As mentioned in previous posts, I've never been one for big birthday parties for tiny children. It all seems a lot of money and work for something they won't really appreciate, and mine have always been happy with a few friends and family coming over for tea and cake.
Nevertheless, Littleboy 1 has been invited to a number of birthday bashes here by children in his class, and I felt maybe we should reciprocate. Five is also a pretty major birthday, plus he's much more aware now about his birthday and I knew he would definitely enjoy a bigger party.
The problem was where to have it. Our house is pretty small, and the idea of fifteen or so five year old boys rampaging around it was not exactly appealing. Nor is the changeable Long Island spring weather reliable enough to hold it outside; this weekend was beautiful, with temperatures around 30 degrees celsius, but today is pouring with rain and thundery.
I decided, therefore, to hold it in a local gymnastics centre, which provides sports and games and pizza for the kids. It would be by far the most expensive party we've ever given, but I thought it would be worth it for Littleboy1 if his preschool friends could come.
I found a suitable time when the place was free - 4pm on a Sunday, when I thought most people would be around. I did notice as I booked it that it fell on US Mother's Day - the 9th of May - but, that date also being my wedding anniversary, my thoughts were more along the lines of 'oh well, won't be going out for an anniversary meal on the day this year' than worrying about that.
So now....two weeks after sending out the invitations. Out of the 14 boys invited, half the parents have yet to reply. At least two have turned down the invitation 'because it is Mother's Day'. I've managed to rustle up another friend's son, so we are now up to 8, but I have paid for a party for 12 kids, so 12 I am going to have to have, dammit.
I have spent the morning phoning up people on the class list to chase them. I left six answerphone messages, and got through to one father, who rather grumpily (I thought) asked "Is it Mother's Day?'" and when I replied, "Er, yes," said: "He won't be able to come." No "sorry, we didn't get back to you earlier" (the invtation had stated RSVP by last Friday); no "thanks for the invitation".
Now, I don't know if I'm just being unrealistic, but isn't that just bloody rude? I know people are busy, I know people forget, but for half the people not to reply? These are, after all, the same crowd who turned up to the class show VERY early, all organised with their cupcakes and everything. They are obviously not total ditzes.
And, if you have forgotten, surely an apology is in order?
The other point is about Mother's Day - is it really such a faux pas to have organised a kid's birthday party at 4pm on Mother's Day? This never would have occurred to me in the UK. And, as The Doctor says, there's some kind of holiday/celebration almost every weekend here, so you'd be hard pressed to find a weekend when there wasn't something going on......
OK rant over. I'm tired (no-one slept last night due to the heat), I was icing cupcakes to take to preschool at 7am this morning, and ...oh wait.
Someone just did phone back. And apologise for not having replied earlier. And say thanks for the invitation.
The world is not all bad.