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At a certain point, the classmate birthday party season begins. For us, it seemed the preschool year was the one where almost everyone was inviting the whole class to their birthday party. They are usually held at the local inflatable party zone, indoor water park or a occasional brave souls have hosted them at home. Your child is excited and you want to nurture that social aspect of life where they want to attend parties so you happily RSVP yes. The following post is written as a tongue and cheek parent prospective of the 7 stages to attending a classmate birthday party.
I’ll just put it out there as I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way, but these parties are awkward for parents. It’s rare that fellow parents know each other so as the kids all go out and play, and you are left feeling like a 7th grade dance awkwardly trying to find your place. But that’s not where the first stage starts. It starts at the cubby at school or mailbox at home with the receiving of the invitation.
- STAGE 1: Anticipation – Seeing that envelope in your kids’ cubby at school and crossing your fingers you’re already busy that day. (Spoiler: you usually aren’t busy.)
- STAGE 2: Preparation – Making sure you have a present, have it wrapped and your cell phone is charged. Wouldn’t to miss any photo ops! (or have a back up plan on how to entertain yourself if the good old small talk with other parents falls short)
- STAGE 3: Confusion – Upon entering the party, you pull your child aside to ask who the birthday boy is and who their parents are because sometimes you have no idea!
- STAGE 4: Happy – The happiness of seeing your kid being an individual and having fun with their friends finally kicks in!
- STAGE 5: Annoyance – There’s always that one kid (and you hope it isn’t YOUR kid) that’s doing something they aren’t supposed to or are bothering other kids. You can’t say anything but when you find their parents, they’re usually face down in a that fully charged cell phone from stage 2, not paying attention to what’s going on. Now you’re annoyed at both that kid and those parents. (How much longer do we have to stay?!)
- STAGE 6: Hopeful – *thinks to self* “Maybe all this high energy activity will result in a mid day nap or early bedtime for your child!”
- STAGE 7: Relief – That awkwardness of this party atmosphere is over! (until next weekend.)
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