Seriously, is the “over the top” birthday party culture destroying our kids…I can’t wait until I grow up dreams? My Super bratty Sweet whatever is nauseating, but a guilty pleasure. I have been to so many parties where I have to ask myself – dang – how will the parents top this next year? Buy your 6 year old a Corvette and park it in the garage? Maybe let them take a few friends for a trip to Hawaii? Now there is the big trend of “party places” and they are always cute, fun, pricey and make for zero clean up and work for the mom – who face it – does all this. Then there are the party favor bags that usually cost more than the gift they received. Uncle Uncle Uncle!!!

When I was a pre-teen, we got a cake – period! Every year my grandparents would come over and I would have a Carvel ice cream cake with a koala bear design on it. When I got a little older I had a sleepover or took a couple of friends to the movies or mini golf. OK, where the heck is Greta going with all this? This is the year I put my foot down and said NO MORE BIG PARTIES. I’m sick of it!!!!!

My daughter turned 7 on Friday the 14th. I refused to do a “party” this year because the list would get bigger and bigger by the second and the whole thing would become way too impersonal! I dragged my feet all week deciding what I would do to make it special for her. I checked all the party place ideas in town and decided against all of them. I had her 3 friends who she plays with every day on standby for a girl’s night out.

Finally it came to me, dinner and a night at Barnes & Nobles. So we headed to the Jukebox Diner in Mandeville for dinner. I had never eaten there before and checked it out during the day. So in we rolled with baby strollers with Baby Alive which she got as a gift (or as my boys refer to it as baby poops a lot). Two spills, a little girl drama and a few bucks in the jukebox and they were so happy. They dug the food being served in paper cars and I bought them all a banana split to share (which was only minus whip cream when they were done). Then we headed to Barnes & Nobles and I let them terrorize the store and each pick out a book. She had her best friend sleep over and it was a birthday to remember!

I’m off the hook until May, when #2 turns 10. He is already asking for Paintball.
(c/p at

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