Yesterday evening Rowan and I attended a birthday party for a little girl we know that is newly five years old. It was a lovely party, with a castle jumpy, lots of toys, kids, and blue ice cream. I don’t know what made it blue, but whatever it was, Rowan is now addicted to it. It also kept him running in circles, and squealing, until 10:30 last night. He’s still coming down this morning.
Birthday parties have evolved since I was a kid. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a five year old’s birthday, mind you, but still…
I remember being dropped off in my Sunday best, only to be picked up several hours later over-stimulated, full of sugar, with a goody bag in tow, and a mom wondering how to keep me out of her hair for the rest of the day.
Now, it resembles more of a cocktail party, except there were no cocktails, and there was an inflatable castle. (Though I’ve been to a few cocktail parties that would have been a whole lot more fun with an inflatable castle!) And when did parties start happening at night, when they aren’t sleepovers? This particular party started at 6pm. I’m usually in my pj’s, reading to Rowan, and starting the half-hour battle of convincing him to brush his teeth at 6pm. By 8:00, when we left the party, Rowan is usually asleep in bed, and I’m happily curled up on the couch, with a book or the computer on my lap.
Whole families attend children’s birthday parties now. I think I would have been mortified to bring my folks to one of my friends birthday’s! We knew the majority of people at this shin-dig, so it wasn’t terribly awkward or anything. I can’t imagine celebrating with a large group of people I’ve never met, awkwardly trying to make small talk. What happened to dropping your kid off and getting a few hours to yourself? I imagine it has something to do with liability and someone probably sued someone because their kid stubbed his toe on the corner of the couch, and now that family has to have a sign in their living room that says, “CAUTION: COUCH!”
In any case, it was refreshing to get out, and socialize with mature people. Rowan had a blast, and I felt oddly adult-like being out past 8pm. I learned about the existence of blue ice cream and a princess named Tiana from a movie about a frog. Or something….
I’m sure throwing parties for Rowan in the future is going to be something like this. I should have taken notes, or pictures, or interviewed the birthday girl. I’ll have to schedule a lunch meeting with her next year. I hear turning three is the new 18, and I have to buy him a car.