This weekend is a Double. A Double is when both of my kids have two birthday parties to attend, each day of the weekend. For those as bad at math as me, a Double means I have to get my kids to four birthday parties this weekend.
In general, I try to accept all birthday party invitations to which my kids have been graciously invited. At ages 4 and 8, my kids are in the birthday sweet spot where the only thing more important to them than their birthday is their friend’s birthdays.
But when you are the parent of one, or more, school aged children your weekend is basically a 2-day black hole of you being the world’s poorest paid Uber driver whose car only goes to soccer games and birthday parties. There will come a time when no matter how excited you are for the guest of honor that he or she is having his or her birthday, you’ll be a little sad for yourself that your newspaper will go unread and your running shoes will go unused.
In the over 200 birthday parties which I’ve attended as my children’s unpaid chauffeur and body man, I’ve noticed that all kid’s birthday parties have one thing in common: there’s nothing for the parents to do. I don’t need to be entertained, but I wouldn’t mind a chair.
You see in between the infant ages in which kid’s parties are really just a chance for infants to sneeze on each other while the guest of honor’s parents Instagram it and before those magical three words, “Drop Off Party” accompany every Paperless Post invitation, there’s the toddler/kid stage known as: Mom and Dad have to drive me and make sure I know where the bathroom is.
This is the stage Justin and I are in. Our big one is almost out of it, but our little one is knee deep in birthday party season. Our weekends consist of watching our kids enjoy themselves while we follow them through bounce house parties wondering why the host didn’t tell us the adults need socks.
I love seeing my own friends at kid’s parties and I’m thrilled my kids have been included and invited, but I can’t help but notice that parents don’t really talk to each other at birthday parties and there’s rarely a place to sit down. The dads never seem to mind the judgmental stares that come from everyone else as they spend the duration of the party scrolling through Facebook while their own child bites someone or steals their toy, but no Mom is willing to be “the mom on her phone” at the kid’s party despite really really wanting to.
So we just stand there trying not to admit that we don’t really want to walk around in a pair of socks, holding our kid’s sweater, waiting for it to be over so we can potentially make it to spin class or yoga.
The answer is booze. Kid’s parties should always come wiith cocktails. That way everyone would have something to do and something to talk about.
Oh and don’t think I’m suggesting parents drink and drive. Kid’s parties last like forever. There’s no need to drink and drive.
So while you’re watching your kids have fun at a kid’s party this weekend, check out Episode 3 of my You Tube Series, “Are You Listening: Cocktails At Kid’s Parties.” You can subscribe at the end!
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