Remember the good old days when, if your kid was invited to a birthday party it meant you had a chance to put your feet up, relax, and take the afternoon off? Well now, in the days of child predators, and when every bump on the head could mean a concussion, and don’t even get me started on food allergies, parents are required to sit with their children for the duration of the party (often a minimum of two hours) cutting a considerable chunk out of their weekends.
My husband and I used to go to parties thinking of any conceivable way to get out of staying, but the best we could do was having the host’s parents reluctantly agree that it was okay to be the ONLY PARENTS to leave our child. Some odd hours later, we would return to the judgmental looks of parents who feel we have done the unthinkable. Needless to say, we have since given up and resigned ourself for a good couple of hours of:
Getting To Know The Other Parents: I, for one, am terrible in social situations. Often I lurk on the fringes of these parties trying not to look like the miserable social leper I truly am. After a bit, I may glom on to one of the parents, more often than not because someone has taken pity on me and decided to introduce me to the poor woman. It is then up to us to try and fill (yikes!) two hours trying to come up with a topic of conversation when it turns out that the only thing we have in common is that we both have young children. Just imagine what happens when I try telling them I used to play in a rock band.
The Deathtrap That Is The Bouncy Castle: I can not tell you the amount of joy that will fill a child’s heart when they realize they will be spending the afternoon trapped inside the rubber walls of this Tower of Terror, bouncing against their out of control cronies. (Sounds a bit more like an insane asylum to me.) Usually, at some point during the course of the festivities, this inflatable holding cell will collapse much to the horror of the many screaming children that are trapped within. We watch in trepidation as a few brave parents escort the terrified children to safety and look on glumly until such a time that is determined whether or not the damn thing may be resurrected lest they be left with hordes of disappointed children.
The Food: I don’t know about you, but I find it very difficult to enjoy the food at a child’s birthday party. No matter how appetizing the food may be, no matter what it is, no matter in what sort of a sanitary manner it is being served, once it has passed the lips of tens of young children, to me, it immediately becomes re-regurgitated vomit mixed with saliva. Usually I have to decline the food so many times that I run the risk of offending the hosts and making everybody there think I have some kind of strange eating disorder, which may or may not be true.
Those of you who are looking forward to the inevitable deterioration of my sanity, will be pleased to know that my daughter had been invited to, not one, but two birthday parties this weekend. At best this inspire will me with material for my next Miserable Mom blog. However, if you don’t hear from me within a few days, you can bet I am bouncing around in a very small room with rubber walls.