Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. Today is going to be a short post where I talk about “Birthday Parties“.
First, let me give you a little background:
My daughter Kylie turns 6 this year. If you recall, I wasn’t able to attend her first birthday because I was actually in Hawaii starting my current job while my wife and Kylie were both still in New Jersey with my in-laws. She had a small little get-together just with the family there.
Then when she turned 2 she had another small little get-together with me and my friends from work at Dave and Buster’s. It was more like just a lunch together rather than a birthday party, although we did have cake.
At the age of 3, I don’t think we did a birthday party for her. If I recall correctly, it was more of a little play date with her friends from preschool.
When she turned 4 years old, she had her first real birthday party. We had just bought out first house 5 months prior and we were able to make use of the clubhouse. I wouldn’t say we went “all out” but there were a lot of kids there with their parents. We had Moana come entertain the kids, as well as airbrush tattoos and face-painting that was part of a package deal.
The way I rationalized things was because using the clubhouse was essentially free as long as you reserve it ahead of time so we were able to spend a little more on the entertainment. For food and drinks, pizza and juice boxes worked just fine. My wife and I were pretty happy with how it turned out. Additionally, I think the parents enjoyed being able to sit and relax and talk while Moana and the others entertained the kids.
For her 5th birthday, we weren’t sure if we wanted to do another birthday party. However, in the end we decided to do another one which was pretty similar to her 4th birthday party. This time, instead of Moana, we did Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Prince Charming. Everything else was pretty much the same though. Once again, I think everything went as planned.
Sounds good… so what is there to discuss?
Well, the discussion this year is whether she should have a birthday party or not. My wife and I don’t want it to be a foregone conclusion that every year she gets a birthday party, and this would be the 3rd year in a row that she would have a birthday party.
This stands in contradistinction to her little brother Lucas, who hasn’t even had 1 birthday party yet. Of course, he’s only 3 and she didn’t have any birthday parties until she was 4. However, to keep things similar, he really should be the one getting a birthday party this year for his 4th birthday.
I’m kind of torn. Part of me doesn’t think we should have a birthday party in order to cement the idea of “birthday parties don’t happen every year”. However, part of me wants to reward my good little girl for doing so well in kindergarten this year and being a good big sister. I mean, she’s not going to be my little girl forever.
What’s the big deal?
It’s not that it’s a big deal, I just don’t want her to assume she always gets a birthday party. My colleagues in my group (Rich Kids Poor Dads) agree with this sentiment. That said, both of their kids had birthday parties this year. However, I think it comes down to the idea that each kid doesn’t get a party every year.
For example, if Kylie gets a party this year, then Lucas shouldn’t. Then the following year, Lucas should get a party and Kylie doesn’t.
However, in my current situation, Lucas will be turning 4, so he really should get a birthday party this year since that was the same time Kylie got her first birthday party. In that sense, Kylie shouldn’t have a birthday party for her 6th birthday then….
Unless of course we fudge the numbers a bit, and just start from Lucas’s 4th Birthday on (September 2019). However, that causes the issue that Kylie got birthday parties of her 4th, 5th, and 6th, and Lucas will only get parties for his 4th and 6th.
I realize that my kids probably wouldn’t know and wouldn’t care. However, I would know and I want to be as fair as possible to my children.
So then, if I really want to be as fair as possible, whatever Kylie gets, Lucas gets the same thing – meaning if she gets parties for 4th, 5th, and 6th – so should he.
Did you have birthday parties?
I do recall having birthday parties growing up. It certainly was not every year, but I think maybe every other year or every 3rd year I had one. I think that was pretty much the same for all of my friends as well.
However, as you get older things change I think. Around maybe 12 or so, you don’t really need a huge birthday party anymore because you don’t really invite the whole class anymore. It’s more like you and your 4-6 good friends go to the movies or something or hang out at your house for food and cake. Maybe I’m just old, but I imagine it will be similar as Kylie and Lucas get older.
That’s kind of another reason that I’m leaning toward having a birthday party for Kylie this year. She started kindergarten and met a lot of new friends, but she still has old friends from her old preschool who will probably also come. It’s a good way to reunite with those old friends that she hasn’t seen since preschool. Organizing playdates and keeping in touch with her friends from preschool is a lot more difficult than we thought. Everyone is so busy that trying to match up schedules is difficult.
Anyways, this post kind of devolved into just me rambling on about my thoughts on birthday parties in general. It was more of an exercise for me to organize my thoughts and come to a conclusion.
I think Kylie should have a birthday party this year — we could do it at the clubhouse again, or maybe Chuck E Cheese if we’re feeling lazy and don’t want to clean up. We’ll see.
Just me talking to myself about Birthday Parties.
I think they’re great. However, it shouldn’t be an expectation every year and I want to be as fair to my children as possible.
What’s your take on things?
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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