Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthday party season

I had been very excited. Over 6 months ago, we had a service auction at church. People auction off goods and services and the proceeds go to the church. One of the things auctioned off was a birthday party for up to 18 kids in the Fellowship Hall. Which is a nice, big space. I envisioned a party with both Maggie and Cameron's friends - with the parents standing to the side, the kids having fun. A nice, relaxed space for the kids to have fun and the parents to relax.

I gave them the date I wanted to do the party, and gave them pretty much full rein on the planning - theme and whatever. As the date approaches, the head of the group doing the party has started talking to me about the details. We were thinking a music theme - with one of their friends to come in and play to the kids. I mentioned that I was hoping I could use the big, industrial ovens to cook pizzas for everyone, and she gave me a little strange look, and said 'Right, food wasn't included'. Then mentioned that they were planning on having the party in the basement of Fellowship hall.

Which is a basement. A small room that they use for classes, and I don't see all the parents fitting with the kids and being comfortable in any way shape or form. There aren't even grownup sized chairs down there. It's a preschool classroom. So I kind of looked at her funny and said, what about the parents? And she was like, I'm sure a total of 18 people will fit there.

And I was like 18 people total? Which, at a birthday party for 2 and 3 year olds equates to maybe to 4 friends, with their parents. Which is not at all what I want. Forgetting about Cam and Maggie's adult friends. And I certainly don't want to have two separate parties (like a small friend party and then one at home for family or whatever) - we do this birthday thing ONCE.

So I wrote a (hopefully) innocent sounding email:

I’m a little confused after our quick conversation on Sunday. What I thought the deal was for the party was for 18 kids, and use of fellowship hall. Since my kids are so young, I envisioned being in the big space, with the kids having a blast with the activities (maybe some kids that are way too shy to even be WITH the other kids) and the parents (who have the more adventurous kids) chit-chatting on the other side of the hall. I had expected that I would provide most, if not all food, decorations, etc. plus help you all out with child herding.

Is your understanding different? Because kids as young as Maggie and Cameron are going to probably have one, if not two parents attend. So we would only be able to have maybe 4 kids besides mine. I’m thinking that it will be more like 14 kids + parents (invited, with less attending, of course)

Let me know

So. If she comes back telling me that yes, she meant 18 people total and they were are to do it in the basement, I'm going to say thanks, but just take my money as a donation to the church and Aaron and I will do the party in my house.

Annoying, but it will all work out.
ETA: I just looked it up. The certificate I got says 'up to 20 guests' and 'at your house or in fellowship hall'. So we'll see. Because it's all up to interpretation, right?


BigP's Heather said...

That is so frustrating! I hope that it is for 18 kids and in the right room.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I hope it all works out exactly how you want it!

kate said...

that's super lame :( at least you knwo your money is going to a good cause, but still.... would have been nice to get what you bid for!

Brandy said...

VERY lame. I completely agree with your interpretation. If we did something at our church in the Fellowship Hall it would be in the BIG space, not the tiny one used for children's church downstairs. I don't see why you using the big space would be a problem if you're providing the food and really, I'm not sure why the amount of people attending would matter either. Hopefully it will all work out and you will be able to use the space.

Deborah said...

That's really annoying, because with it being a church auction, it's not like you can go back and complain that you're not getting what you paid for. And I don't understand what they are providing besides use of a basement classroom - not food or decorations? what about clean-up?

We just had my son's birthday party, and my experience is that when people RSVP, they don't tell you how many adults are coming. Some bring both parents, some bring only one. So you really can't get a count of *total* guests, only number of kids.

Sigh. I hope you have a fun party anyway.