As mum to a now 7 and an 11 year old, I have spent quite a lot of time over recent years organising children’s parties.
Parties used to be held at home with a handful of your best friends. Pass the parcel, musical statues, sandwiches and jelly and ice cream. Minimal fuss, minimal expenditure.
Whilst these types of parties still exist, there’s a whole new breed of parties that have sprung up that just weren’t really the norm when we were all small.
Nowadays, soft play centres can be hired for a few hours, at considerable cost per child. Mine used to love soft play parties, and got to play in the ball pools for an hour with all their friends and have a party tea too laid on by the staff afterwards.
On average anything up to £10 per child, it added up when you used to invite most of the class.
All well and good, but when the venue asks for definite numbers a few days before the party, you start to steam between the ears at the sheer damn RUDENESS of some of the parents who, for some reason, either can’t be arsed to reply, or are incapable of reading the invitation properly to see when a response is needed by.
So you’d inevitably end up chasing up parents in the school playground, asking if they were coming, and then dutifully reporting back to the soft play centre with numbers.
If you think that’s stressful enough, it got even worse when, after saying that they’d come, you’d always get at least one or two that just didn’t bother to turn up after you’d paid for them. Therefore a party bag and meal going to waste.
As the eldest’s birthday is at the end of the summer holidays, there’s no school to remind people. So you’d be wondering if everyone would bother turning up.
Nearly everyone did, but there’d always be one or two entitled people who’d say they were coming and then not bother.
One party, three people decided to do just this, which left me paying approximately £30 in total for three no shows. Grrrr.
So, if I was a bit more ballsy, I’d have done exactly what Julie Lawrence did when one dad decided that actually, he had something better to do that day and bogged off to the grandparents for the day instead.
Instead of telling her, or you know, just honouring the first thing that you said you’d do instead of ditching in favour of something else that comes your way.
Imagine if everyone did that? There’d be nobody at the poor child’s birthday.
Manners, people. If you can’t be bothered to go, SAY so before wimping out on the day and landing the host with a bill they didn’t need to pay.
Good on you Julie, even if you were a bit heavy handed and OTT. I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from! :-)
What does everyone else think?
Boy gets sent invoice for missing birthday party