Little-kid birthday parties are the worst. I should know — I’ve thrown plenty of them.

My son is grown now, but that doesn’t mean I’m off the hook. On Saturday I sat outside my cousin’s house psyching myself up to go in. It was her foster son’s 4th birthday.

The biggest problem with little kids’ parties is there are a lot of little kids at them, so they are loud and messy.

Because there are so many little kids, there’s little kid food. Teeny-tiny hot dogs wrapped in croissant dough. (They’re delicious, but people look sideways at you when you put 20 of them on your plate.) And teeny-tiny juice boxes.

You know what they don’t serve at little-kid birthday parties? Alcohol. Which would help.

You know what they do have at little-kid birthday parties? Piñatas. Which make me nervous.

Whose brilliant idea it was it to give a small child with no hand-eye coordination a big stick?

Years ago, we went to a Spider-Man party, where all the little kids were dressed as Spider-Man, and they whacked a Spider-Man piñata.

It was like something out of “Lord of the Flies.” I still have nightmares about it.

In the kitchen, I popped a teeny-tiny hot dog into my mouth (I would be back for the other 19) and went in search of the birthday boy.

I dodged a 2-year-old with frosting on her fingers and sidestepped two 5-year-old girls wrestling over an Ariel doll. A group of adults huddled together in the living room (there’s safety in numbers).

Parents know nobody really wants to attend these things, which is why we invite the people we know love our kids.

It’s why I spent hours hunting down this Buzz Lightyear Talking Action Figure, with lights, sounds and karate chop action for this newly minted 4-year-old. He would be so excited when he saw it. 

And that’s the best.

Reach Karina at [email protected] or 602-444-8614.


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