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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mom Tip Tuesday. Birthday Parties for Preschoolers

First ever Mom Tip Tuesday so I thought I’d do it right and officially introduce you to Dumb Mom!

I used to write a blog/column/random gathering of meaningless words on the site of my local newspaper. It was called Maybe Mommy’s a Dummy (detect a theme yet?).

Part of that column was Dumb Mom’s Guide to the Universe.

Dumb Mom is an expert on nothing who knows pretty much everything.

She is outsmarted by her kids on a daily basis (hence the name) but she does it in cute shoes, with a friendly smile, and a ridiculously awesome handbag.

She may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but she’s the best dressed.

Which is wasted by being inside of a shed.


She knows what she’s talking about for the most part so listen up and you will survive.

Motherhood never looked so easy, or cute, or fashionable.

You are welcome.

In light of upcoming events I’ve decided to make this week’s tip about birthdays for children.

Specifically, birthdays for a whole butt load of rowdy, hard to manage children who are not quite or just barely five.


Dumb Mom’s Guide to Planning a Preschool Birthday Party

1. Face the facts. Fact one: you don’t really like other people’s kids. Fact two: even if you did like other people’s kids, you don’t like other people’s kids all at the same time. Fact three: you are crazy. It’s difficult to like children in groups because all of their unlikeable attributes are magnified. They are louder, and meaner, and more energetic than when you are with them alone. Plus, for whatever reason, when groups of kids get together some parents take that as the perfect opportunity to ignore their own horribly behaved difficult to be around even in small doses child. It’s like they assume the know it all mom whoever is in charge of the party is also in charge of their child. Get your mind right. It will suck, but you are crazy so in the end it will be worth it.

2. Buy booze. And drink it. Definitely before, if possible during, and immediately after the party. Just be sure to drink vodka or something else that won’t make you smell like a winery. You know how moms like to talk and before you know it you will be the Ms. Hannigan of the preschool.*

3. Bribery. Always works. Every situation. Believe me when I say this: money talks. Even louder than kids hopped up on sugar and life. This means that there are people who make their living hosting parties for hard to manage groups of children just like the one you have in mind. You can go to their special designed, brightly colored, kid-friendly place and they will make magic. You don’t have to make magic all alone. If you have cash you can hire people to make it for you. This is why I sell myself to anyone interested in buying work, for the necessities in life that people just shouldn’t be asked to live without.

4. Invite the whole class. I used to get all annoyed at this mandate some schools have in place. Before I had kids in school I was a huge get-used-to-exclusion-and-rejection-it’s-a-part-of-life kinda girl. But one of my children had the unfortunate experience of not being invited to the birthday party of his alleged best friend and then, he had to sit and listen while the confirmed best friends discussed the party in his presence. He was crushed. He had questions. And the only answer I could come up with was, “Well, Dude, some people suck and the fact that they do just makes us look more awesome.” Okay, I didn’t actually say that, but I totally wanted to. I still don’t think this is a necessary requirement for school aged children, but for preschoolers, in a classroom with only 10 children (only 4 of which were boys) would it have been so horrible to invite them all? Possibly I would have declined because the site of his mother made me ill, but still, my little dude would have been able to say that he was invited and couldn’t go because his mommy mysteriously came down with the shingles (or some other sudden, random, and completely faked ailment), as opposed to thinking, and feeling, and having everyone believe that he wasn’t invited because he wasn’t cool. Invite them all, the ones whose mommies are jerkwads probably won’t come anyway.

5. Say thanks. I know I skipped right over the actual party element, but that’s because I covered that in the first three tips: realize it’s hopeless, show up drunk, and pay some perky high school chick to do all the hard stuff. All that’s covered. It’s after the party that people tend to forget. You know, once you’re home and sobered up, and your hangover has worn off, and your kid has broken 65% of all of his new stuff. That’s the time that repeatedly gets neglected. And, I’d like to argue that next to having a banging cake, this is the most important element: the THANK YOU CARDS. Yes, your child needs to send them (or watch you send them) so that he understands that having a party and getting gifts is not compulsory. It is a benefit of mommy bribing people and having nosy friends who want to talk about her inability to make quality goody bags privilege. Every child doesn’t get them. Every person that came didn’t have to. And bringing gifts is optional (although just good etiquette). Learn to be thankful and people will love you, or at least pretend to.

Now, wish me luck at #2’s Super Sweet 5 Birthday Party we are hosting on Thursday (his actual birthday is tomorrow which explains the St. Patty's Day inspired header) Bounce-a-roo center in my hood. Should be a blast.

*Due to the bum kidneys I'm not a huge lush myself. I have my moments (which some of you have been lucky enough to witness first hand), but I'm not gonna be at the Oscars with my flask George Clooney style. The suggestion to drink is for those of you who turn to booze as an answer to your know who you are. Don't worry I don't judge.

Link up your favorite Mom Tip below and I’ll stop by for a look; I need all the tips I can get!


The Grasshoppa:Triplets Plus Two Momma said...

It would be super if you would stop talking about my drinking problem all OVER the internet.


Fabulous Post. As usual.

My TRIPLETS turn 5 on sunday. Pray for me.

angelosam123 said...

Enjoy your party with your friends dear.wish that it will be celebrated by you every year,and also advising you to use the Party Hire services to have more fun with your classmates

angie said...

I firmly believe in sending out Thank you cards yet I just realized I never made Emma this year. Crap.

angie said...

AND, WISHING you sanity and fun at the party! :)

Cheryl said...

This cracked me up, especially since I just hosted a birthday party for my 1 year-old on Sunday. And I had the exact same thought about how you have to police everyone else's kids - especially a bunch of 5 & 6 yr old boys going all WWF in a bounce house. AND the hubs decided not to provide any alcohol this year. I KNOW! We all survived, tho..Anyway, the link I put up above is about things annoying things our moms said to us that we are now saying to our own kids.

Oh - good luck with that party. MWAHAHAHA!

Everyday Kathy said...

Thanks for inviting me to join the fun! My Three year old's party is in two weeks... Thanks for the Tips!!!

Kmama said...

First of all, I love the header.

Second, this post rocked. You are right on with all your points, especially the booze! We had Buddy's fifth b-day party at a bowling alley and the parents of the kids we invited ended up buying Jdaddy and me drinks...just because they know what it's like to host a party! LOL

Anonymous said...

Great header! Great post! Good luck at the party. I really need to work a few hours so I can oay some one to work magic for me at the boys' birthday parties. Though, I'll add something; Hide the booze. Keep it to yourself. When we've had kids, booze, and parents, the kids are left to "play" (aka destroy and be in dangerous positions like the swimming pool or laundry chute) wthout supervision.

Lisa said...

I ADORE your honesty and LOVE the tips...I'm a new fan. :) (Thanks for leaving the comment on my guest post over at Kathy's blog, Everyday Bliss, and for the link...)

From one momma to another...good luck. ;)

David said...

I know I'm going to be sorry for this comment, but after you commented on my blog after I possibly - maybe - sort of - insulted all mommy blogs on the internet you were actually very nice about it (even motherly) and I said I would return the visit. Unfortunately, I don't know how to make brief comments, so bear with me.

First, I am stunned by your technical mastery of the blogosphere. I couldn't attach a video to my blog if I took a class in it. Sometimes I can't figure out how to comment on my own blog.

Second, despite my having it up to here with "mommy" talk years ago, I liked your blog, which is written with a sense of self deprecating humor common to those who are overworked and underappreciated.

My policy upon meeting my daughter's little friends at a party or elsewhere was to fix them with my child-paralyzing glare and say "LISTEN, I AM NOT YOUR MOMMY". They actually like that, but they also get the point and don't mess with me. I have to do something like that b/c I don't drink (don't hate me). When we threw parties for my little one (now 22), my theory was to do nothing special for it. That's because, one, I'm an awful host, but two, because I think that kids actually like to be placed on a big property or room with some toys and knives (no, kidding about that - no toys) and told to go crazy. They loved it. No animals, no clowns, party favors and mostly, no spending money for me! Yeah, you do have to feed the little *******s but, that's life, right?

I agree with you on the invite everyone in class principal, but my reason is different. I'm a coward and hate the feeling of knowing I rejected someone.

Last point - Thank you cards - b/c I'm a coward, I did have my daughter do it too, but, really, it's a racket and I hate it. Won't do it myself as it is terribly impersonal, in my opinion. But, I can't fight the world myself. You mothers are in charge of our next generation's manners, anyway, not me.

Thanks for the invitation and I enjoyed the visit.

Every mother's nightmare

parentingBYdummies said...

Be nice to David, ladies...he is my newest blog land BFF and he is as funny as he is smart.

Debbie's L'Bri said...

Great post. I agree... I haven't had many parties with my kids. I don't want to go broke buying a gift for each kid invited

Casey's trio said...

I'm likin' the drink lots of booze tip :) Just wanted to say thanks for my books~just got them in the mail today! Hope yours have made it to you. I sent them out last Thursday!

Much More Than Mommy said...

Fill me in on the giving of goody bags to the party guests, because I still haven't figured that one out. Can I just give away the stuff that my kids don't play with anymore? Which is often stuff from other goody bags, actually...

Saving Creatively said...

Following from MBC. Great post!!!!!

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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