Sunday, 21 April 2013

On parties and playdates

Yesterday, I dressed up as a princess to go to a birthday party with with almost-5-year old daughter.  It was a princess-party, obviously, attended by about a dozen friends from pre-school, and parental escorts, all dressed up.  The house was beautifully decorated with lanterns and banners. There were fancy cookies, pinwheel sandwiches, fruit kabobs, and a rice krispy tower. Rapunzel, herself, was even there as a special guest.

Meanwhile, beyond a gathering of aunts and uncles and grandparents, I have never even hosted a birthday party for any of my three girls.

I had always thought that turning five was a good time to start throwing birthday parties.  But my oldest is now six and a half, and my middle is about to turn five. And we're still party-free.

We also don't do the playdate circuit.

It's just always seemed too complicated to me.

As for birthday parties, my excuse is partly because my oldest's birthday is in early September,  before school starts.  And at five turning six, she didn't yet have a real established group of friends.  Or least friends for which I had the contact information for the parents. 

I guess that is the real problem here.  My unease in being socially outgoing.  I'm just not good at initiating relationships, making connections and developing friendships.

Which I'm mostly okay with, personally. 

But for my daughters, I know that I need to work harder on this.  It's hard to justify not giving them a birthday party just because I'm uncomfortable approaching their friends' parents.  I don't want to feel responsible for denying them opportunities to have fun with their friends, or for leading them to be as socially awkward as their mom.

So I'm going to work on this.  It'll be as good for me as for them, right?

Next question: Is two weeks enough advance notice for a birthday party invitation for my five year old?

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