It is a little bit windy out right now. I could take advantage of the wind and just put Gus in the big tree swing, and let him go for a few hours, but I won’t.
At this moment Kase is at his first friend birthday party. Melody and I don’t really know what to do/expect. One of the weird things about the party is the invitation said “invited to a party,” but didn’t say anything about a birthday party. Well, of course we got a small gift for the boy, but how does one judge what monetary value should be placed on the gift. This could be a boy Kase spends little time with, or it could end up being a great friend, especially since he only lives a block away. Should that change what the gift is? Everybody was bringing gifts. I wish I could be a mouse in the corner to see what they were.
Kase also got invited to another birthday party that is next weekend. It is at Pump It Up in Madison. It is some kind of indoor inflatable playground type of place (we have all seen these inflatable things at carnivals, or maybe you even rented one or were at a party where somebody had one in their backyard). It is very cool, but of course, crazy expensive to host a party (free to the guests of the birthday boy). The web site says the party runs $269. Wow! I can’t imagine spending that kind of money on a party for my child. But if Kase goes, should he bring a gift that is “comparable” to the party? What does a parent, hosting a party like this, expect to get in return? This place requires the signing of a waiver. Do I want to send my child to a place that requires a waiver? And it is probably expected that a parent should go along. But if I go, I am going to bring Gus, but he is not invited, and therefore cannot play (children under 2 and adults 18 and over are free). Also it is on the West side of Madison. Nothing against the West side, but that is nearly an hour drive. If Kase does go, will he expect that we will have a party like that for him? If he doesn’t go, will the kids in his school be talking about it next week, and he will wonder what he missed?
These are things that I really want answers to. But there is no book, no website, and few people (I know none) offering advice about these predicaments.
Melody and I have a simplified view of birthday parties. Perhaps it is more simplified than most people (which makes sense, since I like to think we live a simplified life). Birthday parties are generally for family and close friends. I imagine that our children will have maybe one OR two “friends” birthday parties. And they most likely will be in/around our house. A McDonald’s party even seems over the edge to us. And those are a couple of opinions that I doubt will change for over the years.
Finally, if you have any input or feedback on this party topic, I would love the hear it. Please leave a comment, or drop me a note. Advice is always welcome.