Amy Clark

Stop the Insanity

Let me just say, before I begin my little ranting-mantra, that using the word s-u-c-k & the word mom brings some nasties to my blog & my website. From now on, I will not be using that word. Can ya believe that the most frequently found phrase when searching has been those two words together in my little MomAdvice reports? Come on, peeps, this is a FAMILY site, ya heard? I am just a mom with a bad vocabulary. I guess what I am trying to say is be very careful of what you say because you never know what keywords people will put together- lesson learned, ya’ll.

Moving on to the real scoop on our family- we are in final preparations for mission impossible (aka- my son’s third birthday party). Am I the ONLY one who thinks that birthday parties have gotten way out of hand, or what? Can I get an “Amen!”?? I mean, who exactly was the mom who started this whole party favor thing and why in the world would someone start doing that? It is a birthday party and that translates into the birthday kid getting the presents, not all of their friends, am I right?

Let’s go back to the olden days when I walked uphill both ways to school, taught myself, and held (at least) two jobs….So…. back in those days, my birthday parties consisted of me, my family, and possibly one friend. I got to pick my favorite dinner dish and I got a couple of presents & a cake. Here are some examples of a few things that I did not get at my birthday party….

1. A clown, juggling man, mime, magician, or circus freak
2. A pony ride for each of my friends
3. A jumbo jumpee thing-a-ma-bob
4. A gazillion presents
5. Party favors for everyone who attended

I didn’t have any of those things and, ironically, my birthday was still special and it was still my day! I would just like to talk to the yahoo who originated the idea of needing these types of things at a party because now I have now become part of this sick birthday cycle…..

Here is how the cycle works (in case you haven’t gotten to be part of it)…Little Johnny invites Suzie to his birthday party. Suzie buys him a nice gift (in the ten dollar range) and comes to the amazing “Two Year Old Bash.” This two year old bash involves a full orchestra, treats made for each individual child, and a goodie bag of more treats to take home.

Then Suzie has her birthday party and, because Little Johnny invited her to his birthday party, she invites him even though Suzie and her mom think Little Johnny is..well… a brat. So Little Johnny comes and brings a nice gift (in the fifty dollar range) and Suzie’s mommy starts to panic. “Wait! We only gave Little Johnny a ten dollar gift!” Suzie’s mom feels super-guilty, but proud because this year she has party favors for each child. In each child’s bag is a few small trinkets and candy for each kid.

Little Johnny invites Suzie (because it is only fair!) to his annual birthday party the next year. Now Suzie’s mom has to buy a fifty dollar gift (because it is only fair!) and Little Johnny’s mom has to have even more fun trinkets and candy (because it is only fair!) in each child’s goodie bag.

This scenario persists until Little Johnny’s mom & Suzie’s mom either end up having mental breakdowns or each kid ends up coming home with iPods and midsize SUV’s…..

Do I make myself clear? This is just getting out of hand, people! Why do we all have to compete? Why can’t we just love each other? Let’s break the cycle! Let’s stop the insanity! Let’s say NO to party favors and all of this silliness….

Well, I must run though and work on wrapping my party favors for Ethan’s party, but I swear this is the last year I am doing this, and no one has to compete with us anymore! We lose!! You win!!

The cycle is broken- you are released from giving my kid party favors….Can I get an, “Amen!”?

Published July 06, 2005 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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