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Family Matters

The Party Predicament

August 28th, 2014

By Kel-Cie Fercho

September.  This year that month has a whole new meaning as my oldest boys start Kindergarten.  Aside from the regular new school mom worries, what’s really got me going is not what you’re expecting.  Not the school lunches, the allergy concerns, the getting up in the morning, the fact my boys have worn that t-shirt for the third day in a row.  No. What’s got me is birthdays.  

Preschool was bad enough and that was with a class of eight, and two of those kids were already mine.  With only six invitations I was able to stave off attending with well placed “oh darn! We’re gone that weekend” and “I’m sorry my kids have swimming at that time”. Now though, in September, 25-30 little envelopes will be making their way into my kids Spiderman backpacks, with 25-30 adorable faces pleading with my boys to come and attend.  I’m not sure how many times I can have a wedding to go to or my kids can be sick before people begin to catch on. Some of these invitations may only be courtesy invites so my boys don’t feel left out, after all, Emily may not want to invite two rambunctious boys to her Sophia the 1st princess party but her mom feels like it’s nice to extend the offer.  Jordan may only really be friends with James but would it be rude not to invite Jack as well? As a parent this is where it can be tricky, birthdays come with so many obligations that it’s not your child who’s under scrutiny but yourself.  Did I spend enough money on the birthday present? You know, that fine line between looking a like a cheapo and outdoing yourself so the host parents feel awkward. Do I need to get two presents, one from each child, as I have two boys going or is one gift enough? Is it unique enough that they’re not going to get three of the same thing but not too unique where they’re like “what the heck is that?”.  Did the parents provide goodie bags and is that the standard set for the rest of the year now since is this the first party in September?

And that brings us to the reciprocation clause: do I have to invite your child now that you invited mine?  Do I need to outdo you? Is there a standard set for parties now where I have to provide goodie bags that are worth almost as much as each gift?  What about food; are hot dogs and chip passé now that so many parents are health conscious and into whole foods.  The last three parties we’ve attended have had bouncy castles, is that the norm now? Is my party going to be dull if we don’t rent one?  Were my kids thankful enough after each present or am I going down on the list of “mommies who are all friends but I’m not a part of that” hotline as having unappreciative kids?

All in all I feel pretty glad my boy’s birthdays land on the brink of summer vacation, though they may not appreciate it as much as I do.  Thankfully we have enough close friends and family that we need to invite (and love to) that our parties usually have about 20 people in attendance anyway.  And I don’t have to show off for them either; they are already amazed that I managed to blow up an entire pack of balloons using nothing except for my natural hot air.

Kel-cie is a mom of 3 young boys, a small business owner, a student, a part-time employee & a wife. She keeps herself very busy and has now created an online resource for parents in Red Deer. You can find her blogreddeerkids.weebly.com and also on Facebookwww.facebook.com/pages/Red-Deer-Kids.

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