Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Birthday Bidness

Following up on my post from yesterday: I started to write a really long response about the birthday issues in comments, and then realized it was getting kind of ridiculous, so let me just put this out there:

Regarding who to invite: I hate to leave kids out, but there are 24 kids in kindergarten, split between two classes, and Viva has friends in both classes. If we invite all the kids, and they come with parents and siblings, ye Gods! That doesn't include cousins and other non-school friends she might want to invite.

Most of the kids she is friendly with are kids whose phone numbers I have - so I could invite by phone or even by email. I dunno, I'm thinking I may end up doing one school party like last year (like Nerd Girl) and then invite some friends to an off-site party, probably at a bowling alley, since that’s what Viva is leaning toward at the moment. Sweet Dub is really against the idea of only inviting some kids to the not-on-school-grounds party. He thinks there will be hard feelings if other kids find out – which, of course, there will be.

For the record, for Viva’s fourth birthday, I invited only five of Viva’s school friends to a party off school grounds, and I did a separate low-key party with cupcakes at her school. There is one little girl at school whose mother is...well, she crazy, there's no other way to say it, and no one wants to deal with her. We had already been stuck with her at some other kid’s party a few weeks before that, and we did not want a repeat. Nonetheless, the little girl found out about Viva’s non-school party and confronted Sweet Dub when he picked Viva up from school.

“My mom says my invitation must have got lost,” she lisped at him, giant brown eyes all soulful. He says it broke his heart.

“I am not going through that again,” he said. “We have to invite her. I’ll deal with [Crazy Mom’s name withheld].”

I ran it by several moms over the weekend. They all said they only invite the children their kids are close to, and that they never feel slighted if they aren’t invited to something.

“You’re doing me a favor if you don’t invite me to a party,” one said, and we all agreed. But of course, the problem is not the parents’ feelings, it’s the kids’. Nobody liked the idea of inviting the crazy mom, who we’ve all had to deal with at some point. But we all like the little girl, so we may just have to suck it up. I’m leaning toward inviting only 8 school friends (all of whom have at least one sibling), 2 or 3 non-school friends and siblings, her 3 young cousins, and a few of our friends and their kids. That means we could be talking 30 kids! Has anyone noticed it’s a recession?

My head is killing me. I’m ready to curl up in the fetal position and hibernate until this whole birthday thing is over and done.


Cee in SF said...

I feel your pain. Good luck!!

Bridget in Oregon said...

Yikes. That's a tough one.

First of all, SIX is such a wonderful age — I love six year olds. Honestly. They will be so much fun.

Do what feels right to you all though. As crazy mom gets crazier (and she will over time) you'll probably get to a point where you don't want to deal with it but Viva is still so young right now that I'm guessing everyone will have fun regardless.

I've noticed that as they get older (mine are 9 and 11 now) the whole "friends thing" gets whittled down to a few all by itself. You're right on the cusp of that with Viva turning six, I think.

And your bowling idea rocks by the way. We were thinking of a small bowling party at some point too! Keep 'em busy, tire them out and send them home, I say.

Good Luck! It'll be fine.

pserendipity said...

Yeah....24+ kids? Sheesh, that party is gonna cost more than an MTV Sweet 16. I think if you do the school party, that way you'll have all the kids covered. Undoubtedly, some of the kids may feel left out, but....hell, life includes disappointment and the economy ain't lettin' up. If Aidan weren't invited to a party, I'd just have to explain to him that he can't be invited to everything all the time. I'm sure that when they get back to school after the party, they'll forget about it in about 6 seconds.

trebs said...

Oh... this is such a dilemma. The Magpie is turning six next Saturday, and my husband and I have gone rounds about whether to have a party, whether to invite the class, then there is the post Kindergarten day care group, then neighborhood friends. Were talking like 40-50 kids, let alone parents. I nixed a party unabashedly and we're doing a family thing. Unfortunately, he has the added mess of being a Valentine baby , which means the K class has already planned a whole V-Day festival. We're just celebrating at home, letting him choose what he wants to do for the day (which, by the way, appears to be going bowling), and a low key cake with Nana at home. A small party with 20 kids is at least a $300 dollar adventure, and I'm not going broke for a celebration in this economy. Happy Birthday kid... you'll be able to eat in March and will thank me later.

Lisa Blah Blah said...

cee: thanks for commiserting. I know it is ridiculous, but there it is.

bridget: I can't WAIT until Viva only wants a few friends at her party. That will be a blessed day!

pserendipity and trebs: Oh, how I wish we could get away with just doing a school party. Trying to come up with something creative and cheap!