Birthday Parties: Why the Drop-off Party Rules

Cake by Melissa & Doug, $19.99 on Amazon

Last weekend, we went to two birthday parties. One was my favorite kind: the drop-off party. Oh yes. Jasper hit four and some (blessed) parents started hosting these babies.

Melisa and Magnolia and I used the 3 hours that Jasper spent partying to play at the Ikea ballroom (okay that was more Magnolia) and shop for Ikea fabric. Gotta get a cute cushion on that Expedit bench I mentioned a few posts ago. I also bought a pair of knee-high boots (gorgeous, Italian, black leather, on sale) to replace the ones I had to give away last fall (long story).

In short, it was time well spent.  I mean it’s the beginning of February and I’ve been without knee-high boots since last October. Practically a crime in NYC where every woman has a pair (they’re like cell phones. Or Hanky Pankys).

The second birthday party was the kind I have come to dread: the stay at home, come one, come all party. In this case, the kid’s friends, their parents, and their siblings. Probably 40 people in all.

It was INSANE. The parents, for the most part, sat in the 90 degree kitchen (radiators full blast x a sunny day on the top floor x the oven = stifling heat) around the food. The kids were, for the most part, at the other end of the apartment (we’re talking 20 feet away, tops) in the birthday boy’s room.  That doesn’t seem far, right?  It might has well been on the OTHER SIDE OF THE PLANET.

OMG, it was like Lord of the Flies in that bedroom. Kids swinging golf clubs, lacrosse sticks, jumping off bookshelves, beds, dressers, out of closets; slamming doors, trying to lasso other kids (usually around the neck), pushing, wrestling, yelling, throwing, you name it and it was happening.

Usually, I give Melisa a hard time for over-worrying about what might happen to our kids in chaotic situations, but this time I was scared to leave the bedroom. Every time I looked around, something that was a potential trip to the hospital was about to occur. I tried only to intervene when the situation was truly dire (like when I saw a stray bamboo skewer sticking point side up in some Play Doh — right in the “we jump off the bookshelf and land just about there” area).

And 99% of the other parents: not worried in the slightest about what was going on. The whole “they need to be kids and express themselves” thing.

So here’s to the drop-off party. Generally speaking, kids 5 and up are old enough. And if you insist on having 15  kids to a party and you live in a very small space, could we please 1) not include the parents or siblings or 2) go elsewhere (and have something for the kids to do other than run wild and trash the house).

Oh, I sound like a Grinch, but seriously, really, I’M NOT GOING BACK TO ONE OF THESE PARTIES.

** This may seem like the 4 hours isn’t a playdate — it’s free babysitting post“… and you know what it? It is.

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1 Response to “Birthday Parties: Why the Drop-off Party Rules”


  1. 1 Amy Winegardner February 3, 2010 at 1:37 am

    I love you girls. We really need to live closer!


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