Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

gigantic first birthday parties

Lately I'm friends with more moms, and Josie and I have been invited to little kid birthday parties. Especially first birthday parties.

And they're HUGE! And I feel weird about it!

I mean, parents throw parties for their babies that rival parties I've thrown for myself, except that when I invite 20 adults over for cake, they don't all bring me presents, I don't set up a registry, I'm not the constant focus of all the attention.

So at the last party I went to, I gift-wrapped a hand-me-down. It went over surprisingly well. For other parties where I'm good friends with the mom, I'm bringing a box of chocolates for her because don't moms go through some crap over the year? And if I'm not especially good friends with the mom, I'm setting baby gift limit at $5. That's enough for a little board book. That's good enough.

I just look at these little unaware barely-toddlers trying to eat gift wrap (they rarely care about the toys) and feel like I'm in the middle of teh volcano that is american excess.

There's another confusing trend too: getting your own cake on your birthday. I admit it's important to have cake on your birthday, especially your first birthday, because you have to be in pictures covered with frosting and it's cute and everything. But that just means you get a corner piece of the cake. You don't get your own little cake.

Maybe some moms like them because they just like making cakes? I'll go with that. But I've been at a few parties where I'm pretty sure the parents special-ordered two cakes, one for the guests, and one little one for the baby to have all to himself.

I just feel like, as a society, we're too materialistic and have way too much stuff. And when I go to these parties where children are so unaware yet get so much, it makes me worry that we're teaching children from the start how to accumulate way more crap than they need. Kids can even register for birthdays now days, when I was little that was unheard of.

I think I would like to have some friends over for Josie's birthday but I'm going to put on the invite, "feel free to not bring a gift." If she has something to unwrap from us, her grandmas and her grandpas, that's enough. I want to shield her from the craziness as long as I can.
Tags: parenting
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