8 Reasons I Like Kids’ Parties Better Than Grown-Ups’ Parties
Before I had kids, I felt sorry for my friends who were parents. It seemed like every weekend, they were going to some kiddie birthday party, sometimes two or more in the same day. Most of the time, they just shrugged and said, "Eh, it's not so bad."
Now that I have kids of my own, I finally know their secret: Kids' parties are AWESOME!
They've pretty much replaced grown-up parties in my life, but I don't mind, because they're so much more fun. Here's why:
1. They take place at a convenient time. Grown-up parties start at crazy hours... like 9pm! What parent wants to leave the house at 9pm? That's usually when I'm getting ready for bed. Kids' parties, on the other hand, take place in the afternoon -- or better yet, the morning. Sometimes, I can go to a kiddie party and be home by noon, in plenty of time to take a good nap.
2. They give us something to do. Every parent knows the hardest thing about weekends is filling up all that time and keeping your kids entertained. When you have a kiddie party to go to, you have a plan. The parties are always somewhere fun, and best of all, someone else pays for it. (Sure, you're expected to bring a gift, but we all just regift, right? I'm pretty sure that Crocodile Dentist game traded hands at least 5 times before someone gave it to my kids.)
3. No drama. At a kid party, no one's there to hook up. No one's throwing a martini in their ex-boyfriend's face. No one's doing blow in the bathroom. Everyone's just there to have fun, and no matter who shows up, you do, because the only agenda kids have at a party is to, well, party.
When I lived in LA, the scuttlebutt at any party was always about which D-list celebrity might drop by. I'm 3,000 miles away from Tinseltown now, but I can count on seeing celebrities at all my kids' friends parties -- real movie stars, like Batman and Belle! And they give out candy! Score!
4. Easy small talk. There's no need for opening lines or introductions at kid parties. If you don't already know someone from your kid's school, you just ask them which of the cute little cupcake-munchers is theirs and go from there. Most kids at parties are around the same age, so you can swap stories about whatever stage of parenting you're currently going through -- potty training, preschool, learning to read. And if you hit a dud parent, it's easy to bail out of the conversation. Just say you're going to check on your kid, and off you go.
5. Fun! Grown-up parties typically have one form of entertainment: booze. They put out a keg or a few bottles of wine or maybe they hire a bartender, but that's it. Beyond that, you're on your own. At a kid's party, they have fun hats and decorations, balloons, singing, party games. Everything's tailored toward the attendants' gnat-like attention spans, so there's wall-to-wall entertainment. When Pin the Tail on the Donkey is done, out comes the piñata.
6. Cake. Call me a traditionalist, but I don't need you to impress me with the dessert menu at your party. Save your petit fours and fancy tarts and such. Give me a plain old chocolate cake with a picture of SpongeBob drawn in icing. Whatever junk food I splurge on at a kid party is sure to be worth the calories.
7. I get to enjoy my kids at their cutest without having to do much. One thing I've noticed about kids parties is that they tend to bring out the best in kids. Everyone's happy and adorable, no one's melting down. Why would they? They're getting everything they could possibly want, and there's no time to get bored. Best of all, my kids don't need much of anything from me, because there are a zillion kids to play with. I can stand back and enjoy how sweet and cute my children are without much fear of them melting down. And if someone does start to whine and cry, they can just crank up "I Like to Move It, Move It" to drown them out and fill the dance floor.
8. No awkward goodbyes. There's nothing worse than a party that lasts until "?" o'clock. You have to make that painful exit where you thank the host and explain why you're leaving so soon. "No, really. I had a great time, but I can't stay for just one more drink, sorry." Or you sneak out without saying goodbye and then deal with the awkwardness the next day. This never happens at kids' parties, which have a hard out time, and it's always before everyone gets sick of being there. When you finish your cake, that's your cue to vamoose. By the time the glue dries on the pirate hat art project the kids were working on, they're pushing goodie bags in your hands and ushering you out the door.
Yeah, yeah. We'll see you at the next one of these in 30 minutes. I can't wait.