Birthday Party Invite List Shenanigans

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

Sometimes kid-related issues sneak up on you with their trickiness. If you find your kid and his buddy in a hammock with their pants down performing what looks like a penis puppet show, should you say anything, or just slowly back away and hope they didn’t see you? If your child dresses himself, but insists on wearing their clothes backwards, do you make them turn it around? What excuse do you use when your kid asks to go see Disney On Ice? The list goes on and on.

Birthday parties used to be so simple. Invite your best friends over and laugh when your kid went apeshit over being given cake. Now, it's a whole big thing.

One of the trickier subjects involves the guest list for your kid’s birthday party. It would be nice if your child has a summer birthday party and you can just invite everyone your child knows to the park for some running around. Malcolm’s birthday is in November and the threat of rain always forces us to consider indoor alternatives. (That was one of the many reasons I wanted to delay’s Malcolm’s conception way back when, an argument I ultimately lost as being, “Totally stupid.”) This year, Malcolm will have an indoor soccer party at a local gym, and they have told us that only 20 kids can come to the party.

We sat down with Malcolm over the weekend and tried to hash out which 20 kids were going to make the cut. Of course, his first list contained exactly ten kids, all of which were the ten kids on his soccer team, and, since he had played a game earlier that day, they were the last ten kids Malcolm had seen. (He even seemed to select them in the order of their skill on the soccer field, and I am sure that he was going to just take all the good kids on his team at the party to ensure that his soccer party was one big face crush.) While it would have been nice to only pay for the ten kids, we were forced to suggest some names that he may have not considered, which he reluctantly agreed to add to the list. In case you find yourself in the same situation, I have put together this hierarchy of relations to assist in your birthday party plans:

1. Family. You’d be hard pressed to be able to ignore your brothers’ and sisters’ kids if they live in the area. This is true even if you don’t particularly like the kids, or even your brothers and sisters. Amy and I don’t have any brothers and sisters, so we skate on this one.

2. Family friends. You know these people. You like these people. These are the bread and butter invites, and, since they know your kids better than anyone else, they are likely to provide your child with the best gifts. Try and fill up your guest list with these people, as they will be the most forgiving when your child acts like a spoiled brat on his/her birthday.

3. School mates. I have a difference of opinion with most people here. Some people invite most of all of the class to their kids’ party, or at least invite every kid who invited your little angel to their party. Fuck that. Birthday party invites are a valuable form of currency on the playground. Last time I checked, we don’t live in a socialist state, so use those invites to show where the people stand in the free market. Don’t invite the biters, paste eaters, or kids who just won’t calm the hell down. If your kid insists that they want to invite them, tell your child that the troublemakers are busy. It may be a tad uncomfortable talking about the party in front of families that invite your kid to their kid’s party, but hey, they raised the dipshit, not you. Invite only the kids that you think are cool.

4. Sport’s team members. Similar to schoolmates, except you should invite the coaches kid if you think it will get your kid some more playing time. Give preference to the current sports team. Malcolm’s tee ball buddies won’t know that they weren’t invited to his party until next spring. That’s gold!

5. Old friends. Kids always seem to talk about old acquaintances that have no connection to their current schedules. Malcolm periodically asks about old friends from school/sports/play groups. I usually tell Malcolm that the families have moved away except for a few special instances. If the child has a hot mom/dad, are richer than you, or have tickets to your favorite sports team, you are permitted to invite them. Remember, these invites are currency! Sue me.

6. Neighbors. Should your child be punished just because someone moved onto your block with a child the same age? No way. Don’t invite them unless you like them.

7. People who are busy. Around Malcolm’s birthday I am hyper-diligent about knowing people’s travel schedule. If I know that they are going to be out of town, I invite them knowing they will be unable to attend (even if I wasn’t going to invite them in the first place.) This often results in getting extra presents for your child and also allows you to make them feel guilty for missing the most important day in your child’s life. Guilt is a pretty cool currency in its own right. Every once in a while, this will backfire, and their empty-headed nitwit will show up if their plans fall through, but trust me, you should still come out ahead.

After going through some tense negotiations (involving statements by us like, “Are you sure you want to invite Billy? I thought he threw up all over the birthday boy at the last party he went to.”) we came up with a list of 18 kids that we all were comfortable with. Some of you readers will make the list. Others will be told that Malcolm isn’t having a party this year out of respect to those affected by the flooding in Thailand. It’s not noble, but to the guy who hides from his penis-wielding kid in a hammock, nobility is overrated.


One response to “Birthday Party Invite List Shenanigans”

  1. Julie says:

    Shouldn’t number 7 be higher in the hierarchy?

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