At The Birthday Party

18 Nov

So I mentioned that we went to a birthday party on Sunday, did I not? There are, however, a few things about said party that have been stewing that need to be said.

First of all, the party was fine. The kids were fine. The parents, however, I have issues with.

Scott has known the father for a long time – he actually lived in an apartment with him when they first got out of high school. Then the father met the mother and they split. Scott can’t stand the mother. He believes that she’s to blame for the father changing. I try to keep an open mind, but I did observe some things.

First of all – the mother has a serious control complex. She has to control or dictate everything. At one point her daughter, newly turned 5, was decorating an arts and crafts project she’d bought for all the kids to do and the mother actually said, “Why do you always do that? Why do you make it look like crap?” She’s FIVE. She was sticking stickers onto a door knob thingy. And then, when she tried to turn it over to decorate the other side, it was all, “Why are you doing that?! No one sees the other side. You’re the one who decorated this side to look crappy – now you either have to fix it or suck it up.” This said to a FIVE YEAR OLD.

Now I don’t believe in babying my children unless there is a reason, and I also believe that you have to earn your children’s respect, just as they have to earn yours. We believe in rules, boundaries, and limitations (all hail Cesar!) and also in sitting down and having fun with the kids. Last night, for pete’s sake, Scott was teaching the kids how to play Two Card Guts poker (Babygirl kicked his butt, by the way). We balance silliness and playing with rules and structure. I’m no June Cleaver, but you will NEVER hear me talk to my kids the way this woman did and does.

Another thing, however, happened. We bought the girl a pretty cool present (Blendy Pens – seriously, if you know of any children between the ages of 4 and…well..29…get these, they’re so much fun!) and she wanted to open them. She kept trying to get her mother to let her open them and her mother didn’t want her to. That’s fine! We’ve run across that situation here. Usually we take the child aside, explain that we’ll open it when all the guests have gone so that it doesn’t get broken/lost/used up, and redirect them to other toys that they can play with.

This, however, didn’t happen at the birthday party.

The mother kept saying “no”. Fine. Then she got ticked off as the child kept asking for them. At one point a truck broke and the mother turned around and snapped, “See! Look what you did. I thikn your father is mad at you – you broke the truck.” She even brought Toad into it, by saying, “Since you can’t play with it correctly, Toad’s taking it home.” Of course the child screamed, grabbed the truck, and ran off, confusing the hell out of my son. Then she wanted the pens again. The mother put them on the bar, said no, and walked away.

Pop quiz: what do you think the child did?

Of course. She hopped up onto the bar and grabbed them down. The mother then takes them away from the daughter again and, one more pop quiz, where do you think she put them the second time?

Back on the fucking bar.

Of course the daughter jumped up and grabbed them again. This went on three or four times. At one point the mother again said, “I’m telling Babygirl to take them home! There! How do you like that?!

Once again, the child made a face and just went for the pens. By this point the father, who had been a great help during the party, had had enough. He walked into the living room and turned on the telvision to watch football, escaping the screaming and fighting that was going on in the kitchen.

I have a feeling that he does that a lot.

Finally the mother had enough. She ripped open the package and hollared, “there! If you want to open them, that’s fine. But don’t come to me if they get ruined or destroyed.”

Now class, who do you think won the battle?

The child, of course.

This could have been handled SO much easier and without the stress. The parents simply had to take her aside, explain why she shouldn’t open them now, and, if that didn’t work, she should have put them where the daughter couldn’t reach them.

But no. Instead, she’ll go on watching things like this happen and wondering why they keep happening.


3 Responses to “At The Birthday Party”

  1. PinkPiddyPaws November 18, 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    wow. passive aggressive with your own kid. that’s just sad. the bad part is that little girl will grow up to do the same thing, I bet.

  2. Baby November 18, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    Huh. Hadn’t looked at it as passive aggressive – you’re right though! You never think about being passive aggressive with your own kid!

  3. Finn November 18, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    Stupid is as stupid does. Why do they some people breed? 😉

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