Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kids Birthday Parties

I always thought we would keep our kid's parties low-key. I would hear of these insane parties with 100 guests, live ponies and a bounce house and think, "Those parents are CRAZY! And spoiling their kids!"

I used to think my birthday parties were typical for the time. From kindergarten through 4th grade or so, we celebrated my December birthday with kids just coming over to our house. We played a couple of games, I opened presents, and we ate cake. I think that part of it is/was pretty normal. But I never thought about how many kids were there before. Each of those years, I invited the whole class. That was around 20-25 kids. My mom had to corral 25 kids - in her house - for a couple of hours. Insanity!

We are planning S's 4th birthday party. The big question is who to invite. Last year we had a crazy thing happen where every single person we invited actually came to the party. And since the kids were 3 or under, their parents came, too, often with siblings. Which meant that even though she only invited about 8 kids, by the time you added in their families and our families, there were 50 people at this party.

And because Baby R was only 9 months old at the time, she was still taking a morning nap, so I had to schedule the party between naptimes, which meant it overlapped lunch. So we ended up feeding those 50 people hamburgers and hot dogs.

How did something so small turn out so big?

This year, hubs and I are determined to keep it under control. Being able to shift the time a bit will help. But inviting fewer people is clearly the biggest factor. I know, everyone says to only invite the number of kids equivalent to your child's age, so for S's 4th birthday, there should only be 4 kids. That's a great idea in theory. But what do you do when there are kids from preschool, daycare, our friends' kids and neighbors? She sees all of them on a regular basis.

I've come to grips with the large quantity. We have to have the party outside to accommodate them. My fear now is that it will either be record-setting hot next weekend or raining, and then we'll have 50 people in our house. Pray for nice weather...
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