What no one warns you about kid's parties!
We loved kids parties as kids and now we're the ones arranging and going to other parents' kids parties. It's another age, things aren't what they used to be, and it wasn't as fun as you remember.
Growing up in the ‘90s, kids parties meant lots of food, sitting in front of the TV to eat while we watch, and lots of relatives giving you sloppy kisses.
There would be laughter, and music and games with friends and cousins.
To be fair, compared to today, it seems… simpler. As children, we never really noticed what the parents were doing. They just faded quietly into the background, either talking with other parents or taking care of tedious business like cleaning up after us.
Makes you wish you paid more attention to your parents huh? Here’s what I realized when it comes time for me to go to a kids party as a parent.
This is what they didn’t tell me about kids parties!
1. You just stand there quietly and try your best to fade into the background
And we do it for hours. I mean I’m happy that the kid is out there having fun and making friends but I am bored.
The WiFi is weak because every parent is connected to Facebook or Instagram and every child who can’t deal with frenetic physical activity is sitting down, watching Youtube clips. So no chair for you.
2. You need an outfit
Sometimes there are going to be parties with a theme like superheroes, Star Wars, Frozen, or My Little Pony.
There’s a Doctor Who-themed party but your kid wants a Sherlock Holmes costume because “they’re both British anyway” but you insist that’s not the point.
Five minutes later there’s a tantrum in your hands (on your living room floor, actually). You heave a sigh and decide to buy the Doctor Who costume while thinking of an explanation to the hosts later that night.
3. The mind-numbing small talk (often about how their children are better than yours)
Once the other parents run out of things to talk (unless it’s about politics), the conversation tends to veer toward small talk. The weather’s bad? We all noticed! The iPhone X is too brittle? Get a different phone!
Then the talk goes into kids. We know your kid does really well at piano recital, Sarah, but your kid still coughed into the bowl of punch. You don’t say this out loud of course. So either you just nod in agreement or just make an excuse to get more food. Which brings us to…
4. You can’t touch the food
But not as a rule. Remember Sarah’s kid who coughed on that bowl of punch? It gets worse. The pizzas are picked clean of the salami, leaving only bits of green bell pepper.
The cake is free of icing, the fried chicken missing its crispy skin. The chips are on the floor because the kids were chucking them at each other.
There’s also the food that kids don’t seem to like. Look, we get you’re trying to make your household a vegetarian household but nobody wants your kale chips, Karen. And the vegetarian burger tastes like burnt plastic, I guess I’ll just wait until all of this is over!
5. A child can corner you with conversation
There would be a kid, let’s name him Daryl, who goes up to you and thinks you’re interesting so he talks to you. He wanted to share his strong opinions about the new Star Wars movie and Voltron with you. Just you.
And you share your opinion and he grins widely and goes into a long-winded monologue about the merits of A-Wing fighters and how underrated Hunk is as a pilot. You panic. You are verbally held hostage. You try to move to the food table (bad idea) and he follows you. Where’s your child?
6. Some bully might punch your kid
You go into a kids party hoping your kid will have fun, thinking “it’s ok if I don’t, it’s fine”. An hour later, some kid who’s probably named Kevin or Jed hits your kid with a stick. You see red. What do you do?
You want to intervene, but just to be sure, you wait for that kid to do something again that will justify your retaliation. He ends up doing nothing because he notices your presence. You realize you’ve been glaring at him menacingly for five minutes. He cries. You catch yourself and walk away with your child.
It’s alright to intervene just as long you don’t do anything unnecessary like threaten the child or hurt him, though you can definitely call out the parent of the misbehaving child. Also, beware of bouncy castles. They are chaotic and more often than not, kids hurt each other there without meaning to.
7. You kid starts turning into a tiny blur after drinking about a gallon’s worth of fizzy drinks
To be fair, you don’t know what the kid’s parents would prepare for the party. To your surprise, there’s a lot of sugary things on the table. Your kid makes a beeline for the cookies and fizzy drinks and your kid becomes so coked up on sugar that he/she starts running around screaming “I LOVE PONIES”.
Then she ends up challenging every adult she sees to a contest of strength and of course the adults would have to pretend to lose.
She does this again a few more times until she has challenged every adult and she will challenge them all again, me included. Now you’re more tired than her. Then she crashes. She falls asleep on some random couch like a log and you need to carry this child to the car.
8. Asking adults to participate in the games
Look, don’t drag us into the mess. We just want to eat and go home.
9. Annoying pop songs
If I have to hear “Let It Go” again for 13th time at this party, I’m really going to “let it go” and eat everything I see out of spite.
10. There’s no better feeling in the world than when the party is over
I used to be really excited about kids parties. Now I’m more excited about kids parties ending. Because then I can go go home and eat actual food that I haven’t had to pick up from the floor.
There’s no kid doing tantrums and my child is with me once again, sleeping peacefully. Or maybe mumbling excitedly about how much fun he/she had. And I can finally clean my shoe.
Kids parties are cool but…
Kids parties are cool and all but I’d rather be home taking a nap, to be honest! I never thought going to kids parties would be this exhausting (if not a little painful). But still, at the end of the day, I get to go home with my kid so it all works out!
You can also read 22 Ways You Can Have Stress-free Hosting on Your Next Christmas Party.