parents

"The top 7 things about your child's OTT birthday party that piss me off."

I’m not sure why anyone actually thinks I want to attend their child’s party.  I’m a little too old for pass the parcel. But the fact is, I was a little put out when my son got a birthday invitation that didn’t specifically include my name – just his.

The party is at a water slide park right on the other side of the city, and while in actual fact it was just my son invited there was no doubt I was expected to attend too.

“Each child must be accompanied by an adult on the rides.”

What’s the go with that?

I don’t even know this seven-year old’s family. I’ve got a lot better things to be doing than schlepping my son out to a water slide park an hour away AND spending the day freezing my butt off while doubling with him on the zooper dooper, but it is somehow expected I will happily oblige.

We’ve gone totally loony tunes over kid’s parties these days. If it isn’t the expense, it is the ridiculous expectations or the gifts.

As the mother of three kids I’ve got a whole pile of party gripes I am about to lay on you and having to accompany my son for an entire day out at a fun park is just the beginning.

 1. Asking guests to pay the admission fee.

“We are celebrating Leila’s third birthday at the zoo with a cake near the elephant enclosure. Please be there by 3. Entry fees not included.”

Some nerve huh? After receiving this doozy in the pre-school pigeon hole I conducted a brief outraged-straw-poll amongst my friends and it seemed all Mums had experienced something similar. Whether it be to a play centre or a fast food restaurant if you invite my child, sorry, but I do expect you to pay for them too.

2. Requesting only environmentally conscious gifts.

It was cheekily printed in green on the (re-cycled paper) invitation to a first birthday party, “ Only Eco-friendly gifts please”. Look, I appreciate the sentiment but I am not really sure it is up to the receiver of the gifts to determine exactly how environmentally responsible each gift is.

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3. No gifts.

I’m willing to take a bit of heat over this one because I know that the no gifts option is a popular one, and I can see the merits of what parents are trying to teach our kids. Consumer overload, commercialisation-of-society, value-of-money blah blah blah.

But these are kids. KIDS. And kids like toys and birthdays and wrapping paper and getting gifts and feeling special. I feel sorry for those that have that tiny thrill of a pile of tightly wrapped gifts beckoning from a table taken away from them.

 4. “Please no gifts but instead gimme the moola.”

“This year we are requesting no gifts for Chelsea. Instead my bank account details are below please transfer a small sum to help pay for her swimming lessons.”

Oh, so Chelsea too is getting that all important life lesson that birthdays are not just about receiving, while Mum and Dad make a tidy profit.

 
5. No merchandise.

I lob this one in with the eco-friendly gifts. What’s that old saying?

 “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” 

Birthday party etiquette 101. If you as a parent don’t approve of the gift then donate it to charity. Teach your child to smile nicely and say thank you.

Truth be told she probably loves that Frozen T-shirt and pencil case a whole lot more than the non-toxic sustainably harvested boat that you gave her.

6. Over the top party bags.

What does my head in is the one-upmanship that surrounds party bags. You gave Peruvian flutes, well I’m giving everyone a ticket to One Direction. It’s like Oprah gone mad in the suburbs.

 7. Half birthdays.

Be afraid. This is a thing. You don’t just get to celebrate every yearly milestone these days you can celebrate half birthdays. There are even cakes on Pinterest for half-birthday inspo.

Do you have any gripes about kid’s birthday parties?

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