I didnât think there was anything worse than having a child arrive home from a birthday party begging for an iPhone 5 for an entire week. But, actually, there is. And that is the PARENT who bought their 9-year-old an iPhone 5 for her birthday and decides to âunveilâ the gift at the party.
I know this because the parent is a friend of mine. After a week of hearing my child say, âBut SHE got one for HER birthday,â and me having to say, âBut who the hell are you going to call?â And, my daughter responding âYOU!â and me responding, âYou can call me on the home phone, or you can e-mail me from your computer,â she still went on and on about how her friend got an iPhone 5 for her birthday. She even went so far as to call her father for an iPhone 5. Luckily, her father and I are on the same page, that nine years old is too young for a phone.
Her dad asked the same question. âWho are you planning to call?â
She said to him, âYOU!â
In any case, a couple days after the birthday party, I called my friend and said, âIâm going to fucking kill you,â and went on to explain that ever since HER daughter got an iPhone 5, in front of the entire class that was invited to the party, my daughter has not shut up about getting her own iPhone 5.
âGet in line,â my friend said to me. Apparently a number of other mothers called to yell at her or complain about her gift.
Iâm not opposed to other parents buying their children whatever they damn well please for their kids’ birthday presents. But I think now I AM opposed to opening gifts at childrenâs birthday parties, especially if itâs a gift that every other child is going to want.
Listen, an iPhone 5 is not the same type of gift as clothing or art supplies or getting your ears pierced. Itâs a big, expensive deal.
When my daughter turned nine, her father and I decided to get her a MacBook Air (which is better than my own computer). It was a very nice gift, but also a useful one, because she uses it for her schoolwork. But we certainly didnât bring it to her birthday party and make a big deal about it in front of other children. (In fact, I donât even think we wrapped the damn thing.) We kind of just handed it to her at home and said, âIf you break this, youâre not getting another one. Happy Birthday!â
So now my poor mom friend has been fielding calls from parents and I kind of feel bad for her, even though she dug her own grave buy deciding to give an iPhone 5 to her daughter in front of 20 other children. I have not once been to a birthday party where gifts are actually opened in front of the other children. I think this is a really bad idea, especially if you are giving out an expensive present that every other child wants but doesnât actually need. Obviously, it WAS a bad idea because other parents whose children are now begging for an iPhone 5 non-stop are hounding my friend. HA! It turns out itâs not always the greatest position to be a âtrendsetterâ especially when it comes to birthday gifts.
Thankfully, after a week of asking for an iPhone and me responding, âWhatever!â my daughter completely forgot about getting an iPhone 5 and also forgot about the birthday party. It was my mom friend who had to deal with the fall-out.
But tips to parents? Give your child their birthday gift at home, not in front of a bunch of envious other children. You DO want calls from parents saying, âMy daughter had a great time at your daughterâs party!â Not calls from mothers saying, âIâm going to fucking kill youâŚâ