Monday, March 15, 2010

Party Math

The girls attended a birthday party Saturday afternoon. When we received the invitation, I asked the birthday girl's Mom, "So, how many children did you invite to the party?" Her response made me realize I need to ask the question more often.

The Mom replied that she invited four children to the party. This means the girls were 1/2 of the invited crowd.

I have to admit I never asked the question before. Most of the parties we've been to have an overflow of children. There are siblings, cousins, friends and others just everywhere. In some cases the parents invite all the girls in the child's class or the child's tumbling class or something along that line.

This family doesn't have a lot of relatives in the area, so I didn't think it would be a huge party.  It wasn't at an expensive location where you would expect a small crowd.  (I realize it could have been a budget issue, but that wasn't my first thought.)  I knew she didn't have many people to invite, but I never thought it would only be four children and the birthday girl.

The implications of inviting the girls are bigger with a small party. We're one invitation, but two children. If the girls don't attend, it's a really, really small party. The Mom said that if the girls couldn't make it, she would move the party to the next weekend if that was better for us.

I told her we'd make the party and thanked her for the invitation.

It's not very often that we don't attend a party, but from now on I will be more mindful of the party crowd. I feel a new responsibility to make sure we don't ruin someone's birthday party.


Rachel said...

What perfect timing with this post.
This sounds just like what I am doing with C's party.

I am inviting 4 girls and with C that makes 5. I didn't want it to be too big because we are gonna decorate cupcakes. To much of them and there just will be chaos in my eyes. That and I want to be able to keep things under control and I want keep the cost down.

I think society has made us feel that we *have to* make it big and extravagant. I stepped back and thought to myself, How can I make this special for C. Hopefully I have made the right choice and I also hope that the 4 girls we invite show up.

Fingers crossed that this doesn't backfire.


dcr said...

hey there shari! a very similar situation happened to us last week. my younger daughter was invited to a classmate's bday party, didn't really want to go but RSVP'd that she would. and she did. i come to find out AFTER the party that this girl had invited her ENTIRE class (58 girls) and only nine showed up. apparently there was a conflicting event. i asked my kid why she went as she wasn't very good friends with the kid who had the party, and she said she KNEW few people were going to attend, she didn't want this girl to feel really bad.

Julie K said...

Well, some still follow the old rule similar to "the number at the party = the childs age". So if turning 6, you get 5 to invite + the birthday kid. With the economy the way it is, this might become a popular equation again.

Noelle said...

My daughter has a sweet little friend from preschool who has 3 siblings close in age. They're a great family, so whenever we have a party we invite all four kids. Since my daughter is an only child we figure the more the merrier. And even if we get together with them, it's like a party because there's so many!