Of parties and gaggles of children and courtesy and grace

How do you like the title of this post?  Confusing enough?

Let me clear it all up.

One of the things I love most about Montessori is “courtesy and grace”, one of their underlying principles.  It’s not just about please and thank you.  It’s also about respect for people, animals and the earth.  Which might sound a bit lala, but bear with me.

As you know we have 3 children.  And those children have class mates, Daniel in his class and the girls in theirs.  Which, because they are all at the same school, means that there are lots of families with siblings in both classes, 1 child families in either class or families with much older or younger children.

All these children have birthdays and most of them have parties.  The kids that have siblings in both classes are fine, usually all my children are invited and we all go along.  The parties I worry about are the parties where the family has child only either in Daniel or Mignon and Isabel’s class.

Before you jump to conclusions, the reason I worry is because I feel bad for that Mom feeling pressurised to invite All My Children, because I want to shout PLEASE don’t invite all of us.  Sometimes it’s nice to just go out with one or 2 of them, you get to spend some time with them.  Ok maybe not so much, because the really good parties have wine, but anyhoo.  And parties are expensive.

Here’s the thing though: sometimes the invites are ambiguous and I so hate to ask ‘Excuse me, but how many of my children did you want me to bring?’  Why? If you have known me for a while you’ll know that tact isn’t really one of my (many) strong points (read: I’m far too straightforward for my own good).  I battle with gracefully asking difficult questions, I feel too awkward and am petrified of coming across as pushy or rude.

So readers, any good advice?  And if you are thinking of inviting only 1 or 2 of my children, that’s completely fine, really!

ps Just to prove how lovely my children are, check what Daniel left for us last night for bedtime reading.  How sweet is this boy?

12 thoughts on “Of parties and gaggles of children and courtesy and grace”

  1. For the ambiguous invite – you choose how many you want to bring? – Not your fault the invite isn’t clear??

  2. I usually ask Moms with multiple kids if they would like to bring the other kids….but you are right too the kids also have to learn that sometimes the invite is for a specific kid only

  3. When I do invites I usually address them to a particular child or children by name to avoid any ambiguity. If the invitation doesn’t make it clear, then I just ask the person who the invitation is for. My best was the Weekend Dad who brought his invited son to D’s party (he was the only one we knew because he is in D’s class) AND his two other young sons AND a cousin (all under the age of 6) and left them all at the party venue for me to look after while he went to do some shopping!

    Love that Daniel puts out books for you! Such a sweet child. Who gets Bambi and who gets Sleeping Beauty?

    1. No WAY. That’s just rude! I’ve seen a Mom arrive with her little one and just ‘quickly pop out to check something’ and not come back at all. Scary.

  4. Yikes. It is tricky. I think that’s why I am sticking to one child. I would never be able to manoeuvre those tricky situations. You’re once again proving what a great mom you are and how good you are at this thing called parenting. Love Daniel’s bedtime reading suggestions.

  5. IMHO (you know that one?), I think that its up to the parent of said gaggle of children, to say whats fine or not.

    Ive got kids in the family who I just dont invite because Im not sure if its ok to NOT take all of the kids. I only want the ones closest in age to my son and of course, more importantly, ones who will enjoy whatever the party activity is. I can’t take a 4 year old to a 12 year old’s party, that doesnt work, but sometimes one is obliged to take ’em all.

  6. I ALWAYS prefer to take as few as possible children to a party so I just answer for the relevant child,. If the mom then asks if the others do not want to come I en up explaining that it is part of our family plan to try and give each child their own memories. And that it is easier for me. But sometimes I do end up with 3 at a party…. and that gets hectic.

    1. Hear ya sister! I had only Daniel yesterday and all 3 by myself today. Luckily they were really good!

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