The Grass Is Always Greener: Why Being Invited To Birthday Parties Isn’t What It’s Cracked Up To Be

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Daddy Stories

Some doozie of a title, eh? I could have shortened it to be: The Grass Is Always Greener: WBITBPIWICUTB, but I am not sure it would have the same descriptive effect. Then again, it would probably make you want to read the post just as much…

For the longest time, our weekends were our own. Amy, Malcolm and I were free to plan outings, see friends and, gasp, once in a while even do nothing. It was an underpants wearin’, chocolate pudding sharin’, boombox blarin’ period of time. Except for one thing: I was ashamed.

I heard stories about parents shepherding their kids to multiple children’s birthday parties, some even leaving one party and to go to another. They would roll their eyes and say, “You know how THAT goes.” But inside, I didn’t. Sure, every once in a while we had a friend or close preschool classmate who invited Malcolm to partake in some birthday parties, but for the most part, almost every child on this planet celebrated their birthday without including us on the guest list. That’s a lot to take in, especially when you factor in all of the birthday cake it means we weren’t eating.

Who wouldn't want THIS kid at their party?

Mostly, I considered our lack of invitations were due to Malcolm’s penchant for acting like Charlie Sheen. Deep down, though, I wondered whether my own shenanigans were holding us back from the birthday party circuit. Is it possible that my inappropriate drinking and (even more inappropriate) ogling were not the charming party trick I thought them to be? My shame was larger than the tooth gap in a Tundra Wookie.

Evidently, I am as charming as I make myself out to be as Malcolm has been hitting the birthday circuit pretty hard this year. He and little friends all get together to hang out out at a bouncy house emporium or gymnastics studio and fill their gullets full of pizza and cake a couple of times each weekend. I show up at most of the events and when one of the other parents says that they have a bunch of different parties to go to that weekend, I DO know what they are talking about. I should, for or all intents and purposes, be ecstatic.

Sadly, I am not. Most of our weekends are now shot with ferrying Malcolm around to various parties, shopping for cheap plastic pieces of crap to give to the birthday honorees, and shopping for new clothes now that I get to stuff my own gullet full of pizza and cake at every party. Far from the birthday party nirvana I thought I would be enjoying, I am almost rooting for some sort of rotavirus to rip through Malcolm’s school that would blissfully put an end to the parties for a while. Alas, that is not likely to happen (until it’s my week to bring snacks to the school!)

There is but one benefit to the birthday party circuit; that wonderful parent who a) announces ahead of time that you can just drop off your kid at the party, and b) either I don’t know them or I don’t like them (you can’t really drop off your kid at your friend’s party, can you?) Sure you still have to pick up the gift for the kid, but that gift comes with a gift just for you: time. Drop off parties often involve two whole hours of watching golf, napping or just sitting in the parking lot enjoying the quietness of car free of whining, tantrums and little kid farts. It is pure bliss, even if only for a short period of time.

So be careful what you wish for in life, you just might get it. Unless you wish for pudding. Pudding never disappoints.


5 responses to “The Grass Is Always Greener: Why Being Invited To Birthday Parties Isn’t What It’s Cracked Up To Be”

  1. dayna says:

    Hilarious. And I totally agree.

    See you at Rowan’s birthday party Saturday!

  2. Debra Lilley says:

    it is just for a few years so enjoy (at least the pudding), when it stops you will miss it again

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