The Birthday Party

When I think back over the few short years that I have been a father there are only a few things that I had to do that were really tough to muster up the strength and courage of convictions to actually do.

Cleaning dirty diapers was not my favourite thing to do. The occasional poonami disgusted me absolutely no end. Waking up any number of times during the night to soothe a screaming child was not my favourite thing. Having a child climb into my bed and sleep across my throat is not a happy thing for me. Even the play date experience was a scary experience for me.

However, there is something that trumps all other events that I have grown to fear and loathe. And what is it that I fear and loathe?

When my kids come home joyfully announcing that they have been invited to a classmate’s birthday party.

Ugh. Errrr, I mean oh joy.

And then the reality sets in. It is not just another birthday party at someone’s house, this party is going to be held at one of those disgusting places where kids are allowed to run around like wild animals.

Crash Crawlies. A place that chose a teenager in a giant rat suit as their mascot.

Then you actually arrive at the hellhole of a warehouse where the birthday party will be held. You thought that Led Zeppelin concert you went to a 1971 was loud? That concert is nothing compared to the decibels that are being produced inside of the warehouse hellhole that is probably used as a rave site during the nighttime.

Thankfully they have a food supply there. Pizza supplied by the same kid who is probably going to be putting on the rat costume later. No birthday party is complete without birthday cake.

Are you getting the idea about the post-apocalyptic conditions in which you are leaving your child? This is a germaphobes worst nightmare.

And then what do you do during this experience? Do you leave your child in this arena of despair? Or do you stay and try to talk to the other parents who you don’t know and have no real plans of getting to know. How long really, can you make small talk with these people over the deafening roar of screaming children?

Although you recognize this pit of despair as the purgatory that it is, your children are probably having a really good time. Until they’re not. Then they come running screaming and crying that there has been some slight made by a person they thought was going to be their best friend for life.

Of course before the party ends every child who attends is given a goodie bag. A goodie bag of crap toys bought from the dollar store that is more than likely going to going to the garbage soon as he gets home.

Perhaps I have a more negative view of the birthday party event for children. Perhaps you share this point of view but have never felt safe actually admitting that you fear and loathe the birthday party the way I do. Feel free to whisper it – you also fear and loathe the birthday party.