Should we invite the class?
March 26, 2008 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Birthday party etiquette question: Would it be in bad taste to invite my son's preschool classmates to his fifth birthday party?

So far my child has been invited to two birthday parties this year. We didn't go to either. My child was sick and sleeping for the first party that was held earlier this year. I called the parent the morning of the party, apologized, and explained the situation. I'm glad we didn't go because the next day he had a rash. It was fifth disease. When I called, the mother said, "Oh I never knew you were coming in the first place." I left a message on her machine a week earlier stating that we would be there. She told me a couple days later that her husband had heard it and erased it on accident.

For the second party that was held a month or so ago, I completely forgot. I RSVPd, marked it on my calendar and I still forgot. I called and apologized that day and sent the present on the next school day.

Now it is time for my kid's birthday. I was going to just have a family party, but I kind of want to throw him a kid party. It is his fifth birthday and he has never had a party with kids, only family.

Would it be tacky to invite the class even though we missed these parties? There have been no other parties. The only two that we were invited to, we weren't there. The class is small, ten students including my child, and I want to invite everybody. Thanks for your input and advice.
posted by LoriFLA to Human Relations (18 answers total)
You're totally overthinking this. Just invite whoever you and your kid want to invite.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:30 PM on March 26, 2008

Not at all tacky. Moms understand that things come up. They'll (positively) remember being asked.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:30 PM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

invite the kids. this isn't the end of the world.
posted by thinkingwoman at 1:35 PM on March 26, 2008

No, it would only be tacky if you a) invited some kids and not others and b) did the inviting at school so the others found out about that they weren't invited. Inviting the whole class is good. Missing the other parties doesn't matter at all.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:36 PM on March 26, 2008

Parents generally expect a certain percentage of kids won’t be able to make the party. Invite the whole class, provided it’s not too big, and expect a few of them won’t be able to make it for various reasons.

If we can’t make a party we’ll usually deliver a gift after the fact. Sort of a way of saying “Thanks for inviting us.”
posted by bondcliff at 1:42 PM on March 26, 2008

Not tacky at all. Have fun.
posted by agentwills at 1:45 PM on March 26, 2008

Thanks, people!

I know I am totally over thinking this. My husband put a bug in my ear. He somewhat jokingly said, "you haven't cultivated." Meaning, I didn't go to these parties. I haven't talked to other moms that much this year. I think I'm worried nobody will come, but that's probably just me worrying too much.
posted by LoriFLA at 1:55 PM on March 26, 2008

LoriFLAPoster said: "I think I'm worried nobody will come, but that's probably just me worrying too much."

It would be a blessing in disguise if they didn't all come: the rule of thumb is that the best number of guests for a kid's party is X+1 where X equals the child's age.

And By The Grace of God is spot-on. I promise that no one would not come because they were mad that you missed their kid's party.

(That sort of drama doesn't start till junior high, at least. :)
posted by pineapple at 2:12 PM on March 26, 2008

Yes, inviting everyone is a nice thing to do. If there are a few Moms & Dads you know, ask them to stick around for the party; a house full of kids can be a challenge.
posted by theora55 at 2:23 PM on March 26, 2008

You should totally have the party. Maybe not everyone will come, but some will. (Also inviting everyone in the class is really nice). If you want to avoid the presents pressure (maybe because you haven't "cultivated" -- what does that mean?), have a book swap instead.
posted by bluefly at 3:32 PM on March 26, 2008

I love the idea of a book swap, bluefly. Thanks!
posted by LoriFLA at 3:46 PM on March 26, 2008

Tell your husband that chick on the internet raised her eyebrow at him and somewhat jokingly suggested that he put some energy into doing laundry instead of making you paranoid. (And then she, er, I, ducked to avoid the tomatoes that may be thrown at me now.)

Invite all the kids. Remember to be nice to anyone who says they're going to make it but has to bail. That is all.
posted by desuetude at 4:37 PM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Exactly desuetude. That remark has me all anxious inside.

Thanks for the answers, everybody. My sister is making me fancy cute invitations in PhotoShop as we speak.
posted by LoriFLA at 5:26 PM on March 26, 2008

(Since your question's been answered, mind if I derail?) theora55, you mention asking parents to stick around. Isn't that the default? I have a five-year-old, and we were at a party as recently as three days ago. The parents definitely stuck around, and have at every party we've been to. It would be seen as really weird -- even rude -- to drop your child off and bolt.

Is this something that varies from place to place? Or is it just me and the people I know? At what age do we get to ditch the kids on the poor hosts?
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:42 PM on March 26, 2008

Wow, you sent a present anyway? I think you're all good.

.TCITL- I remember some parties at that age where not all parents stuck around. I don't think it's rude- it depends on the party. I went to a party at the zoo when I was four or five, and my mom was definitely not there.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:38 PM on March 26, 2008

The parents I know stick around. I always do. My kids are too little to leave.

I was at a birthday party last year for my seven year old. Some of the parents were not there. Still too small to leave, in my opinion.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:04 PM on March 26, 2008

Here in Austin, the parties that my kids went to started being drop-off around age 6. Just be clear when you talk to the RSVPers that "We'll have snacks and cokes for the grownups" or "Feel free to drop off your child, but you're also welcome to stay."

The parties we've had for our kids have been drop-off for a while, and it's really not that bad, especially in a venue that caters to kids. If you have a party at your house, you can always enlist friends or family to help corral the little darlings.
posted by Addlepated at 8:16 PM on March 26, 2008

rule of thumb 1 for kid's parties - 1 kid for every year of the kid's age
rule of thumb 2 - 1 adult for every 4 kids, age 6 and under, 1 adult for every 6 kids age 6 and over
posted by dawdle at 10:41 PM on March 26, 2008

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