A Birthday Party Manifesto

M is 2 ½ and in daycare.  Her room has kids from about 18 months to just over 3 years old and in the last few weeks we have been invited to FOUR 3rd birthday parties.  Each invitation says that the party will be at some kiddy gym or activity space around town.  And to each one we have politely RSVP’d “no”.  Because COME ON – they are 3!  Do they really need to have a party, with outside friends at age 3?

I’m all for birthday parties, I think it’s a fun way to celebrate a child and reflect on all the milestones of the past year.  But I also think that these celebrations are fundamentally for the family and family friends of the kid – not the entire preschool class.  For one the kid is not going to remember if she had 2 hours of screaming chaos-like fun with her school friends or a day to play with her family who dote one her; either way she will remember having a special day and feeling loved.  Second, I just don’t want to spend my weekends making small talk with other parents I don’t know while we all silently judge the behavior of each other’s kids.

So here it is, my Birthday Party Manifesto: we will not be hosting any birthday parties for M’s classmates in the near future.  Nor will we be attending any.  I think 5 might be a good age to have a few friends over for some giggly fun.  But for the next couple of birthdays at least it will be just be our family (including the cousins she so adores) and maybe a close family friend or two. 

Because quite frankly the thought of a houseful of toddlers terrifies me.

This photo has nothing to do with this post other then to show how happy M is with her cousins – taken this weekend at Kingwood Center

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