Saturday, 10 November 2007

Birthday party craze.

Eldest child went to her school friend's birthday party today. She came home with the following:

  1. A little plastic watch that she won in a party game.
  2. A conical party hat filled with sweets from the frog piñata.
  3. A party bag from the entertainer, filled with "magic tricks" (read: goofy crap that isn't worth the plastic it's made out of), sweets, and little notebooks.
  4. A party bag from the birthday boy filled with more sweets, a piece of birthday cake, and a glitter-covered pencil that is now shedding glitter all over the house if you so much as glance in its direction.
I am absolutely astonished. With the cost of hiring a hall, hiring an entertainer, feeding twenty children and providing party bags for afters, that party must have cost a fortune. I've heard of extravagant parties for children, but so far I've been lucky enough to keep my kids from getting any ideas of their own.... this was the first birthday party she's been invited to this school year, and I really hope the other mothers don't get into a competition with parties, upping the ante with every one. There are 30 children in Eldest's class; I can imagine the party bag situation could spiral quickly out of control.

Before today, I had vague ideas of a homemade pizza and cake party, or possibly an all girls fairy princess party (wherein they could make their own tiaras and magic wands or something). It all depends on if Eldest child is still associating with boys at that point. Right now she makes friends with anyone regardless of gender, but I'm sure the boys-are-stinky phase will kick in soon enough.

Now I worry that she will see all of her friend's parties and want the same thing. She wouldn't really enjoy an entertainer or (eep) a clown forcing her to be the centre of attention all afternoon. She is very shy in front of crowds and never performs in front of an audience.

Maybe I can start a revolution in children's parties! Home grown, simple games, and a relaxed atmosphere. Well, a relaxing atmosphere is probably aiming too high -- I'll settle for surviving the afternoon with my sanity intact. As long as I am not forced into buying each child their first car as a parting gift, I'll be happy.

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