Musings about Birthday Parties

The girls have been to two birthday parties so far.  Their nurseryschool friends have been very generous with the invites. I think it may be possible that my girls, with their birthdays in July, may be the youngest of their classmates, who mostly seem to be 4 years old now.  Halle & Zanna won’t reach that milestone until this upcoming summer.

It’s very noticeable at the parties.  And by the way, I have never seen such parties for children this young, in my life. 

Party 1, for a young male classmate, took place at a local kiddie gymnasium.  There were former olympiads galore on the staff, and tons of gym features for the kids to play on.  The children were run through their paces through an obstacle course, while rock music blared over the loudspeakers, then every child got a chance at bouncing on a trampoline, swinging on a trapeze bar over a pit filled with large sponge blocks, sliding down a long zipline across the room, and then there were cupcakes and pizza.

The girls did pretty good.  The staff was very good at helping them with each activity.

The other parents, who stood around, though, did nothing when their own little darlings repeatedly cut in front of smaller children to take multiple turns, while the smaller kids hadn’t even had their first turn!

Then it came time for the cake, which was a slew of cupcakes all put together and decorated as a baseball field.  Looked nice.  And when my girls got their cupcakes, we did our usual ritual ‘cleaning off’ – I scraped off all but the thinnest layer of icing.  Another mom criticized me for doing this, and despite hearing my explanation of how diabetes runs in my family, as well as a mild sugar allergie, insinuated that I was abusing my kids by not permitting them to eat as much sugar and artificial (toxic) food coloring and preservatives as they wanted.

One thing about the party that was pretty new to me, was that after the treats were eaten, everything was packed up and that was the end of the party!

I asked the host mama when were the presents going to be unwrapped, and she snapped “We don’t unwrap presents at the party, no one does!”

When I was a child, it was part of the fun, to watch the birthday child unwrap the gifts and see the happiness on his/her face as they enjoyed the gift I had given him/her!

Most parent hosts gave a small inexpensive party favor to each child, so there was no jealousy at the birthday child having their birthday presents.

Yes, we did get a thank you card in the mail a week later, but I still think it would have been better to have the children learn to rejoice in the happiness and good fortune of others, instead of people being so afraid that their child will be jealous and pitch a fit.

The second birthday party was at a local party bakery.  The whole purpose of the bakery was for having parties there.  It was actually a lot of fun!  The kids got to roll out their own pizza dough, decorate it with cheese and sauce, and while it was baking, they got to frost and decorate cupcakes with the neon-est frosting and candies I had ever seen!

Then the kids ate their pizzas and each got a modest sized cupcake (I didn’t need to do any ‘cleanup’ on that one.) and their self-decorated cupcakes were boxed up for transport home.

The girls had a great time there,  and again, there was no unwrapping of presents.

Apparently there was going to be an ‘unwrapping party’ at the birthday girl’s house afterwards, to which only a few of the children had been invited to, as the birthday child announced, while delving into the pile of presents awaiting transport to her home and shaking them.

I was a bit shocked, though, when she dug into a gift bag and held aloft the present within, announcing with disdain “I don’t want this, I already have one!”

On second thought, maybe it’s a good thing to have the present unwrapping at home in private if that’s how children are taught to receive gifts.

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