It's not an RSVP. It's a waiver.

This past weekend saw us at two birthday parties, the latter of which I understand was one whiz-bang of a good time (The Lovely Wife attended.) It would seem that Older Son has reached a certain milestone, that being "getting invited to outsdide birthday parties". Until now, it was mainly the birthday parties of friends of ours that we attended. No neighbours' kids', no kids from daycare, just the sort of low-key events that take up half an afternoon on a weekend and don't require a lot of meet-and-greet, and/or schmoozing (see also: parenting olympics, where you try to seem more together than your parenting counterparts). But a terribly stylish home-made birthday invitation arrived at home with the boy a couple of weeks back, and he just couldn't be denied the opportunity to party with his new "favourite friend".

By all accounts, the party, hosted at a local hobby farm, was incredible. It included wagon rides, a petting zoon, and the epitome of fun, the bouncy castle (also a hot dog and two pieces of cake, says TLW), and resulted in one very tuckered preschooler. I can only be thankful that his 4th birthday is nine months away, which gives us time to plan a similarly awesome party.

Oh, no, you say -- you aren't going to get sucked into the "game"!

What choice do I have?!

I suppose we could hold some sort of Lola Granola, hippie potluck with recycled presents and eco-friendly gifts, but I have a feeling they'd rather see a magician, clown, or cage match between Barney and Big Bird. I'm not even sure nine months is enough time to plan for the Best Fourth Birthday Party Ever. We'll have to hold Younger Son's second birthday party in the time between, so we could have some sort of dry run to test out some of the events.

"What's that?"

"Paintball."

"For two year olds?"

"Hey, never too early to learn the art of ambushing your friends and leaving them with painful welts."

"Johnny, come over here. We're leaving."

"Wait! If you go now, you won't get to see the snakes!"


Yeah, maybe I should look into the bouncy castle. Maybe they have one that plays loud music, or has fireworks shooting out the top. This one-upmanship may kill me. But it'll likely only maim the little tikes.

Posted bythemikestand at 1:47 PM  

8 stepped up to the mike:

Alison said... 7:34 PM, June 25, 2007  

The Funzone. At Dalplex. They're all so tired from climbing and running and sliding for the first hour that they just sit while you serve cake and open gifts in the second hour. Even better, you don't spend hours getting your house all clean so that 15 four year olds can make a mess in it! That's what we did this year for The Boy's 4th, and it was worth every penny. We haven't attended any competitive-parenting-style birthday parties yet, so as far as The Boy is concerned, we gave him the best birthday party ever. I hope I can keep the wool over his eyes for a few birthdays more!

Lisa said... 9:48 PM, June 25, 2007  

hilare! I worked at a toy store for three years in high school. The gifts these kids give to each other are ridiculous. Like, spending upwards of $50. That is pricey, in my opinion. But bouncy castle: you're right, it IS the epitome of fun. You'll have to get one

SRH said... 9:54 PM, June 25, 2007  

I guess Little Man's "Fun Time Box of Rusty Nails" and "Wooden Slide of Splinters" are not the birthday attractions we were hoping for.

It is amazing how quickly the one-upmanship goes. Next schnazzy birthday party your kid gets invited to, get the birthday celebrant a new car. You know the one-upmanship is going to be nuts when your kid's birthday rolls around.

Megan said... 1:00 AM, June 26, 2007  

Haha. Have a good time. I was never one for big birthday parties.

Lesley said... 2:17 PM, June 26, 2007  

Cage match between Barney and Big Bird!! My money's on Big Bird, I think he has a nasty side.
We used to do pool parties at Dalplex for Cam, this year he's getting a pirate theme. What I will never do is a bowling party, it's insane. I won't even stay anymore for the bowling parties he attends; they are loud, noisy and obnoxious, and that's just the facility! The kids are all wound up on sugar and disco lights. Nope. Can't do it.
Good luck, channel your inner Martha Stewart.

brandy said... 7:47 PM, June 26, 2007  

Do you and the Lovely Wife want to plan my birthday in August as a sort of 'dry run' for your sons? Because I sort of want a bouncy castle too...

cronznet said... 6:13 PM, June 27, 2007  

The last birthday part we attended was so huge the birthday girl lost interest in even opening her presents before she was through half of them. Absurd!
Here's my captialist suggestion: BUY a bouncy castle and rent it out to all the other parents (and Brandy) for a few years until youngest son doesn't want it at his parties anymore.

allrileyedup said... 12:08 PM, July 03, 2007  

I was at a party over the weekend and thought of this post because in addition to the jumpy house, they also had a train for the kids to sit on and ride (only a one child at a time train - it wasn't *totally* overboard). I have a birthday party coming up in August. I'm tempted to not invite these people simply to avoid the competition.

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