I hate rooting for people to say they won’t be attending my son’s birthday party, but that’s the position I find myself in right now. August turns 7 in a few weeks, his birthday party is scheduled for the Saturday before. We could have scheduled it for the Saturday after his actual birthday, which is on a Friday this year, but decided against it for one very big reason – Laura is due to give birth on May 8. Well, that’s the due date, but since the last three kids were all late, (averaging about 10 days late) we’re expecting this new child to arrive sometime AFTER the 8th, leaving that date free.
So the date is fine, but why would I want kids to not show up to the birthday party? Well, it’s not that I want my child’s birthday party to fail, I just need him to not be as popular as he is. An odd thing has happened where several people throughout the schoolyear have invited the entire kindergarten class (two classrooms full) others have invited just their classroom. Sure, some kids have just invited a select few for their birthday celebrations, but a larger percentage than expected this year went with a “whole class” approach.
When it came time to plan August’s party, we decided we would go ahead and invite his classroom, but not the whole of the kindergarten. A couple of the kids in his class have siblings, twins even in the other kindergarten class. We needed a party that would accommodate a large group, as well as something that he was interested in as well as be age appropriate. Settling on a “bouncy” theme at Pump It Up with its multiple inflatable structures (check it out – http://www.pumpitupparty.com/) we sent out the invitations to the kids in his class.
This is where the problem comes in. There is a limit to how many kids can participate. If every child responds that they will attend, we’re over the maximum allowed for the event. We’re not even taking into account every child’s possible siblings. August is such a likable child that he is rather popular. I’m not saying this because I have some sort of distorted view of my child, knowing that (to paraphrase Bill Hicks) he’s not special, he’s just my kid. Within the first week of school, almost every parent knew August, let alone the kids. August’s personality is such that he draws people in, and always has.
So we need some of the invitees to reply that they won’t be attending his party in order to fit in with the maximum number allowed. We could have picked a select few that he really wanted, but that would have wound up being almost half if not more of his class as it is. Our margin is about 4 kids or so, and with the law of averages, our chances are pretty good that we’ll have enough people respond they won’t be able to attend.
Of course we have to have contingency plans. There’s the contingency plan for if my wife goes into labor that day. There’s the contingency plan if she has the baby before May 8th (and the way she’s feeling, it is a serious possibility). Another contingency, and one that is the least pleasant, is the contingency that almost everybody from his class will reply they are able to attend. This would mean August’s sister would not be able to go. We’re lining up a play date with her best friend for that day as it is. We haven’t invited our neighbor kids (there’s only two) because we haven’t received a sufficient buffer of attendance yet.
Six paragraphs on my son’s birthday attendance, not even on the party itself. Yeah, I know I’m weird. At least I’m comfortable with that.