Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Admission of guilt: Bribery of a minor

If you are 1) judgy or 2) have only one child or 3) are really into birthdays, you may not want to read on.

We just bought our child out of a sixth birthday party. I couldn’t handle the planning and preparation, nor could I wade through the 40-something children in kindergarten to figure out whom to invite. So we gave Hank a choice: a shopping spree at Toys R Us or a party. He took about .073 seconds to consider the options.

It was the best birthday ever. We went out to breakfast where he was allowed to order chocolate chip pancakes and hot chocolate and then immediately shuttled him to the store to channel the chocolate energy. The only think that makes me bitchier than a dose of Sudafed is being trapped in Toys R Us (the plastic! the neon! the electronic noises!) so I left to run errands while Scott patiently waded through aisles of toys with Hank and shopping consultant, Juliet. Hank made some great choices within the amount of money we gave him and even offered to buy his sister a game.

No invites, no gift bags, no kindergarten boys jacked up on cake and ice cream. I plan to offer this choice every year! If nothing else it’s good angst fodder for when he grows up and realizes he doesn’t have any birthday party photos.

But before you judge me for my child bribery, regard the joy!


15 comments:

Jessica Secret said...

I used to do this for my birthdays, I loved it! So much better than a party, in my opinion.

RKCharron said...

Hi Christy :)
I wish I had thought of this when my children were younger!
I loved the picture too.
All the best,
RKCharron
xoxo

Jennie Englund said...

You are SO smart!

I'm taking serious notes...

Jody said...

haha! I love it!

storyqueen said...

Bribery was invented by parents and teachers!

(I know because I am a parent and a teacher...)

jberk said...

This is brilliant & fantastic & I am stealing this idea! I can't imagine that he will ever think it's anything but great.

Side question: Why/how does Sudafed make you bitchy?

Kimberly Derting said...

Ahaha, I love it! On a smaller scale, I bribe my kids out of doing the school door-to-door fundraisers by offering them a shopping trip to Target in exchange for the crappy prize they would have won. I spend less than I would have spent on cookie dough/wrapping paper/coupon books and I save all the time of shuttling them and gathering orders, and then schlepping the goods out for delivery. I am a fan of the creative opt-out, even when it involves my checkbook.

Anna Claire said...

Who needs birthday party photos? Sword-fighting in Toys R Us is so much cooler! This is a fab idea that I'm seriously going to steal...one day when I have kids, that is. You're an awesome mom.

Corey Schwartz said...

What an awesome idea. I wonder if I could persuade my soon to be six-year-old to make the same choice!

Robin said...

You are my hero.

Hardygirl said...

OK. Brilliant.

My children are chasing each other around the bathroom with boogers. What kind of bribe works for that?

sf

Katie said...

I have totally done this at least twice and it was bliss :-)

Christy Raedeke said...

Wow, I thought I'd get some judgy comments, but no! Thanks for the support! SF, your comment killed me.

Berk, take a dose of Sudafed and try to spend time with your family. Then you will understand the bitchy comment...

Melanie said...

Brilliance! My parents did it once for my 13th birthday. I was old enough to know that I was being bribed, but I loved every second of it.

Casey McCormick said...

I gave a birthday party for my daughter's first two birthdays. Long before the third one rolled around this year, I was scheming ways to get out of doing it again, and never again. Ha!

We ended up leaving town, going to the zoo, and having a small pizza get together. It was so much better!

I've decided to give my baby a party for his first birthday this January to be fair, but I'm going to do everything possible to avoid the second, and third, and well... you get it.

I'm so glad we feel the same!