Sunday, May 21, 2006

Kid's party craziness

So we've just come home from our first birthday party of the day. (The Princess, social butterfly that she is, has another to attend today in about an hour and a half.)

I don't know if this is a UK thing or what, but when did we stop just letting kids run around and scream at parties, and start hiring magicians and entertainers to make balloon animals (I HATE balloon animals) and play music? It's like instead of a party, they're going to a little show with scotch eggs at intermission. In the past two weeks, I've sat through two of these little plate-spinning performances, and I anticipate sitting through a third a little later.

Unless I get to leave, which is doubtful. Princess has apparently reached the age where the parents drop the kids off and go, but since somebody needs to give her her enzymes before she eats, I'll probably need to stay, because I hate to ask someone else to do it for her.

When I was a kid, my Mom would set up a couple of boardgames and we'd be busy for an hour. Or, since my birthday is in August--the "dog days" of summer, you can imagine what that did for my self-esteem as a child--she'd shove us all into the backyard and make us attempt to play in the sweltering Missouri heat. Then we'd have pitchers of Kool-Aid and hot dogs for everyone. Cake, present opening, and we were done. Everyone would go home and change clothes, then we'd play some more later. (BTW, I don't miss the present-opening ceremony...but I cannot figure out why dessert has to be provided and cake is sent home in gift bags. I'm going to bake a cake for Princess's birthday, because birthday cakes here are horrible. I digress.)

Anyway. I just really don't like these new, soulless parties. I guess it's good to have someone to entertain the little monsters, but it just seems so bland. If I'd had to sit and watch that stuff as a kid, I would have been pissed. I remember once a clown came to my brother's boy scout meeting, or banquet, or something, and we had to watch him do his clown makeup forever, then at the end we got a "prize" which was a picture of him. I felt royally screwed. I'd been promised entertainment and a gift!

What do you guys think? Entertainers or no? Is this a good trend, or does it turn kids into bland little automatons?


Bernita said...

I cheerfully despise that sort of thing.
It develops into a parental competition which has nothing to do with celebrating a birthday.

Sam said...

I have to admit - I have only been to one or two 'organized' birthday parties for kids and it was kind of fun. The parents sat on the lawn and watched the clown organize sack races and such.
I had birthday parties for the twins. I would make a cake, buy lots of fruit drinks, and just let the kids go wild.
Usually everything went all right.

December Quinn said...

Well, having done my little rant, I confess I'm actually thinking of hiring an entertainer for the Princess's birthday party. But to do what you're talking about, Sam, where they actually get the kids doing things, not just sitting and watching. That's what bugs me.

And you're right, Bernita--that's exactly what it turns into, and it doesn't benefit anyone.