I remember the first time my son wasn’t invited to a school birthday party when lots of other kids in his class were.
The rejection hurt briefly, but then I just gave the parents of that child death stares at all future school encounters — squint-glaring at them from across the room at the parents’ drinks night and the orchestra concert — basically handling the situation like an adult.
Of course, I know not everyone can be invited to everything — that’s a basic principle of life. But I do get that the first time you work out your kid’s the one left off the list, you have a moment of, ‘oh, okay.’
Team Mamamia confess: The weirdest things our kids have done.
Most parents I know have been through it. When our cherubs start school, the parties seem to include the whole class, but at some point there’s an “ah, it’s my kid’s turn off the list” experience as the kids get older and the parties grow more intimate.
In my experience, parents accept it is what it is, and move on/silently hold a grudge for the next decade. They don’t address it with a child’s parent, except the one time a mum did exactly that to me.
This mum — let’s call her Paulina, because I’ve never known a Paulina — was not amused when she discovered her son wasn’t invited to my son’s fifth birthday party.
Paulina was in fact ‘not amused’ enough to incite an ugly confrontation with me that was destined to be re-told on a national website seven years later.
(Yes, that’s what I’m doing right now.)
On a sunny afternoon, Paulina accosted me in the car park at school pick up.
“Hi,” she called out, in what I very quickly realised was mock cheerfulness.
We both had our kids in our hands, and just FYI, for this whole interaction, they didn’t even look at each other because they were five and barely knew each other.
Paulina got straight to the point.
“I’m just wondering why we weren’t invited to the party?”