bday party - feed parents too? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-31-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AndVeeGeeMakes3 View Post
ITA




Eh, not to be argumentative, but my dd doesn't eat ANYTHING at all (literally - she's tube-fed), but I'm aware of what other kids actually eat - particularly if they've been running around a gym burning calories.
And so am I but are we not allowed to make mistakes. ALl I'm saying is I would have looked at a tray of fruits and veggies called on what I have seen my child eat what I'd seem her friends eat and years of seeing preschool age kids eat and assumed it was a decent amount. I would have also felt HORRIBLE once I figured out I was wrong.

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Old 03-31-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
When a host writes 'snacks' on the invitation, they owe you food. I really don't see any reasonable argument against this.
They DID have snacks. There was cupcakes there was a fruit and veggie tray. Should there of maybe been more. Probably or it would have been nice. I just fail to see where the parents were told they could no eat that the food was strictly for the kids only.
Now OTOH my brothers 2 youngest son was invited to a ZOO party. He was soo excited but when they arrived they learned they expected the parents to buy entrace tickets (for there kids) $8 for the kids and $12 if they adults stayed. That was tacky.

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Old 03-31-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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: That's so ironic. I was just thinking, "I wonder if this is a regional thing because down here we'd NEVER have a party without feeding everybody, their mama, and their cousin too!"

I'm of the mind that birthday parties are more about celebrating life - the life of family, the life of friendships - than any organized activity and in my culture, life and food are pretty much intertwined. In both my social set and my family, we do, within our means, whatever it takes to fully include as many people as possible in our celebrations. If I were unable to afford a big feast, I'd ask for help from my family in the form of potluck.


As far as the kid's "wildest dream" to have a party at XYZ, just like Suzy did, well, I think we are all trying to raise kids who value relationships and time spent with family and friends above the expensive and not-usually-really-fun things like Chuck-E-Cheese, right? I'm not saying that it's wrong, necessarily, to give your kid this kind of party (well, I'm almost saying it's wrong, but that's another discussion . . . . ), just that even birthday parties can be teaching tools about what really matters.
I absolutely agree with you.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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When a host writes 'snacks' on the invitation, they owe you food. I really don't see any reasonable argument against this.
And if the invitation is to your kid, then your kid gets snacks, not you as her chaperone.

Any party I've been to for little kids, the invite has been to the whole family. Ergo, whole family gets fed.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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And if the invitation is to your kid, then your kid gets snacks, not you as her chaperone.
Seriously? Wow - I've never heard of anyone doing that. If you don't want me dumping my 2 year old and leaving (and nobody does), then treat me as a guest, too, yk? This is one of the things I hate about "etiquette"...when you know damned well that someone has to attend your party in order for the official invitee to attend, then that person has a defacto invitation, no matter what an etiquette book might say. A parent accompanying their child to a party isn't a plaster statue.

In any case, the host in the OP didn't seem to think that, either, as the OP got a cupcake...

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Any party I've been to for little kids, the invite has been to the whole family. Ergo, whole family gets fed.
The only children's parties I've attended are for family, and there aren't any invitations. The written invitations started up when ds1 started school, and they were all drop off parties.

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Old 03-31-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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I always provide food for both parents and adults until last year when i realized that the parents weren't going to stay after the age of 5 and I had to throw a boatload of food away.

We've done home parties for the past two years and no parents stayed. Prior to that, I always provided enough food for parents and kids, no matter what time of day it was. But I like to always have lunch or dinner so I usually do 12-2 or 4-6. I am usually begging parents to eat so that I don't have to throw away food. Even for the home parties, I always buy extra stuff (veggies, chips) just in case some parents stay.

At a 2-year old party that said snacks provided, i would have expected there to be enough snacks for everyone. An extra $15-20 would have been enough to provide snacks for the adults.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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And if the invitation is to your kid, then your kid gets snacks, not you as her chaperone.

Any party I've been to for little kids, the invite has been to the whole family. Ergo, whole family gets fed.
I always address the invitations to the kid, because little kids don't get a lot of mail and get excited when it's addressed "just for them". I guess I could go with formal double envelope invitations with the mailing address on the outside envelope and all the invited guests first names on the inner envelope, but that seems a little bit over-the-top. We usually have alcohol at birthday parties around here, obviously that's not provided for the guests whose names were written on the envelope.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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I've been to a lot of different parties, so I never assume anything.

I've been to "destination" parties with no food OR cake (build-a-bear party at the store),

and "destination" parties with food only for the children (roller-rink party, with an a package including "5 tokens and one slice of pizza for each child" sort of thing--in this case, there is usually a snack bar and I buy food for myself and her sibling),

and "destination" parties with food and cake for everyone (usually food brought in by the parent).

At this point, unless the invitation specifies a dinner or lunch included (and me as a guest), I eat before taking dc to parties.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
When a host writes 'snacks' on the invitation, they owe you food. I really don't see any reasonable argument against this.
Okay, etiquette-wise, they should provide food. I totally agree. And as a host, I would never dream of not providing enough food for everyone in attendance. But I also would never think to get upset over getting nothing more than a cupcake at an afternoon party, even if it said "snacks" on the invitation. It just wouldn't occur to me.

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Old 03-31-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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Okay, etiquette-wise, they should provide food. I totally agree. And as a host, I would never dream of not providing enough food for everyone in attendance. But I also would never think to get upset over getting nothing more than a cupcake at an afternoon party, even if it said "snacks" on the invitation. It just wouldn't occur to me.
I'd probably be annoyed, because it's never happened. I'd have been anticipating some actual food of some kind (be it cheese & crackers, fruit, veggies...whatever), and the two hours, plus travel time each way, right in the middle of my dinner hour would be really frustrating. Once it had happened once, I'd probably be prepared with granola bars or something, though. Honestly, before I read this thread, it would never have occurred to me that anybody would invite children who needed parents to stay with them, write "snacks" on the invitation, and then not feed everybody...something more than cupcakes, because cupcake/piece of cake is pretty much a given at a birthday party, ime. It's just not something I'd expect at all. Sure - I could go the two hours (or, more realistically, three or so, by the time I got my kids in their seats both ways, and did the travel) without food...but it would probably be much more than that, because I'd have been expecting something food-wise at the party, so it's not like I'd have stuffed my face ahead of time, yk? Plus, I'd have probably planned a light supper (or one of our really bad nights, when we just eat a really big bowl of popcorn, because we're not really hungry), so I'd still need to figure out food when I got home.

So...yeah - now that I know that someone might put "snacks" on an invitation, but not provide snacks, I'll be prepared for such a thing. Prior to reading this thread, though, I wouldn't have been...so it would have been a hassle.

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Old 03-31-2009, 08:35 PM
 
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I was brought up with the rule that you can only invite as many people as the age you are turning. No need for me to rent out a gym until DD turns 10.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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I was brought up with the rule that you can only invite as many people as the age you are turning. No need for me to rent out a gym until DD turns 10.


DS1's parties have become much smaller in the last few years. When he turned...think it was six...there were 18 kids at his party. When he turned 14, there were 4 (including him in both counts). It's kind of funny...

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Old 03-31-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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So...yeah - now that I know that someone might put "snacks" on an invitation, but not provide snacks, I'll be prepared for such a thing.
Lesson learned!

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Old 04-01-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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To me, the host's job is to host, and I do think it's rude to hold a party at what is a typical meal time, expect parents to stay, and not provide at least some cheese and crackers in sufficient quantity for everyone to nibble.

A lot of people seem to be griping about the expense. Well, it's not that expensive to get a couple of blocks of cheese and a couple boxes of non-goldfish crackers and set those out as snacks for the adults and kids. And remember, it's not like this was a party at someone's house or apartment - every gym or party rental place that I've ever seen costs a minimum of $150, and the usual is more than that. If someone is willing to shell out that much to rent a place, I just don't see why $15 for some snacks for the adults is the large hardship that some of you are discussing. If it is that much of a hardship, then I'd expect the family to do what I do: hold a smaller party in my home where I can afford to feed the smaller number of people I invite!
I totally agree, I think that in the case you can't afford to feed everyone then don't have a party. The party was for a 2 yo, he doesn't know or care. Host a family party only in your home or have toddlers over for a playdate to celebrate instead. No real reason for a gymnastics party at 2 years old.

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Old 04-01-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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if the invite said snacks I would assume snacks, not enough to cancle dinner. regardless of time. Although I think it is rude to plan a party at dinner time and not provide a meal.

as for feeding parents at a party like that no. Its just a couple hours and most adults can go that long without a snack. I would expect drinks though. and it is nice they offered cake.

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Old 04-01-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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This has been my experience. I have 2 boys, turning 5 and 7 this spring. We do 2 parties. One for both of the boys' school mates, at a "destination" (this year, Bounce U, but we did a gymnastics place last year). The other party is for family and close friends and we do that at home.

So, last year, the gymnastics place served pizza/drinks/cake to all the kids. We had the option to purchase more pizza, which we did. And not ONE parent ate a bit of it. They do not allow outside food other than the cake, so we did not have the option to provide other food. The parents had the option to stay or leave but most stayed and noone ate except the kids. At other parties we have been to for the boys school friends, none of the adults eat, regardless of the time. Food provided has ranged from full spreads to just cake/cupcakes.

This year, at Bounce U, we are providing pizza and cake for only the kids. They do not allow any food brought in and they provide 1 piece of pizza per child, along with drinks. We will offer cake to any parents who stay (they are welcome to drop off and leave or stay, whichever they prefer).

For our home party, I specify that lunch is included and we will have lunch for everyone. Parents will generally stay and bring siblings, spouses etc.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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DS is 2 and a summer baby. We are in upstate NY. For the past two birthday parties, we have had a barbecue where we fed all party goers. While it was nice to get together with everyone, I barely got a chance to sit down and chat and neither did DH who managed the barecue grill.

Growing up, most parties I went to only included cupcakes and snacks (cheesedoodles, potato chips, etc.) but DH's family always had a big shindig with lots of food.

This year, we are having a blueberry picking party and cupcakes only. It will be a much smaller party this year, so we will probably call to let everyone know that there won't be any food except blueberries and cupcakes.

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Old 04-01-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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I personally dont think they are obligated to feed parents to be honest. The party is for the kids. I have hosted many bday parties and often both parents come. So there you have tripled the amount of food and cost. I just dont think its necessary. That being said, I DO always provide food for the parents but I certianly would not plan on it being my dinner.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:22 PM
 
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I'm also wondering if the invite had a RSVP on it? Whiel I know many people ingnore this it still coulf have been what they were going off and were expecting fewer kids than actually showed up. therfore caught off guard with the lack of food.
I agree its polite and good manners to provide for all comming but I still fail to see how this was delebertly a plot not to feed the parents. I see no where where the parents were told you may not eat its JUST for the kids. I think assuming there would be enough so you could skip dinner was assuming too much. (ttoally understand the hope though)

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Old 04-01-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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I've never even thought of serving food at a birthday party (unless it's in a restaurant or at home) :

my daughter's party is Sat and we were planning to do it at an arcade (no eating allowed). we were going to make 'gift bags' for all of the kids with treats and a few small toys, but now I'm wondering if we should put something small together for the parents..

would that work or do people really expect to fill up?

ahhh, I feel so....overwhelmed! and caught off-guard!
Wow, I've never heard of a party without food of some sort. I think parents would expect to have food at least for the kids.

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I'm wondering if this might be a regional issue as well. I wonder if the people who think there should be food for the parents are predominantly from one area of the country? I'm from PA and I think the parents should be fed, but when we have weddings here in PA, we feed people a lot of food, too. I know that in the South, cake and punch receptions are often the norm. People would lose their minds if someone had a cake and punch reception here in PA, so I'm thinking mandatory feeding of guests might be a northeast thing. Any thoughts?
I've lived in three places in the South and have never gone to a cake and punch reception. Definitely not the norm. I grew up in PA and haven't noticed any regional differences related to food at parties and weddings.
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