Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dreaded birthday parties

I'm not a fan of birthday parties.  Never really have been.  Oh, I've done a few, especially when my first two children were small, but now, we hardly ever have them.  (This is one of those sad cases where my first children got special things like birthday parties and kids number 4 and 5 are lucky to get a frosted cake.)

My kids come home from school periodically with birthday party invitations.  If we're lucky, we've got something else going that day and they can't go.  Occasionally I'll "loose" the invitation or as I have with the last two parties, "forget" to RSVP.  I feel bad about doing that.  I really do, but the truth is, I hate taking my kids to birthday parties!

I hate shopping for a kid I've never met (as is the case with 90% of the invites that come home from school.)  Then, for the actual party, I either have to drop them off and remember to pick them up two hours later (yes, I forgot to pick up a kid once) or interrupt other activities with the other kids or family because it's time to go pick up the party kid.  OR, worse, I have to stay at the party, sitting with a paper cup of lemonade while a bunch of kids and parents I don't know run around like crazy.

Then, there are those parties where an event center is rented.  The food is good pizza, sodas and a huge hand-made fondant cake.  The mom looks calm and happy and is easily directing kids to various games and activities.  She never breaks a sweat as she hands out homemade designer cookies and goodie bags to make the Academy Award winners jealous.  You know the kind.

I am not one of those moms.  My kids laugh because for the last three years, or so, any and all attempts I've made at decorating a cake have been disastrous.  Really.  I tell them to quit complaining.  The cake might be ugly, but it tastes good.  So eat it!  One year, when my youngest son turned 5, I couldn't find any birthday cake candles.  I was sure I had some, but I could not find them.  Determined that he would blow out five candles on his cake, I got five red taper candles.  They put some massive holes in the already pathetically decorated cake, but he got to blow out his candles and make his wish.

Somehow, I think his wish was that I not make him a birthday cake in the future.

I never put pictures of my kids on my blog, but oh, if you could see my son's face in this picture....  He was not happy about this cake.

This past year I got smart with his birthday.  I bought him a cake!  Yes, one chocolate supermarket cake that cost $15.  I could have made him one for less than $4, but it wouldn't have been so beautifully decorated. I also made sure I had nice, little, normal birthday candles.  He was thrilled.

I got a little off topic, birthday parties.  I don't like them!  I don't do them for my kids, I probably won't attend the one for yours.  Don't take it personally.  It's not you, it's me.

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