When Did Seven Become a Teenager?


I couldn’t do it again this year. We had a big party last year. This year they each have something like 28 children in their classes. If we invited them all that is 56 kids, plus all of the extra kids that come because people automatically assume siblings are invited. It was out of the question. Just because I had two babies on the same day doesn’t mean I want 65 kids in my house.

No big deal. My kids are reasonable (ish). They understood and agreed on the small party. Each child got to pick an activity and three friends. Easy peasy.

Ian wanted to take his friends bowling. Claudia wanted to take her friends for a manicure and pedicure. No problem.

Or so one would think.

Claudia is in a multi aged 1/2 class. There are four first grade girls including herself and they have been pretty tight. This was a no brainer. Ian has been tinkering with his guest list. Some days he doesn’t have any friends and other days he has too many friends. He will make up his mind eventually.


Their birthday is today. We can’t have their party this weekend because of previous engagements. We were going to have it last weekend except before I invited everyone one of Claudia’s three announced her birthday party was that Saturday. I tried to make it Sunday, but oops! That was Mother’s Day. Try again. Did I mention we have a t-nall game every weekend that we have to work around?

We elected to postpone the parties for two weeks. The kids were cool with this. It was a birthday miracle!

But then Claudia got in a fight with one of her three. One of them wanted to play with the second graders and one of them didn’t.

Now they can’t be friends.

Which blows because I already told that mom that her daughter was invited, and now what? Do I go to her and say “Sorry, your kid was invited, but since she wanted to play with the second graders my ageist daughter won’t be friends with her anymore. Suck it.” and then in a week when they make up I have to go and embarrass myself again?

Because you just know they will make up. But Claudia is insisting that she cannot be invited.

And don’t even get me started on the boy. This week is stable but there is some sort of bizarre friendship triangle going on with that one. He fights with one of his friends like they are an old married couple.

Between the date changes and the time changes and guest lists I might lose my mind.

By the time we work this all out it will be their 8th birthday.

Some people say I have to have a birthday party. I say bullshit. I don’t have to have anything. Why would I spend the time, energy and money to throw a party for my kids and invite people that they don’t like.

And when did seven become one of the teenage years?

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  1. –>This would drive me to drink. More.

  2. I guess I’m a slacker mom because my kids are 9 and 6 and we’ve had ONE birthday party with friends between the two of them. And that was actually a joint party for Mimi and her best friend, so technically only half a birthday party.

    I am so going to rot in parenting hell.

  3. p.s., I was truly amazed at all the friend drama in PRESCHOOL. By 1st grade this stuff is old hat. Didn’t you recall that early elementary school for us as kids was relatively drama-free? (But then again, we had to walk uphill, both ways, in the driving rain…)

  4. That is exactly why I don’t have big parties. I hated dealing with that garbage when I was a teen and I’m not dealing with it now. Do what you want to do.

    And they become teenagers EARLY. My Kiddo was engaged at four. And just yesterday I caught him calling a girl “hot”. Yeah. He’s seven. It starts WAY to early.


  5. cassandra says:

    I have a singleton (7 years) and twins (4 years) and they have known from the beginning that Mommy only throws one big party a year, so we alternate years. Thankfully, I put the twins in the same classroom, so I don’t have to invite two classrooms (plus) of kids.

    And no, you don’t HAVE to have a birthday party. Who wants all that crap in their house anyway?

  6. My mom was smart. Every year we got to invite one friend to go to dinner anywhere the birthday kid wanted. I wish I had started with that tradition too.

    This year, I am making both of my May birthday kids share a party, which is kinda a drag for them, but I mostly don’t really give a shit.

  7. Ijust found your blog…I , too, have second grade boy/girl twins. I am so done with birthday parties! We keep the list small, but even so, girl has more kids show up than boy because all of the boys play sports.

    And I have a teenager…she will eb 16 tomorrow. She invited 54 girls to her Sweet 16 at our home, about forty will show up. She has lots of good friends, but “had to” invite about ten she did not want (high school-so glad that is over with!)

    I am sao over birthday parties!

  8. Dude. My son wanted his 9th birthday to be a sleep over. Fine. I planned it and then we had a flood so I told him we’d have to reschedule.

    That was 6 months ago. Oops!

  9. sherpamama says:

    My oldest daughter was born on Dec 23. Know how hard it is to plan a birthday party in late Dec? We postponed, postponed and then poof! she totally forgot that she never got a party! Going to hell? Yep – I’ll be joining Nancy!

  10. My twins are in first grade too and they have never had a “friend” birthday party because we move almost every year over the summer, and their birthday is in August, so they don’t really have any friends by then. So far so good, right? Except I’m worried that by the time they do want to have “friend” birthday parties, all the parents will think I should have gotten down how to do it by then and I won’t know what the hell I’m doing and I’ll hide in the closet the whole time while the children burn down the house…

  11. Some people are crazy. You don’t have to have anything. Parties are supposed to be fun. If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it.

  12. This makes me miss my childhood in the ’70s when my parents threw me a bday party by inviting all their adult friends and making them bring their kids and the adults all ended up shnockered on martinis and bed-hopping while by me and their kids watched Batman and ate pork rinds.

  13. Oliver being allowed to bring five friends to his “party” (baseball game) has been no end of drama. He didn’t invite the girl he says he is going to marry. Every day! He says he is going to marry her. And yet? No.

    And the obnoxious kid with the FANTASTIC (honestly) parents thinks he was the only one in the class excluded. That was a fun conversation in the coffee house one painfully early Saturday morning. “No, only five were invited. Yeah, I don’t think they really are best friends.” (Because your kid is a little shit, that’s why!)

    Somebody wake me when they get out of college.

  14. Holy crap. This is a cautionary tale if I ever heard one. I’m glad we’re taking a hiatus on birthday parties this year, but, after reading this, I’m making the kids pick ONE friend for their special activity. And if they get into a fight right before? Tough. They’ll have to suffer through each other. Happy birthday kids!

  15. We skipped the friends party this year. Mine turned 2 and 4 so, it wasn’t to big of a deal even for the oldest.

    It is crazy how many people think it is OK to bring siblings without even asking.

  16. And happy birthday to your twins!

  17. I swore off peer parties when my oldest was 9 and I ended up paying a crapload extra two years in a row because of those stupid parents that show up with their four other kids. My son will get to have peer parties when he’s old enough to have a couple of close buds…probably middle school. Luckily, his birthday is Jan 2, so he’s still hangover from Christmas and doesn’t mind.

  18. My younger daughter turned 7 on 27 April and I’m only getting round to invites this weekend (party next Sunday, 22 May) because of half term (22 April to 9 May) and other engagements etc. Also, we’re doing it joint with her best friend (7 on 4 May) so that’s cool. As for my elder daughter, I organised a “close friends only” party (she invited 4 friends) for her 9th in early January (her birthday was 27 December – yeah, I agree with Sherpamama: hellish for organising anything) and her dad was supposed to do a similarly small thing for her “not from school close friends” but he never did and she hasn’t complained so far…
    I actually enjoy organising parties, even when there are loads of kids: last year there were 16 for my daughter’s 6th, the year before 18… I’m just praying for good weather as our flat is really small!

  19. We kind of lucked out this year. It didn’t seem that many of the other kids were having birthday parties (T&M have been invited to ONE party this entire year). I asked them if they would like to do something special with mom & dad or have a party. They chose the something special.

    And, they got rocking birthday gifts – because if you aren’t spending $200 on birthday party, you can get rocking birthday gifts. I made sure they understood the big birthday gifts were because there was no party.

    Hopefully, they won’t want a party next year, either!

    Oh – and Happy Birthday to your two! Our twins’ birthdays I think are a week or two apart?

  20. Jean is the coolest person in the world.

    I don’t know how parents survive this birthday party culture. It is too complicated and upsetting for all involved. Plus, expensive. People still don’t know how to rsvp for big people parties. I say we cancel parties and just go do our favorite things. My next birthday, everyone is invited over to sit on my couch and drink beer with me.

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