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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chaos and Mayhem aka Toddler Bday Gone Wild!

On Saturday Mekhi and I attended the birthday party of his classmate. The invite seemed promising, a late afternoon party at Gymboree scheduled to last an hour and a half. Perfect. My child could run himself ragged, play on great equipment and be exhausted just in time for bed. Unfortunately perfection was fleeting.

Upon arrival we saw other children from Mekhi's class and family friends of the birthday boy. The first indication of something amiss was no birthday boy. He pulled an unpredictable toddler move and was napping at the start of the party. This was only problematic because the hosts were not in the play area to monitor the goings on. But since we were at Gymboree fun was in order with or without birthday boy. As you can see in the video Mekhi was having a fabulous time.



And like a good mommy I followed the rules (that were clearly written on the invite), I stayed within arms reach of my son and of course removed my shoes in the play area.

Unfortunately, I ended up being in the minority, very few parents followed the rules. If I have to venture to guess, there were approximately 30 children there. Many were older than the maximum age of 5 and yet - they were playing on the equipment and having a good ole time. Just a quick reminder, my son is 20 months old. 6 years olds (and older) running, jumping and shoving kids out of the way is a problem. Especially since the parents were either nowhere to be found or worse, encouraging the play. I would have videotaped the mayhem but I was too busy trying to ensure that my child was not bowled over in all of the excited horseplay.

Another mom and I stood hovering over our children, tsk, tsking the irresponsibility of the parents at the party. Fortunately no children were injured but there were several times when I was 2 seconds away from snatching up someone else's child and asking them to behave. And based on the attitude of the parents in attendance I probably would have been cussed out for my forward behavior.

Needless to say, the party was great in theory but in reality ended up being a lot more stressful than I anticipated. I have written a note to self for the future " request average age and number of children in attendance before accepting a birthday invitation." Harsh yes, but necessary for the well-being of my son and my mental health. Toddlers and school age children with inattentive parents do not mix.


For more Wordful Wednesday visit Angie's 7 Clown Circus.



32 comments:

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...

Whoosh--girl? That sounds like it was a m-e-s-s. You better practice the fine art of saying "NO!" to b-day parties, though--they're ALL like that!

Stesha said...

This might sound mean, but that is one of the reasons I stop having parties for my children. Since we are such a large family we just do a family party.

Some people get a birthday party invite and think it's free time. They just drop the kid off and leave, or stay at the party and don't supervise their own kid.

Hugs and Mocha,
Stesha

Sheliza said...

and folks wonder why the kids these days are so out of control?! I don't ever understand why, even if your kid is 10, they don't supervise their own child. Glad you were doing right for Mekhi and he was safe. He looks so cute and I know he had a blast~!

Lalapoo said...

you are so right, toddlers and school age children do not mix.. this happened to me too at a childrenchristmas party fo work (back when i was working)

Kristen Andrews said...

been there, often I am the only Mom that watches my kid it always shocks me. I wish more parents would be responsible and to make matters worse if you are the one watching your kid they think you are overprotective.

Mandy said...

Not surprising. I hate that part of birthday parties!! The last one we went to was at Monkey Joes (a jumping place) and while I followed my children around the inflatables, I fell and sprained my ankle. So that's what you get when you do the right thing. Awesome.

Ali said...

Being in a room full of kids, period, would stress me out!

We live in a town of 500 and the local park is usually deserted. I love it when we're the only ones there and I don't have to supervise or worry about other kids!

Calinda said...

I LOOVE munchkins and don't usually mind being mommy on duty but folks who presume that I'll watch their kids while they get their social on--don't get me started. And it's oh-so-common. Then when you say something to their child because they stepped on your munchkin for the 50th time, they wanna have a fit! Ahem! Let's all be responsible for our OWN--and even each others' young ones so everyone can enjoy. Sensible! That's why I LOVE having playdates with YOU. YOU are that kind of mommy. And I appreciate you.

Angela said...

Thanks for following. As I was getting my blog redesigned your blog was brought to my attention. I would love to feature you further down the line. Your booty cakes are beautiful. I'll be following.

CaraBee said...

Sounds like more of Bebe's Kids. We have a birthday party for a friend's daughter in a couple of weeks. She will be 4. We *have* to go because it is my husband's best friend, but I am so not looking forward to it, because 4 year olds are so rough.

resplendentlife said...

Welcome to my life! When I only had my daughter, I was a big kid snob. I would go the Children's Museum and leave if there was a field trip with older (5 years and up) kids. But this is the reality....the parents of the older kids feel that they don't need supervision in such a small, controlled space. They are not even thinking of your little munchkin.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

what I can say to this is - get used to it!! Sad, but true!

Allison said...

You go, girl! I am right there with you. I truly despise going to play areas where kids are running amuck and too big or old for the area in the first place, and possibly posing a hazard to my smaller children.

Stephanie @ bizziemommy.com said...

That is the same reason why I hate going to the mall playgrounds. They have the age limit clearly posted but yet there are 10 year old running and jumping around. I once saw a parent drop her kids off and leave to go shopping. WOW!

Jenni Jiggety said...

Ugh! I am glad he didn't get hurt!

3 Bay B Chicks said...

I read your post nodding my head in agreement the entire time. I couldn't agree more with the point you made about inattentive parents.

I must admit that you are much more restrained than I am. I have been known to make a comment or three to parents and/or children if they seem out of control. Honestly, what are people thinking?

-Francesca

LaTonya Yvette said...

I agree with CaraBee..You were dealing with BeBe's Kids.

Simply AnonyMom said...

DOes not sound like a fun time!

Elaine A. said...

I would be stressed too. This happens at the mall playground all the time! But I would think a birthday party would be a little better monitored!

My youngest son is also 20 months - our guys' birthday's must be close!

mannequin said...

Gettin trampled by a big kid is similar to a mosh pit I guess.
It always amazes me when I see parents chat, chat, chatting away as if the world was their babysitter.

Mia said...

I know what you mean. My husband and I are never far from being so surprised that parents just drop their kids and run, in pre-preschool, when it comes to parties. If they attend, they're completely hands off and seem to *ignore* the very obvious out-of-control-ness that's going on.

For us, we only attend smaller parties with more control. Just makes us all happier!

Jewelry Rockstar said...

I've had my fill of kid b-day parties. Girl you are just starting out, take up your cross and walk. Anyway, I've been keeping my eye on you, come see what I mean over at my blog.

Tooj said...

Bday parties are always....oh so much fun! Parents...ugh. Say no more.

Julie From Inmates said...

UGHHHH.... it's exasperating.

Cute cakes by the way!!!

fly tie said...

i hear ya and don't think it's really harsh at all you gotta look you for the well-being of your son, just as he said. can't be having him being all trampled over by some too big kiddos whose parents are off in la la land somewhere!

but seems like he enjoyed himself (at least some) regardless. :-)

Ms. Bar B: said...

AMEN! If you think that was scary/stressful/out of pocket then you can imagine how I felt when there were TEENAGERS plowing through kids trying to snatch up pinata candy!! A TEEN boy actually ripped a Ring Pop from Miss J's hand. I spent the remainder of the afternoon looking for some kid in a stripped shirt.

Sooo not a good look.

Threeboys1mommy said...

Can you believe these people girl? I hate when parents think a birthday party is break time.

(OMG! Your page is taking for EVER to load mama. It happened earlier in the week too, not sure if it's just me.)

Cindy said...

I've decided no one follows the rules..It doesn't matter what it's about. No one thinks they apply to them, anymore.

Nap Warden said...

I've been there...it's no fun:P

Jennae @ Green Your Decor said...

Reading this just made me realy happy that I declined an invite for my daughter to go to a classmate's party at Chuck E. Cheese's. I can't say I wouldn't have snatched up a kid or 2 if I were you :)

Kelly said...

if there's one thing i can't stand it's a parent who doesn't watch their kid!

Frogs in my formula said...

Ugh, that sounds so stressful. And what a letdown to encounter such rude parents. I love your note to your future self--it's totally reasonable!

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