Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Birthday Party

I know that we parents are supposed to find our own children's birthday parties stressful. I have no first hand experience, really, because the Noodle has not been keen on having a large party to date. But I see the pain of other parents, the smiling through gritted teeth and the highly-flexed muscles as the fairy bread is delivered to the table. I also remember my generally vile behaviour at my own childhood birthday parties (especially the sixth, when I sulked in my bedroom for reasons I do not remember and refused to come out), which I assume was rather more than irritating for my poor mother who had slaved with the decorating of biscuits and birthday cake and inventing games and so on.

What I want to know, though, is whether other parents find other children's birthday parties stressful as well? Or is that just us?

6 comments:

Jacqui said...

Me too.

ThirdCat said...

In general, yes.
Every now and then go to a good one, but mostly hate the bloody things. We keep them as low-key as possible, but even keeping them low-key is stressful.

Charlotte said...

Terribly stressful. I am never ready when the guests come. I don't want to talk to the other parents. I am good at coming up with ideas for the various themes--pirate, rainforest, hippos, medieval, etc--but bad at actually implementing them in an organized and rational way.

I never can seem to remember that when you are making a cake in July,when it is hideously hot, that you have to stick the wretched thing in the fridge to chill it enough so that the wretched frosting dosen't pull up masses of cake bits. And that chocolate candy melts if used for a treasure hunt in such weather. Etc!

So now I don't try as hard, and it is better.

kazari said...

I lived for a while in a place where each child's party involved bouncy castles, clowns, a fully catered lunch for adults, a fully decorated house...
It was such a game of out-do-the-last-one, it must have stressed out ALL the parents.
I was just the nanny, so I was free to laugh at it all and rev up the kids with sugar and food-colouring. And most of the parents wouldn't talk to me, anyway : )

Penni said...

Yes. Without a doubt. I find the parties of the kids I know and care about with parents I am friends with tiring, but usually manage to have some fun along the way (especially if there is alcohol).

I DREAD birthday parties for kids with parents I don't know and find them bone-shatteringly exhausting. I have occasionally felt myself to be on the verge of tears in the company of other parents who all seem to know each other by osmosis, and yet I can't remember their names and they never remember mine.

Courtney said...

Or those ones where the visiting parents are constantly passing judgement on the quality of the party - aarggh. There seems to be a renaissance for the 'drop your kids off and come back in two hours' routine, thankfully.