Opinion

10 Brutally Honest Thoughts I Have When Opening a Kid’s Birthday Party Invite

Kid’s birthday party invites….ugghhh….

If you say you enjoy going to kids birthday parties, you are more full of shit than the goody bags awaiting my child at the end of every one of these damn things. Kids birthday parties are THE WORST.

I cant even see clearly at a birthday party. Its all just brightly colored, high-on-sugar blurs producing deafening sounds through which I have to pretend to enjoy small talk.

Thats why every time we get a kid’s birthday party invite, these are my thoughts:

Fun! An envelope from the Smiths! I wonder what this could b…DAMNIT.

There are many instant high-low transitions in parenting, like proudly observing your kid take his first few steps and then watching in horror as he trips, falls and puts his tooth through his lip.

This is how I feel about the birthday invite. I get all excited thinking Im just getting a note from a friend and then BOOM Im smacked in the face with cartoon figures donned in birthday hats asking you to join them for two hours of hell.

Didnt this kid just have a birthday?

Nope, that was his younger brother. Remember? The party with the moms all dressed to the nines and I was still in my workout clothes? Yeah, that was awkward. Oh, and this kid has an older brother, too, so Ill get an invite to that party in a few months. Its like a reoccurring nightmare, only I am awake and wont be able to reassure myself that it will be over soon, because it wont, because God hates me.

We have something to do that weekend, right? TELL ME we are busy and cant make it.

We do have something else that weekend: another birthday party for another kid. The parties dont overlap, but they are on the same day and on opposite sides of town and both request that my child dress up in differently themed costumes.

Damn, this is a nice invite.

Like, what the hell, people? Is it not enough that we are one-upping each other with stuff like, My kid learned to walk at 9 months old, and, My 3-year-old understands common core math? Now we have to host these over-the-top birthday parties that are Pinterest-planned down to the damn invite? You know what I did for my sons party a few years ago?

Texted people their invites and ordered pizza. And my 2-year-old hasnt had a party ever because: second child.

Maybe my husband will go to this one instead of me.

Hahahahaha. HA HA HA HA. Oh, thats a good one. My husband flying solo to a kids birthday party is a bigger disaster than 40 kids wrestling in a bounce house built for just five toddlers.

I dont even like this kid.

There, I said it. I dont always like the kid! Some kids are brats and are mean to my kid. I dont want to spend money on a present for some punk who last week at a play date told me that I look old and fat.

What the hell do I buy for this kid?

I dont know what hes into. I dont know what he has. The parent has not given me any fun clues, like, Heres our Amazon wish list! or Please bring a book for his library or, my personal favorite, No gifts, please.

Is a gift card an appropriate present for a 4-year-old?

No? How about a personal check? Or a sedative?

Damnit. Im not going to know a soul there except the understandably frazzled mother.

How many flipping times do I need to fake interest in what a complete stranger does for a living? Or how old her children are? Or where she got that necklace? I guess Ill just stand in a corner willing time to move faster. Other parents and I will use the kids as a focal point to avoid conversation, each of us staring straight ahead making occasional comments about the creative dcor and delicious homemade dip when really, wed rather be at home, on the couch, binge-watching Netflix because THAT IS WHY GOD MADE SATURDAYS.

I better RSVP now or else Ill forget and get a text from the mom the week before asking if we are going.

Its inevitable. Im going to go, my kid is going to have a blast, and Ill get over it just in time for the next party. Bite the bullet, call the parent and lie through clenched teeth that I am looking forward to it. After all, my kid wants a party this year, so Ill be the one putting parents in the same predicament soon enough.

Kate Meier has two kids and zero tolerance for people who criticize parents for bullshit reasons. Go enjoy her sarcastic sense of humor at her blog, My Kind of Parenting, or here on Facebook.

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