I don’t know if it’s simply because my kids are so social and enthusiastic, or whether it’s my influence as somewhat of a public figure here in town, constantly involved with activities and heading to parties, but planning our kids birthday parties is becoming quite a challenge. My son is turning 11 on Friday and we’re not only an AP family, we also believe that too much exposure to media / video / video games has a deleterious effect on their behavior and our collective happiness. (yes, I tried to word that carefully!)
And so my son’s initial suggestion for a birthday party was “my three buddies come over after school Friday, we watch a movie like “Transformers” (PG13), have a pizza, they all spend the night, then the next morning we can watch cartoons and play on the Wii for a few hours!”
Yikes. Not so much.
To find a middle ground, his mom and I (we’re divorced, coparenting) expressed our concerns and invited him to come up with a proposed alternative that respected our objections and would still be fun. Mistake. Now we have a two-day-long royal celebration of his birth (you think I’m kidding!) that includes his best buddies with us all day Saturday with go-karts and a movie, then a separate party celebration Sunday — after the same 3 boys spend the night — for all the boys in his class.
We’re working on finding a middle ground, but holy cow, does anyone else find that your kids want to have a national holiday for their birthday, with celebrations 24×7 and garlands flung from the parapets?