…we didn’t even have juice boxes.
Today is a first for Caitlin. It’s the first birthday party she’s attended at one of those super bounce zone on steroids party emporiums. That’s right, I’ll be watching my child jump in her sock feet with a ton of other kids on the Sabbath and praying that she doesn’t break her leg or jab another kid in the eye with her elbow while I sip on Sprite and wish I had a glass of wine to calm my nerves. Speaking of broken bones, it’s also the first birthday party invitation she’s received that includes a legal waiver so we can’t sue the place in case of injury. Awesome.
All kidding aside, she has been talking about this party for two weeks and it’s hard not to get caught up in it. We’ve been discussing her party attire and the invitation is prominently displayed on the refrigerator.
When did children’s birthday party options become so overwhelming? Everything is bigger, louder, showier, obnoxiousier. I call it the Chuck E. Cheese effect. From tea parties to dress up as diva rock star parties to meet ups at the local zoo parties, you can plan pretty much any type of birthday event.
For my sixth birthday party I had a big Snoopy theme swimming party at our backyard pool. But other than that, I don’t remember any huge event or theme parties. Honestly a big deal for the rural town I grew up in was a party at the skankier than a truck stop restroom roller skating rink.
We’ve always had her parties at home, but for Caitlin’s 4th birthday last year we went to a local pizza place with a party and game room. It was pretty nice to not clean icing from our berber carpet. Right now she’s keeping her birthday party wishes for this summer simple. She wants a pool party, but I’m trying to steer her toward a party at our local park playground because the thought of supervising young children at a public pool is enough to make me hyperventilate. As is the thought of wearing a bathing suit in front of her friends’ parents.
Oh, yeah and she’s got her heart set on Jon Bon Jovi being there.
Suddenly the super bounce zone on steroids party place is lookin’ real good.
Updated to add: A friend just e-mailed me this link to a news story about parents turning against “Birthdays Gone Wild!” Of course, with a headline like that, it’s from Fox News.