Children’s birthday parties and the conversations that happen there

The three of us went to a friend’s twins’ 4th birthday party at their home today. A number of kids were there, ranging in age from about 10 months to 6 years, so Kaia was a bit on the younger side in terms of the kids who were there. The oldest child who came engaged with her a bit in the beginning, as well as a three-year old who came, who mostly stuck to herself. One twin wanted to fully exclude her from “entry” into their castle, and the second twin had to wait until the first twin went to another room to “admit” her. It was a little funny and cute how distinct the two twins’ personalities were: one twin is very aggressive, exclusive, and wants what she wants when she wants it; the other twin seems a bit more thoughtful and wants to be nice to everyone.

While watching Kaia on and off and observing how all the kids interacted with each other, I had a few short conversations with the parents who came (everyone who attended the party had kids and came with their kids). It was mostly a lot of predictable conversations around pregnancy, birth, child-rearing, temper tantrums, and developmental milestones. I sort of annoyed one mom by suggesting to her daughter that if and when the school bully tries to hit her (she was telling me about the mean kid in her class), she should hit back (I mean… I’m all about self defense. Who wants to be seen as the easy target at school?). Another mom kept asking me when I was going to try for a second kid, which I kept trying to change the subject of, yet she still didn’t seem to get the message, and continued to try to steer us back to that. She also apparently has a very different definition of what it means to have family members who live “close by”: she said she had no family who lived close by. But her mom lives a 10-minute drive away, while her sister lives an hour drive away. The other dads who were there had strained conversations with me, and overall, the conversations were fairly insipid and unmemorable. Granted, I’d seen pretty much everyone here multiple times before at this friends’ events and gatherings, but we’ve never really clicked with any one of them. I think we’re at a point now where we’ve realized that we’re not going to be establishing any of these people as our own friends or people we’d want to see outside of these events. I guess in the end, we came for our friend, our own baby to have a semblance of a “play date” like setting, and for the food (which was excellent, with the main highlights being pan roasted Korean-style beef short ribs and homemade chocolate hazelnut macarons). So the overall party was just exactly what I expected it to be, end to end.

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