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!