Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Party Fiasco....Sassy Version

Thank you for your efforts to cheer me up yesterday.  So here is the deal with Sassy's:

In general, the school has made inviting kids to a birthday party INCREDIBLY difficult.  Invitations aren't "supposed" to go out at school (even if you are inviting all the kids).  They want them to go directly to the child's home....but won't give you any information on how to contact the other family.  My kids are 9, so they are able to talk to other kids and get some info, but what about the Kindergarteners???  I digress.

We spoke to each teacher and worked something out.  Basically, I sent in the invitations, in a sealed envelope.  The teacher put the invitations in the appropriate child's backpack and told them to take those home.  From this point, we have absolutely no idea what happened to them.

We invited 3 girls of her choosing for her spa party.  We have already put down a non-refundable $50 deposit.  By Sunday, we hadn't heard from anyone.  I had info for one family, as the mom is the Girl Scout leader (yes, Sassy is in Girl Scouts, but overall the troop isn't all that cohesive or active).  The girl was in Sassy's class last year, and we sent her invitation to her house.  I spoke to the Mom, and the girl has some allergies and they weren't comfortable sending her.  Strike 1.

Sassy brought home the phone numbers for the other two girls (who, by the way....Sassy now says she barely talks to).  I called the first mom, who was rude as rude can be on the phone.  She acted like she had no idea about the party.  But said they will be out of town.  Strike 2.

Called Girl #3...and the number isn't in service.  We have now sent home a note to Sassy's teacher to see if he can get in touch with the family.  But we are more or less calling this one as Strike 3.

We haven't told Sassy yet.  We already know she is going to be upset.  And we are waiting to see if we can pull off a Hail Mary.  But things aren't looking good.

We already decided that the day will be Sassy Day.  G-man had already planned on taking Bossy for the day anyway, so that is fine.  What we do for the day will be Sassy's choice.  They have a Mommy and Me package at the spa if she still wants to do that.  If not...then so be it.  We can do lunch, a movie.  Whatever she wants.  If we don't do the spa, we will ask her if she wants to invite friend #1 to come with us (the one with the allergies).  I am pretty sure her mom will be ok with it.  And I have no problem taking both girls out for the day.

This is the parenting part that isn't in a manual somewhere. I know this isn't the end of the world.  But my heart just aches for my baby who is about to get hurt.  We have considered talking to the school social worker and see if she can observe Sassy.  See if there is anything she is noticing that is impeding her friend making ability.

I am annoyed that no one RSVPed and I had to chase them down (which by the way....is the same issue we are having with Bossy's party).  How hard is it to take 30 seconds and say Yes or No?

We also decided that there is a pretty good chance we won't use all the money we set aside for the parties.  Whatever is left will remain in the account to be used for the kids....park and rec events, camp, etc.

And let me tell ya....Bossy's story is just as complicated and annoying!!!


  1. I'm sorry about all of the trouble with the parties!
    Sounds like such a hassle!

  2. Life is sooo much more complicated than when I was a kid. My mom knew the parents of all my friends and could just call them or go to their house to chat. Just getting invites to the parents seems like a crapshoot. Who knows if they are still sitting in the bottom of backpacks? Two of the girl families sound like they may be having difficulties themselves, phone out of service is a clue. Hey, go to the Mother-daughter spa. Explain to Sassy sometimes plans don't always work out, there was a problem getting the invites to the parents, but hey you still have an adventure and fun. Isn't this how real life is anyway. It's good to learn young how to turn lemons into lemonade.

  3. We had the exact same thing happen for our daughter's 9th Birthday. Unfortunately she still remembers it. I will say however that my girls both also missed birthdays because the invites were in the knapsack....till after the party. I am a mother who has always encouraged independence and personal responsibility so I did not frequently check all the pockets for notes and such. Not that there is any excuse for the rude mom on the phone - that's just a lack of manners and probably her daughter would be that way too.

    We made the best of the day - it hurt her and was a few years before she wanted a party again but then when she was in grade 7 she had a terrific movie party with all ten girls coming over for the party.

    I agree schools are making all sorts of things difficult in an effort to make things 'fair'.

    Anyway just wanted you to know its not just you.

  4. I know we all wish there was something we could do. I hope she has a wonderful birthday and I hope she loves what you do know matter what. I know you will make it a great birthday no matter what


  5. Boy my heart goes out to you. I know that no mater what you do it will be difficult. Is there no one else she wants to invite?

  6. I feel for Sassy. Poor kid. I know that you'll make sure she has a great day regardless.

    I think getting a quiet observation by the school social worker is an excellent idea.

  7. I feel terrible for Sassy. Birthday parties are the worst. At my kids school you have to invite the entire class if you are sending in invitations. Once I asked the teacher if it was okay to just invite all the girls instead and it was fine. We sent out 10 invitations and heard from 3 kids. I don't understand why it is so difficult to RSVP. Heck I always put our email address and phone number just to make it easier!! I think it is wonderful for the two of you to just spend a day doing whatever she wants to do. My kids love when they get a whole day to themselves with me or my husband. Hopefully that is the memory she will have when she looks back on this birthday!

  8. I'm sorry!

    I have a child with a birthday a week after Sassy's. It's tough to plan a party around that time when they are young - they aren't really sure who their friends in school are for the year and families are so busy trying to squeeze in that last little bit of summer fun. Plus sports and all that craziness start up at that time of year.

    I also have a child with a February birthday and I have to say that it's MUCH easier to plan a party at that time of year. The kids know each other better and snow weary parents are more than ready to ship their children out of the house for a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon!

  9. Good point. So much that happens is due to timing and has nothing to do with you.

  10. I am dealing with that same thing with my daughter's former school (we homeschool now). The teachers didn't seem to want to pass them out and then we heard nothing at all from any parent. I had no phone numbers so I couldn't call anyone. It resulted in a birthday party with only 1 friend attending. But it worked out great. The girls had a great time. The mommy and me spa day sounds like a great idea! at least you have a back up plan.

  11. I thought it was a California thing! I guess it is spreading across the country. I think it is a generational thing. It was not passed down to the next generation.

  12. Sorry that things are so messed up for this party! Our world is becoming a much harsher, lazier place and it's so sad. Just make it the best day possible for all of you!

  13. Not to take anything away from the stress of trying to plan your daughter's party, I have seen the otherside of handing out invitations at school. It goes beyond hurt feelings for those who do not get an invitation. Kids get upset and fight with each other. Moms come in and get (inappropriately) upset with the child who was giving out the invitations if their child was not invited. Moms and moms (sometimes dads) get into shouting matches on the playground and in the hall (in full view of the children). Calls to the teacher. Calls to the principal.

    I hope things work out for your special day. It is hard being a parent wanting to make good healthy connections for your child. Been there myself...when I was a child.

  14. @Jolie - I understand about hurt feelings and teh such. Which is why my original plan was to mail them home. But when the school won't release an e-mail or phone number to allow you to get into contact with another parent, you start running out of options. The school won't help you help yourself.

  15. I may be too late for this, since this post is a few days old, and I have not read the other comments, either. But it sounds like you simply didn't send out enough invitations. If you know first and last names you can usually find mailing addresses by looking online. My rule of thumb would be to invite 2-3 times the number of kids you really want attending since many won't be able to come. Then about a week before, call those who have not RSVP'd (that annoys me too, but that's typical manners - lack of manners - these days) and invite more with about one week's notice if you still don't have enough guests. I learned this the hard way; once we had to go through the neighborhood knocking on the doors of people we hardly knew to collect enough kids (3 guests) for a party with zero notice, and it turned out fun, but this was for a 5-year-old and that's not the ideal way to do things.

  16. @444 - we didn't know the kids' last names, and neither did Sassy. Plus, we have since found out that 1 child has a different last name from the parent. Additionally, we were not prepared to invite "extra" kids due to the budget. We had $250 for this party. If all the extra kids decided to go, we simply couldn't afford it.