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Bouncy House Brings Mom Down

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Guest blogger Karyn Bryant writes: Next month my daughter turns two, and I'm fighting like hell to avoid getting sucked into the vortex that is the LA birthday party.


Before I moved here I had never seen a huge, inflatable bouncer at a kid's party. But nowadays it seems to be mandatory. It's simply one facet of the huge party one must throw for a toddler. So I'm panicked and guilt ridden: Am I a mean mommy if Aurora doesn't have an affair to remember?

Later in life, will she have memories from age 2? If so, then she'll forever remember that her party was sub-par if I don't get a bouncer and invite 30-or-so "close friends." If she can't, she'll no doubt see the pictures and video when she's older, and then she'll sadly acknowledge our lameness.

Part of me loves the idea of a big get-together because it's a fun way to catch up with a bunch of friends. But then that means I have to do a lot of work, and that's not appealing/feasible with all the other crap that's not getting done already. Yet I fear I'll regret it if I keep it small. Who would/wouldn't I ask to join us? Surely word would get around my play-group if I selected only a handful of invitees. We've attended several parties--isn't it time Aurora got showered with attention like all the other munchkins?

My husband thinks I'm nuts for considering the huge party. "She's 2 for crying out loud. Two." I know he's got a point, but that hasn't stopped me from googling party rentals and cruising the favor aisle at Toys "R" Us. It looks like the vortex's pull might be stronger than expected.

Karyn Bryant is a television personality who's hosted shows on CNN, TNT, VH1, and MTV. She's currently a reporter for Showtime Championship Boxing and CBS' Saturday Night Fights. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Wade, and daughter, Aurora. For more from Karyn, click here.

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Renee July 20, 2008, 10:47 PM

Both of my children had blow-up bouncers/ball pits at their first and second birthday parties. But it was only because we own one. And it’s just a small simple one from Walmart that we happened to catch on an great sale. I think there’s no “right” way to have a birthday party and those who prefer small parties should not look down on those who like having huge ones and vice versa. Don’t we have more important things to get worked up over in this world?!

Kristen F July 21, 2008, 11:24 AM

Do what you can afford and what feels right for you. Kids don’t NEED a bounce house to have fun. For my son’s 2nd birthday in March, we had it at my mom’s house b/c she has more room and doesn’t live off a main street like we do, ie more yard to play in safely. We just let people eat some simple foods that we made, let the kids play with bats and balls outside and my brother even did rides on his 4-wheeler. Everyone talked and played and had fun for about an hour and then we did presents and cake. In years to come (when he remembers more and can ask for certain things) we will probably be more inclined to have parties at a venue, etc. but not yet.

Putti July 21, 2008, 2:32 PM

I say go in the bounce house with heels on!

Virginia November 10, 2008, 3:28 PM

You’ll have to draw your own line for this one, but it’s up to you whether you want to spoil your kids and set them up for the crushing disappointment of the post-21 years or whether you can come up with something unique enough to be memorable and tolerable enough to be popular. Maybe a camping trip somewhere along the Pacific Highway?

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