One of my hopes for my kids has always been that they’ll be popular with their peers. Happily, this has proved to be the case. They seem to be well liked and by a really nice crowd of kids too.
It’s unusual to go anywhere local without hearing a friendly voice shouting one of their names followed by an exchange of smiles and waves. So it’s good news all round then, right? Well, mostly.
This is very much a first world problem, but keeping up with all the birthday parties is exhausting. From Monday to Friday, Dylan and Xander are ordinary school kids. When the weekend rocks up, however, they’re basically socialites. I’m partied out and I’m not even a named guest!
This isn’t a complaint at all, you understand. I enjoy taking them along to their friends’ parties and seeing them have a good time. I haven’t been to one that I haven’t enjoyed either. It’s just an observation that parties seem so much bigger, more frequent and energy sapping than in my day.
I don’t remember going to nearly as many when I was a kid. The boys have been to loads lately though. Last weekend, for example, they each had one to go to. One on Saturday and one on Sunday. That was pretty much our weekend. Well, that and helping with homework.
Trends have changed a lot. In the 1980s, most parties were smaller. More often than not, they took place at the birthday girl or boy’s house. There were a few bigger ones in hired halls, but not many. Nowadays though a large room full of kids is the norm. I could get a tour T-shirt of all the local venues I’ve been to!
Thinking about it, the high number must be something to do with the period between September and Christmas. I’ve come to think of it as birthday season as it seems to be densely populated by parties.
Whatever the explanation, I’m knackered. Buying presents for kids I don’t know as well as some of the others is tricky. I overthink things like this at the best of times. As a result, I often spend ages agonising over two very similar choices.
Then there’s the difficult task of not being an embarrassing dad. I’m saving that for when they’re teenagers. I need to be able to differentiate between artists of pop songs in order to look cool.
On the flipside, I need to appear to like Gangnam Style. This is particularly challenging as I managed to avoid said ‘song’ for three entire years. An achievement I’m rather proud of.
Oh well, I’ll get used to it all. Which is just as well really. Amelie is fast approaching party-going age so I’ll have three little socialites to keep up with.
Do kids’ birthday celebrations leave you feeling partied out?