Every child deserves a happy birthday, but let’s face it: The parties make parents miserable. Here’s why.
1. The Pizza
It’s a rule: children’s birthday party = pizza. If you’re hosting, you’ll spend a fortune on delivery for the mob, plus more so you can offer the other parents a polite slice. By the time you get the kids seated and sort out who wants cheese and who wants pepperoni, the food will be cold. Of course, you don’t want to put that high-calorie wedge of congealed cheese on stale bread in your own mouth, but you’ve spent your Saturday rushing from soccer to Target to post office to party. You’re starving. You’ll eat the pizza. And then you’ll be sorry.
2. The Soda
At home, your precious baby drinks nothing but milk, water, and organic kale smoothies hand-blended with a helping of mother’s love — but just like adults demand a soiree with booze, kids want a party with pop. All any mother can do is cross her fingers and pray her baby chooses Fanta over Mountain Dew to avoid caffeine-induced mania.
3. The Cake
The sugar! The wheat! The gluten! The dairy! No child should eat cake, ever. Every child wants the BIG piece with the plastic soccer player/Oreo cookie/ginormous frosting flower. After all the icing has been licked off and the plastic soccer man bitten in half, most of the cake will end up in the trash.
But don’t forget the candles!
4. The Absurdity Of Receiving Gifts
Your kid already has 2,343,001 LEGOs, all attractively displayed on your kitchen floor. Your house is bursting with Hot Wheels, Playmobils, Groovy Girls, Gunds, Barbies, and unopened junior science kits. Getting a gift card isn’t so bad, but heaven forbid your 9-year-old daughter receives a gift certificate to Justice. So many choices, so much neon! Remember: The fellow mom who forces you to shop at Justice is NOT your friend.
5. The Stre$$ Of Giving Gifts
What to buy for the kid who has everything? And how to afford buying gifts for three or four birthday parties each month? The answer is obvious: Justice gift certificates, even for the boys. You’ll quickly reduce the number of birthday party invitations your child receives, thereby saving yourself lots of money and stress.
6. The Dog And Pony Show, aka “My Kid’s Party Is More Fabulously Insane Than Your Kid’s Party”
Remember when a birthday party meant balloons and a homemade cake in the backyard? Forget it. Book The face painter, the reptile wrangler, the Disney princesses, and/or the hip-hop dance instructor to keep those kiddos entertained! Try not to have a nervous breakdown when you hear than Jake’s mom organized paintball and a Hummer limo ride for the whole soccer team, or that little Ava has arranged to take your daughter and six friends backstage at a Taylor Swift concert for a meet-and-greet.
7. The Piñata
OK, let’s pretend you have the strength to reject celebration escalation. Even for a simple party at home, you’ll still need pizza, soda, cake, and a piñata filled with at least 21 pounds of candy. Expect tears from the boy who doesn’t move fast enough to fill his candy bag to the brim after the piñata bursts. And if your child is a guest, don’t be surprised when she barfs on the ride home after inhaling all that chocolate she snatched away from the crying boy.
8. The Goodie Bags
Pizza, pop, cake, candy, piñata, pony rides, princess makeovers — whatever you’ve done, it’s not enough! Convention demands you send your guests home with little bags stuffed with more sweets and tiny plastic toys…because we all need our children to procure more small, sharp objects that hurt when we accidentally step on them in the night.
9. The Aftermath
After the cake plates have been cleared, the gifts put away, and the goodie bags tossed, you’re left to deal a child in dire need of a sugar detox. Feed her some broccoli, send her to bed, and pour yourself a glass of wine. By the next morning, you’ll have already forgotten how much you hate kids’ parties, but don’t worry. There’s another birthday celebration on the calendar for next Saturday to help you remember.
Don’t forget the gift card.
This post first appeared on Ravishly.
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