So this may seem like an odd question, but I have sort of an “etiquette” question regarding birthday invitations received through daycare.
When we first moved to TX from Chicago, we received a birthday party invite through my son’s daycare class and were really excited at the opportunity to meet other families who presumably lived close to us and had children the same age as ours.
When we actually attended the party, the parents seemed almost surprised, and to be honest we felt a bit like outsiders the whole time. Only one other child from the daycare class was there. I began to wonder if the invitation wasn’t a formality rather than something we were actually supposed to act on?
It’s been roughly 6 months now and I just sent out invites to my son’s 2nd birthday party. Sure enough, we only received 2 RSVP’s in spite of personalizing the invites so the parents knew I was genuinely inviting their child and not just a blanket invite to the whole class. One set of parents who RSVP’d are people we’ve talked to a few times and have a fledgling relationship with, the other couple we genuinely don’t know yet (but would like to!)
Now then we’ve received a new invite for the weekend prior to my son’s party (next weekend). Are we supposed to go?? I’d love to, and I genuinely love shopping for other people’s children (especially the girls, since I have a boy), but I don’t want to creep these people out by showing up at their house if there’s some sort of unspoken rule that daycare invites are to be ignored (a rule which I wouldn’t know about since I’m a relatively new parent).
Anyone that’s navigated these waters before and wants to chime in would be most appreciated!!
Consider calling up the new invite family, say you can't make it to the party but would love to get the kids together at another time. If they are receptive then make a play date, if not then you don't have to feel awkward.
However, I would like to think that your experience was a fluke and most parents are like you, truly wanting to get to know other parents. I would go, who knows it might be a great time.
State Certified Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
New Mom as of March 2009!
We have always gone to any party my son was invited to, mainly because we are new to the area we are living in and wanted to give him the chance to make friends, and maybe find some of our own. We definitely received a lot of the same reaction as you did, and my husband and I pretty much sat alone on the outskirts the whole time for most of them. I guess I figure if they send you an invite, then it really is an invitation. I do know since we went to all these little kid parties, my son quickly developed a tightly knit group of friends from his kindergarten class and all those kids came to his party (they were the only ones, and there were only about 4 of them, but still -- success!) so it felt good. I guess the most important thing is -- is your kid having fun? Is he/she involved in the group? Does he/she want to be there? It's harder with smaller children, but I would still say listen to your child...it's about them, anyway. I can handle a bit of awkwardness if my kid is having a good time and getting some good foundations for friendships.