Party Animals.

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.

2 thoughts on “Party Animals.

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels this way about parties. Jocelyn has only ever been to one non-family birthday so far, and they had to huge inflatable water slides. I felt so out of place, because it was a party for Ken’s co-worker’s child, and I knew not a soul other than the co-worker. My niece and nephew’s parties are usually just little things at their local park so the kids can run and play, and it’s just family.

    Jocelyn’s first three birthdays were just family as well, with the only children being my niece and nephew. They’ve all had themes (Baby Einsteins, Mickey Mouse, Little Einsteins), but have just been in my house and calm. I’m thinking next year I’ll have to invite some children, because she has a new ‘best friend’ (our neighbor) and starts dance class this year. I’m refusing to do the big bouncy/inflatable slide thing. Games outside if it isn’t cold, inside if it is.

    For me, we grew up with families coming along to parties if it was more than just an intimate family thing, but only until the kid was maybe 7 or 8, then it turns into sleep overs or stay all day to play sort of parties, where the parents dropped them off and picked them up.

    • The party we went to was actually really nice. The kids were super polite and everything was under control. There weren’t too many people, it seemed like a great size crowd, with a fun atmosphere. It was just different than what I grew up with.

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