We haven’t done Mommy Wars in a couple of years I think. Here’s a topic that has me in a snit.
One thing I said I’d never do as a parent was the birthday party treat bag. As a kid I remember my mom putting on birthday parties where we played pin the tail on the donkey and other childhood party games. There was always a winner with a little gift. There were always kids who walked away with only smiles and bellies full of cake and ice cream. It wasn’t required that every child needed a gift in order to make them all feel special. It is the birthday girl’s (or boy’s) special day. Why shouldn’t they feel special on that day?
When my dad first got sick I remember sitting in the hospital and my aunt was telling me about a birthday party she was putting on for her grandson. She said something about treat bags. I asked what treat bags were. She explained the concept and we both agreed it was stupid. But as she put it, “it’s what you do at birthday parties now.” Aw hell no.
Somewhere I wrote a list of things I would and would not do as a parent. Treat bags was on the hell no list. I can say that treat bags is one thing I’ve managed to avoid in the nearly 5 years of parenting. I’ve also avoided inviting the entire school class and party games. What I’ve learned, those things are great, but what kids really want is to get together and play. Parties at our house involve good food, good cake, good friends and no treat bags. Kids still go home with smiles on their faces and bellies full of cake and ice cream.
While I’ll always say no to the treat bag I can’t avoid them coming into my house. In the past 3 weeks Oleg has been to no less than 4 birthday parties. All of them complete with treat bags. I was aware that the parties he attended would be having said bags, but all of a sudden we had a glut of small plastic chotchkies in our house. Every time I came home from work there would be more crap. Eventually I figured out that the treat bags were coming from school.
Oleg’s teacher makes sure that all the kids with Summer birthdays have the chance to have a birthday at school. I like the idea since I have a summer birthday, but I thought that just meant bringing individually wrapped rice krispy treats or other equally unhealthy pre-packaged treat (school won’t let us send home made snacks for the class). Apparently, this now means sending treat bags for the entire class to school.
Where does the insanity end? The treat bags of doom pushed me over the edge when Oleg pulled one out of his backpack and looked inside and said, “there’s only 2 things in here.” Aw hell no. No child of mine will have expectations of gifts.
Weigh in for me. What do you think about treat bags. Why do you or don’t you give them out? What about bags for school?