Kiddie Birthday Parties: Can we be real here?

I know, I know. Don't pee in the pool ya swim in. I'm taking a risk here, sharing my true feelings about children's birthday parties. My children are still quite young. They stand a fighting chance of getting invited to another birthday party in their lives. So why does their cranky mama have to go all Birthday Scrooge right now, on the internets? Well if any of our friends are reading this, nota bene: I am not talking about your party. I'm speaking globally about a few things that have been making me itch.

Thing the First about the Children's Birthday: Please don't make me RSVP by calling your phone number. Please make provision on the invitation for us awkward types to either send you a text message or respondez s'il vous plait by e-mail. Your child is in my kid's class. We have only met briefly, when I was trying to catch up on Suri Cruise's fashion forecast in the grocery aisle and you were trying to use a coupon and our kids were trying to introduce us, but c'mon. Suri Cruise. Coupons for Mr. Clean. Priorities.

Thing the Second: If your invitation includes a gift registry, I will totally comply but the whole time I will be thinking, "B-b-b-but, what will our children have to look forward to when they get married???" They will be all jaded and won't experience the thrill of saying, Do we go for the Lenox pie slicer or is OXO going to cut it (literally) for us? What the hay! Someone else is buying! Let's go top shelf! Scan!


Thing the Third: If the venue of your child's birthday party involves any manner of inflatable jumping apparatus or fuzzy characters that walk around and throw tickets? I am totally sending my husband to chaperone. If I have to go, I might have to hide in the corner and bite my sleeve while whimpering something about how I almost drowned in the ball jump in McDonald's playland in 1984 and maybe that's what happened to Grimace and the Fry Burgler, too. Has anyone checked on them?

Thing the Fourth: If you invite the whole class as well as your neighborhood, extended family and the stepfather of the dog of your pilates instructor's mail carrier, you are just going to have to accept that your kid is going to cry at his/her own party. Maybe not even because he/she wants to. Because that crowd would overwhelm a politician.

Thing the Fifth: It is always helpful when invitations state whether food will be served at the party. For example, if you will be serving gummi worms, cupcakes, doughnuts, ice cream, and Girl Scout cookies with a Yoohoo chaser, followed by a pinata full of Jolly Ranchers and a send-off with the s'mores and choco-dipped goodie bags, I just like to know so I can be prepared for the diabetic coma into which my children will slip later that night. Know before you go, and all that.

I guess that about covers it. I know these are all First World requests and that every birthday celebration is a sweet one, marking the passing of another year of the life of a child who is healthy enough to celebrate.

Healthy enough to celebrate and eat a Ring Pop and open lotsa gifts.

Just be careful if you go near that ball jump, kids.

*** Birthday party