Stepbomb: Children's birthday parties are supposed to be about balloons, presents, laughter and lots and lots of cake -- not adult agendas. Right?
Well, about a month ago, my stepdaughter told my husband and me that she'd like to have a sleepover with two of her friends for her upcoming birthday. So we sent the invitations, and we received confirmation phone calls from each of the girls' parents.
We also received some presents of our own: a series of angry voicemails and an e-mail filled with four-letter words, written to both of us. From guess who? Yes, the ex was upset once again: "Why hadn't we informed her of our party plans? Were we trying to one-up her? And how could we plan a separate birthday party when we should be hosting one together? &*#@!"
How does my husband's ex think she can curse us out (using combinations of profanities that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush) and then believe we'll be motivated to do what she wants? That we'll jump for joy at the opportunity to stand next to her as her daughter blows out the candles atop her Justin Bieber birthday cake?
It makes us wonder what she's really upset about. Could her amplified anger and "one-upping" comment be linked to what her suburban-mom peers will think about two parties vs. one, rather than to what will make her child the happiest? All the more confusing is the fact that my husband and his ex haven't ever hosted a joint birthday party.
In fact, long ago we talked to the girls about this issue to find out what they wanted. Not surprisingly, the girls said they preferred separate parties, because it's what they were used to. And it's not like they've been oblivious to all the tension.
I replied to the angry joint e-mail and admitted to the ex that I'd made a mistake when I hadn't informed her about our party plans, and said I regretted that she'd had to find out through her daughter. And I left it at that.
But it does make me wonder: Are my husband and I doing the right thing?