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Party time?

2008-11-10 - 6:30 p.m.

So I was just over at a little pregnant, where Julie has asked for advice on what to do for her son’s 4th birthday party. Since my kids are younger than that, I have no sage advice to leave in her comments section, but it got me thinking about whether I should have a party for Grommet or not this January, when she’ll be turning 3.

You see, we were the first couple in our group of immediate friends to have a kid, and we started a tsunami of babies. From being the only ones with offspring just under 3 years ago, we are now in the majority as most of our friends have at least one child, and some of them even have two.

For birthdays past we decided not to have a party. Our reasoning was that Grommet wouldn’t remember it anyway, so a party at one or two years of age was really more for the adults in Grommet’s life. Accordingly, we made sure we saw both sets of grandparents, as well as the honorary aunties and uncles and friends that felt especially close to Grommet, so that they all had a chance to say happy birthday.

Enter the Joneses.

Their little princess turned one year old this past summer. They had two full-on BBQ parties for everyone they knew; one for the new friends in their new home town, one for the crowd back home. They had two different sets of invitations printed. Professionally printed! They had personalized loot bags for all the kids (except Biscuit, who was only a month or two old and for whom they got nothing, not even a welcome-baby gift), with toys, and bubbles, and plastic jewellery for the little girls. They had food and beer for the adults. They had a special hat for the birthday girl that was shaped like a pink cake with a fabric candle sticking up from the crown. Presents were, naturally, de rigeur. Since then, another person in the group has had a birthday party for their two-year-old. It wasn’t as extravagant, but there were presents and food involved.

So it got me wondering, have we been short-changing Grommet by not making more of a fuss for her birthdays? Perhaps more germane, though less noble, is also the thought that we’re shelling out for gifts for our friends’ kids now, but Grommet isn’t getting anything in return. It doesn’t really seem fair. Of course, we’re not having to do all the cleaning, organizing, and buying of stuff and feeding of friends either.

I’d always thought that, when we did start having parties it would be when she could remember them – maybe around 4? And we’d probably follow that “age plus one” rule when figuring out how many guests to have. Grommet’s third birthday is coming up so maybe this year we’ll compromise and do more than what we’ve done in the past (not hard), but not a full-blown birthday party with games and stuff and we can just invite a few of our adult friends with kids around her age over so the kids can play together or something.

Man, keeping up with the Joneses never interested me before. I hate that I feel I kind of have to do it on this front. But I am NOT having invitations printed. I have to draw the line somewhere.

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Yeah.

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