I've been doing my best to avoid birthday parties. Having them, I mean, not going to them. I'm not that anti-social. Well, actually I am that anti-social, but the thing about birthday parties is that a) my kids enjoy them because they seemingly have not inherited my "avoid people always" gene and b) parties are a give and take thing. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Tit for tat. Meaning: We all keep going to each other's kid's birthday parties because what if we have a party and nobody shows up and our precious snowflake is scarred for life? It's a vicious cycle.

I meant I've been actively trying to avoid throwing birthday parties for my kids because I need a few more reasons for them to grow up and tell me I've ruined their lives.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Birthday parties are the worst. I wish we as a society could come together to banish them once and for all, but so far my cries have not been heard. We do them still because we love our kids and can't bear to disappoint them. I know, I get it. (But I still try.) I'd much rather spend the money on something or some destination they will remember or cherish and that doesn't require me to clean my house from top to bottom only to have kids running rampant through it with blue icing on the bottom of their feet.

Last year you may recall I admitted (kind of proudly, actually) that I paid my child to skip having a birthday party. I added up what it would probably cost once you factor in the food, decorations, favors, and mental anguish and I greatly reduced that figure to a one-time cash offer and he blessedly accepted. Everyone came out a winner that year.

Sadly, my soon-to-be-seven-year-old isn't as entrepreneurial and wants a birthday party come hell or high water. (Related note: If this rain keeps up that might be exactly what happens. We can have a backyard kayaking adventure. Does anyone have some kayaks I can borrow?)

The beauty of this party is that he's chosen a Minecraft theme, so I figure the kids will have to create and build anything they want to eat or play with. I will supply the materials (cardboard) because I'm not a monster. Everything from the cake to the balloons to the party favors will be blurry cardboard boxes while us parents sit around for two hours listening to them tell us what they built and exactly how they built it.

Except since it's a party I'll provide us all with wine and we can rotate one parent at a time to be the designated, eyes-glazed-over, "Mmm hmm," "Wow," "That's so cool," "Really?" spokesperson while the rest of us eat fancy hors d'oeuvres and look at our phones and not talk to each other. I'm totally kidding, there will definitely not be any fancy hors d'oeuvres unless you want to build them yourselves.

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