And She Calls That A Kid’s Party??

Every day Princess Toddler and I eagerly await the arrive of the postie – me because after several emails insisting my manuscript is still of interest I’m waiting and waiting for THE LETTER to come (but that’s another story.) She waits eagerly because, well, pretty much everything’s exciting when you’re a toddler.

Today was especially exciting though. No, no publisher’s cheque in the mail. It was exciting for Princess Toddler. She received her very first party invitation by post. Actually, it was technically the second. So let me rephrase, it was her very first TODDLER invitation. I was actually more thrilled than Princess Toddler. I rapturously explained that the mail was for her, and pointed out her name on the envelope.

We raced inside. Well, I raced inside and then waited for her to lose interest in the sticks, gum nuts and grass outside, before finally make it to the lounge room, so we could open the damned letter. I half let Princess Toddler open it herself but I quickly became too impatient and I pulled out the contents of the envelope. First I grabbed a glossy flyer that promoted a party plan kids’ clothing company. Okay, kind of weird to be sending it with the invitation, but I didn’t give it another thought and reached into the envelope again.

I gleefully retrieved the party invitation, complete with a cute little picture of the party boy and colourful graphics saying ‘second birthday party.’ “Ooooh, look,” I exclaimed, and proceeded to show my daughter the invite, telling her she was invited to a party. As I was showing her the invite my eyes scanned the fine print and my excitement quickly turned to disbelief. Beneath the words ‘second birthday party’ was the name of the kids’ clothing company, a time, and the word ‘brunch.’

I couldn’t believe it. Had I read it wrong? I skimmed the invite again. No, I was right. The ‘second birthday party’ was actually a party plan invite. My brain went into overload telling me this is wrong on so many levels. What a fabulous idea! Your kid’s party will be a bunch of mums sitting around, trying to keep their kids quiet, so they can hear about the latest range of children’s clothing. Followed by brunch. No need to guess who the catering is for, certainly not the children. I just can’t wait to go. My daughter will not only miss out on the expected party games, party food, party play time, but her mum will be coerced into purchasing items she has absolutely no interest in.

Why not rewrite what a birthday is all about? Forget it being a happy occasion to mark the passing of a year. Forget it being a celebration of your birth. Forget it being a chance to share with friends your existence. No, a birthday is about consumerism. Why don’t you sit back while us mummies buy things we don’t need. Observe us as we talk about what we want to have and then share with you a portion of our brunch – so long as you didn’t make too much noise during the presentation. Let us show you how to become materialistic and engage in some pressure purchasing. As I was quietly deliberating all this, and seething beneath a calm mummy face, I quickly changed tact. Oh, look, your friend sent a photo of himself. Isn’t that nice. You remember him don’t you ….. Let’s just hope I didn’t make too much of a fuss about the invite as I allow it to magically disappear from the refrigerator door overnight.

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