Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Birthday Party Bitch and Moan. . .

I. blows out the candle. Four kids, fourth birthday.

Yesterday, we celebrated I.'s fourth birthday with a little backyard party. (His actual birthday was the 14th, but we held off a week or so with a party for his friends so we could invite them over on a Saturday afternoon.)

M. did a great job, as usual, planning the event: she created some cool invitations, worked tirelessly getting the house all spiffed up, ran here and there getting a cake made, crepe paper hung, and selected just the right party favors for I.'s baseball-themed party. A dozen invitations went out: RSVP, they all said, and included a phone number. That seems pretty easy to figure out.

But I guess RSVP is an abbreviation lost on the young parents of today (so, look it up in your Wikipedia: ""Répondez s'il vous plaît", a French phrase that translates to "reply, please." or literally "reply, if it pleases you". It is with this meaning that invitation cards and similar documents are often marked with "R.S.V.P." It is standard practice to reply to an RSVP request whether confirming attendance or declining. " )

M.--and myself--were brought up with enough manners to be considerate enough that if someone thinks enough of you to invite you to a party, you let the person know if you'll be there or not. I guess that isn't the way things are done anymore--M. recieved no response at all from the invites. . .and that makes it a bit difficult to figure out how many kids to plan for. It wasn't the first time: the same thing happened back in January for E.'s birthday party at a rental bounce-house place. The invitations went out. . .and then, mostly. . .nothing. Oh, three parents did bother to call and say they'd bring their kid. . but two of those didn't bother showing up, nor call later to apologize. It really chafed my ass to spend hard-earned money on renting a place for the kids to have a good time, and then their parents don't even bother letting us know if they'll be there or not.

Saturday, anyway, I. had a great time, despite having only two friends come by. P., our neighbor infant from across the street, tottled over with her parents; and one of I.'s "girlfriends" from school came by as well (her mother lost the invitation, but made the effort to look up on line where we live). We all ate pizza and cake. I. and his brother E. and the two little guests splashed in a kiddie pool, zipped along a slip-and-slide, and played a little baseball. I doubt they missed the kids that didn't make it. To them, it wasn't a slight on anyone's part.

But M. and I wonder if these parties are even worth it. Especially when parents don't show much consideration in how to respond to an invitation. Call it sour grapes, or call it bitching and moanin'. But, please, call us--one way or another.

Getting a jump on puberty. . .

See, our son is IS half-Hispanic!

M. picked up some cheap costume moustaches from the party store the other day. While E. would have nothing to do with trying one on (he's SO serious lately!), I. was, of course, eager to jump in. I think he's more Ramon Vasquez than Jason Giambi. . .


El said...

Its not sour grapes, Blair ... you guys are right on the money. We've had our share of parents who couldn't be bothered (or were clueless/unaware) to RSVP for Kat's parties. These are the same people who don't bother to write "thank you" cards . . . or take their underage kids to adult movies and moan later about how they "didn't know." Blech.

The nice thing about kids is that they manage to have a good time no matter what.

Honeybear said...

Right on, indeed, Blair.

It is amazing how many parents are completely clueless. We are lucky to have a couple of neighbors that actually get it.

ArgyleEagle said...

Nothing better than the backyard birthday party. When my son was 8 we had a backyard Pirate Party - everyone got a eyepatch, skull & crossbones do-rag tied on head, rubber knife, etc, then had walk the plank contest, find buried treasure, and other contests of skill I don't recall (yo ho ho and a bottle of Dos XX) It was the best party in the history of Denton County backyard parties. Daughter about same age had a whiffleball party where basically we made a diamond in the backyard, I pitched and they played ball for about 2 hours, then had ice cream & cake. She still recalls that one fondly. The backyard party rules, man. Don't give in to Micky D's bounce house, or the mother of them all, Chuck E Cheese.