

When my daughter turned 15, we invited about 10 of her friends (probably about 7 came, all school friends) on a hike. I invited a girlfriend to help with driving to the trailhead and chaperone. Probably 3-4 miles. They loved it, and then we came home and played tetherball in the front yard and had cake.