Invitation overboard

 

I covered this topic a bit earlier in the year, but kindergarten changes everything …

Have you ever read or heard of the children’s storybook called “Moira’s Birthday” by Robert Munsch? While this isn’t a book review post, I’ll give you the gist of it because it’s relatable to this post: A young girl is getting ready to celebrate her birthday and wants to invite the entire school. (Grades K thru 5) Her parents tell her she can only invite five kids. She invites the whole school anyway and hilarity ensues.

And while this isn’t a “back in my day” post either I just have to add that, well, back in my day, I too was only allowed to invite a limited number of kids to my birthday parties; usually my closest friends who I played with on a daily basis. I’m sure there were some kids who felt left out (because I was soooooo cool) (not) but for the sake of my parent’s sanity it would be insanity if all 25-someodd kids in my class came to my house for my birthday.

Today, however, parents are expected to either hand out birthday invitations on the down-low like they’re handing out illicit drugs, or invite the entire class so no one’s feelings get hurt and then hope and pray that only a handful RSVP that they’re coming. The stress is real for me: it doesn’t feel right inviting an entire class of kindergarteners over for a party, but it also doesn’t feel right trying to pass out exclusive invites to only a select group of kids.

This age is hard. Isla is still “sorting” through her friends and there’s no clear indication who she’s closest with and who she doesn’t prefer to be around. I can understand the encouragement from teachers when parents are asked to invite every child to a birthday party, and I want to be fair to all the kids because I truly understand that it’s never fun to feel left out, but I also don’t believe it’s necessary to invite a bunch of kids who aren’t necessarily friends with my own, nor should those who may be bullying others be quasi rewarded for their actions.

I know I have a bit of time before I have to cross this bridge for myself, and perhaps by then I’ll figure out a method to get through this madness. For now, I certainly won’t question why Isla did or didn’t get invited to so-and-so’s party, as I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation for either. So far I haven’t been greeted by tears after school, so cheers to that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Weekend Update

Whew, what a weekend!

If I could make any recommendations, it would be to NOT have kids three years apart to nearly the day. Isla and Norah’s birthdays are six days apart and so this weekend was all about celebrating.

Friday
It was Norah’s 2nd birthday! We decided to have family over for a birthday barbecue to keep things simple(r) and she had plenty of fun.

That helium ballon? She’s OBSESSED and has been dragging it around the house like it’s an appendage.

20170623_185547

Kyle and I got her a balance bike and while she seeeeems like she’s enjoying it in that photo, when we took her outside on Sunday to give it a go there were tears galore. Mind you, it was hot and she had just woke up from a nap soooo … probably not the best idea in the world. We’ll give it another try when it’s a bit cooler and she’s in a better mood, lol.

Saturday
Saturday was Isla’s birthday party day! We opted to have hers the weekend before her birthday since the weekend after is Canada Day. She asked a while ago to have a bowling party, and since she’s obsessed with everything Moana we went with that “theme.” (Which really was a cake with blue-ish frosting, invites with Moana and Maui on them, and Heart of Te Fiti cookies as favours for her guests.)

20170626_083139

I did not make these, FYI.

While her party was small she had a ton of fun with her friends. We lucked out and the bowling alley had all the glow and disco lights on, which didn’t cost us any extra. Woo!

After her party we had some friends over for dinner and we hung out outside. I don’t know what it was, but I had some crazy allergic reaction to something and my right eye got super swollen. It went down a little after I took an allergy pill, but it was so uncomfortable.

Sunday
It was a fairly “routine” day. Kyle went for a quick run in the morning as he’s training for his first half-marathon next month, so while he was doing that I took the girls grocery shopping with me.

After lunch Norah had a nap and I helped Isla work on a Lego set she got for her birthday. I forgot how much fun Lego is, but also how nit-picky I can be because trying to get an almost-5-year old to follow instructions is HARRRRD.

When Norah got up from her nap we had that whole balance bike incident as mentioned above, so we opted to just play in the backyard for a bit before I had to go to slo-pitch. Isla tagged along with me and had fun playing with the other kids at the field, and Norah got to have some quality Gamma time without her sister ;)

Now it’s Monday and I’m still SO exhausted from the weekend. I think it’s a double-mug-o-coffee kind of day.

How was your weekend???

Keep calm and party on

10353123_10154205315010297_7445904352103636447_n

A real-life conversation from 2014 in regards to Isla’s birthday.

At the end of this month Isla will be turning 5, and my days of simple “Mostly Family and a Few Friends” birthday parties are over. With Isla being in preschool and dance for the past nine months she has developed a wide circle of friends and of course, she wants to invite ALLLLLL of her classmates to her party.

And then of course, there’s friends outside of school and dance who she’d like to invite, and at that point, do you even bother inviting family to a child-dominated screeching fest? Oh, and how on earth do you even decide on how many kids to let her invite?! AND HOW DO YOU HAND OUT INVITATIONS WITHOUT HAVING SOME OTHER KID FEEL LEFT OUT?!

Of course, I have answers to those questions. Or at least answers that work for us and our situation.

Backstory: Isla decided that she’d like to have a bowling birthday party after attending one back in February. After looking into the cost Kyle and I thought it was totally doable, plus it takes the chaos and mess out of our house. Win!

When it came time for Isla to decide who she’d like to invite to her party I simply asked her. She had her go-to friends (the ones who she’s been friends with pre-preschool and dance), and then she went on to list nearly every kid in her preschool and dance classes. Ruh-roh. Cue one of what will be many sit-down serious discussions with Isla: We told her how she unfortunately couldn’t invite everyone she knows, and to think about who she likes spending the most time with, and we’d go from there.

Eventually we had her par down her list to a few kids from both preschool and dance. I scrutinized her list a little, asking if she was certain on who she wanted to invite, but she seemed certain so we let that be that.

How to hand out the invitations was the biggest stress factor for me. As much as I didn’t want to hurt any tiny human’s feelings, Isla knew who she wanted to invite and while I did my best to sway her decisions, I wasn’t going to make her invite anyone she didn’t want to. I managed to hand them out on the DL with relative ease and so far, there hasn’t been any backlash. Whew! <wood knocking>

Of course, there’s always going to be some second guessing, mostly on my part. Should we have invited one child instead of another? What if no one can come? What if she suddenly becomes “not friends” with someone she invites? (Which may have already happened …) Should we let her invite someone else? What do we tell parents who ask why their child wasn’t invited? What do I tell Isla if someone can’t make it?

The mom-guilt is real and I just have to keep reminding myself that this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to birthday parties and that things are only going to get more complicated as she gets older, especially if her social circle grows.

I know I’m most definitely over thinking all of this and Isla probably won’t even notice if only two out of the however many kids she invited show up. She gets cake? Yay! Bowling? Yay! I just need to remind myself to keep calm and let her party on.