Okay fine, it’s nice in theory that no one is getting left out. Thanks, Tyler’s mom. But, no one, and I mean no one, wants to spend every Saturday from August through June attending 7 year-old birthday parties. I want to stay in my pajamas and binge watch The Office, not make small talk with strangers while my kid inhales enough sugar to give me retroactive gestational diabetes.
With that in mind I have generously written the five stages of grief when your kid gets invited to another birthday party. Tell a friend, cry over them with me, then hop on Amazon Prime and order another Legos kit because Saturday is coming and Sophie’s bounce house waits for no man.
Stage 1: Denial and Isolation
This is the stage where you open your child’s backpack on Friday, see a brightly colored envelope nestled inside, and promptly zip it shut and pretend you didn’t see anything. If you never open the invitation you haven’t technically become one of those terrible parents who don’t RSVP. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
Step 2: Anger
During the anger stage you’ve finally opened in the invitation, made the mistake of letting your child know it exists, and realized your Saturday plans of doing nothing have been murdered. No. No child of mine is going to dictate how I spend my weekends. What ever happened to children being seen and not heard? Is it too late to hire a governess? Why did I think birthing children into this cold dark world was a good idea in the first place? Honestly, how dare they.
Step 3: Bargaining
Around this point in the grieving process you start negotiating with your spouse, grandparents, or any responsible looking adult in the vicinity. You may offer sexual favors if they agree to chaperone this one. Perhaps you bring up the time in 10th grade when you helped your sister with her essay on The Catcher in the Rye. She definitely owes you. I don’t know, this is a tumultuous stage. I’m not judging.
Step 4: Depression
By stage four you realize that your social life is so dead you should probably just cut your hair short and buy some sensible shoes. All the better for chasing your kid out of the play structure where someone is bound to defecate during this so-called party. Is it acceptable to wear a house robe to these things? If I call it a “smokey eye” maybe no one will notice the mascara smudged under my eyes from all of my crying as I mourn the death of my youth.
Step 5: Acceptance
It’s fine. Everything is fine. I knew what I was signing up for when I had children. I’m fortunate to have the problem that my kids are invited at all. I’m going to wrestle my kid into signing the card, show up with a smile and commiserate with all of the other parents who feel the exact same way. Parenting is the best. We should have more babies.
What’s your favorite excuse to use to get out of leaving your house? Do you love birthday parties and think I’m rude? It’s okay, you’re not the first to think that, but we can still talk in the comments!