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Even brain surgeons must find children’s birthday party planning stressful

If you don’t have children, the title of this blog post may seem unreasonable. But, here, a true story courtesy of my friend J.

J: Did I tell you about C’s birthday party??

Me: No, what?

J: Well, it got really complicated because there are 20 children in his class and we didn’t want to leave anyone out, but 20 … well, we weren’t going to have 20 children at the party.

Me: I hear you. I would never have 20 kids over to my house.

J: Oh no, we’re not having them over to the house!

Me: Phew. I was wondering if I’d taught you nothing over all these years.

J: No, no … we’ve picked a party place. Which is the other thing … each child is an extra cost. So, naturally, 20 is getting out of hand.

Me: We used to let Stella pick as many children as her age, so if she was turning 4, she could invite 4 friends.

J: Hmm, I’m not sure C would go for that.

Me: Well, what about inviting just the boys in the class?

J: Yes, that’s exactly what we decided. So that brings us to about 10 children.

Me: 10 will still be expensive though, won’t it?

J: Well, it’s better than the 20 we started with! Also, for every parent that stays at the party, we have an extra cost too.

Me: Oh. Okay, I know … when they RSVP, make sure that the parents know there is lots of supervision and that they are welcome to drop off and go enjoy a nice coffee.

J: Nice. Good plan.

Me: What? What else …

J: Well, we took the class list that the school had provided and we went through the list and sent invites to just the boys on the list.

Me: Yah.

J: Well, my husband calls today saying, “We have a code red on the birthday party.”

Me: CODE RED??? [crossing my legs while laughing and almost falling over in the parking lot]

J: Yes. He then tells me that “Jamie” on the list of the boy invitees is actually a girl!

Me: [still trying not to pee my pants]

J: Now I don’t know what to do….

Me: I gotta, go. I really have to pee!

See, it’s complicated. And stressful!

P.S. If you’re wondering why I’ve removed my Amazon affiliate advertising, you probably missed the social media storm, summarized on Jessica Gottlieb’s blog. I also recommend this excellent post on MoMeo magazine which summarizes the aftermath and provides valuable tips for protecting your children as well.


  1. In my experience most girls don’t want to go to the Boys party and vice versa.

  2. I went to my friend’s two years old birthday party recently, so even though I don’t have kids yet, I can understand the title!

    The party was great but boy, it was a lot of work! Thankfully, I was only the assigned photographer.

  3. I just went through the ringer on this with my daughter’s birthday party.

    Honestly, it must be simpler planning the guest list for the Royal Wedding than for that of a 9 year old girl’s birthday party!

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