My husband and I used to go out to dinner a lot. We would usually sit at the bar and spend several hours drinking wine and eating appetizers for meals. We rarely sat at a table and would just enjoy the experience of sampling food and drinks.
Now no more bar for us- we need a table that can fit a highchair, or preferably a booth where we can pen the kid in at one end. Also, you probably want to stick us somewhere in the back where we won’t be a nuisance. But not too far back because one of the kids may open the emergency door and set off the very loud alarm.
So the other night, as I sat on the toilet at the restaurant, listening to the screeching alarm going off, I totally knew that was our table causing the commotion. We were out to dinner with friends that had two boys, 4 and 6. So I did not burst out of the bathroom worried there was some sort of actual emergency. I may have actually lingered a moment or two longer than usual, hoping the alarm would be off by the time I stepped out.
Back in before baby days, we would be at the bar, rolling eyes and laughing at the hapless parents trying to enjoy a meal and wrangle their children. Most likely thinking what a bunch of brats they were and how if we had kids they would be sitting quietly like little angels.
Oh how the mightly have fallen…right off their barstools.
I’m new to this kid birthday party thing and one thing I keep running into over and over again is the “No Gifts Please” request. Seems pretty straightforward. They don’t need any more junk, but would love for you to celebrate with them. Just please don’t bring them any more stuff they have to find a place/use for, because they already have a ton of stuff.
However, my husband has always interpreted “No Gifts Please” as “We are just being polite, you should really bring some kind of gift or we’ll think you’re terrible people.”
This usually results in an argument where I tell him he can go get a gift if he wants, but he doesn’t, then we show up and see few people actually brought gifts, then he’s all “I told you so,” and then I feel like crap. This cycle repeats with every invitation. So when faced once again with the no gift plea, I turned to Facebook to see what the common opinion was.
Seems there’s a birthday party conspiracy theory running rampant that “No Gifts” should be interpretated as you see fit, and there are loopholes where you should actually bring a gift.
And then there’s the “I was raised to be polite and bring a gift” camp, but all those people don’t seem to realize that the polite thing to do is FOLLOW THE DAMN INSTRUCTIONS and honor the request of the people throwing the party.
If you are feeling confused, here’s the most popular reasons posted as to why they make the request for No Gifts:
1 – They live in a small space and already have too much stuff. They’d have to get rid of stuff just to fit in the stuff you brought that they didn’t want.
2 – Their kids are getting a ton of presents from family already.
3 – Their child is particular and probably won’t like it so they don’t want you to waste your money.
4 – Their child is turning one and isn’t going to notice anyway.
5 – They want everyone to come and have fun and not worry about spending money on a gift.
In case you are still not convinced and have to bring something to ease your pain about going against the social norm, the most popular non-gift gift solution was to get a gift card and give it discretely so you don’t make all the other people who followed directions feel bad. The other top ideas were tickets for experiences and bringing food items.
It all boils down to this: It’s not some social experiment. No Gifts Please really means don’t bring a gift. Not “get creative about your gift” or “I don’t want you to feel like you have to, but please bring a gift.” It’s straight, honest, and pretty easy to understand. And when you show up without that gift bag, I’m pretty sure the host will be happy you actually took the time to read her invitation.
Before baby, I used to get a little pissy every Christmas when the cards would start rolling in and it would be just one smiling kid after another. I don’t know these kids! I want to see my friends! Same with Facebook. Thanks for the 100th photo of your child doing something mundane like using a spoon (which I know now is actually mind blowing) but can I see a photo of my MIA friend for once? I couldn’t understand why on Earth all people with kids did was post photos of their kids!
So, oh hey…I get it now (I often feel I should just title this blog “how I got everything wrong and know nothing”)
Every photo of your kid is cute. Everything he does is amazing and you want to share it with the world, or at least with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who are all on Facebook. And you are busy, frazzled, and most likely covered in some foreign substance whether it be spit-up, snot or food. You didn’t have time to even comb your hair. You tried to take a selfie but that took about 20 tries with a squirmy kid and the lighting was just terrible and no filter is going to help. They should create a filter for moms called “Before Children” that dresses you up, does your hair and takes at least 5 years off.
So I understand why only every 25th photo posted has you in it. I do that now myself. But just because I understand does not mean I’m letting you Christmas card people off the hook. Go comb your hair and get in the pic dammit. As much as I actually enjoy seeing all my friend’s kids pics now, I still want to see them just as much.
Although when you guys use a spoon, I’m way less impressed.