I've been reading your comments as they come in on the last post and selfishly let it go another day because I so love all of your opinions. I find myself nodding going "Yep. Exactly" to almost all of them. You see the problem, don't you? I can see every side of this damn issue! Ugh. I hate it when I don't get to be righteously indignant.
In answer to your questions:
1. Yes, we were invited.
2. No, we did not attend. I likely would have declined her invite on moral grounds anyway (translation: hid from her behind trees in the school parking lot), but we were out of town this weekend. So, phew.
3. It was a girl's party and 15 boys and girls were invited, about half the class.
Many of you summed up perfectly what I see both right and wrong with the situation. One the one hand, like Alias Mother said:
"Personally, if I were not on the invite list and found out about the whole thing (which will happen because COME ON) I'd be more insulted that this mother thought I or my child was incapable of handling the crushing blow of not being invited to her party."
And I love Terese's preschool's policy:
"At my daughter's preschool, they just have a policy - NO distributing of invites at school UNLESS the whole class is invited. ...Invites should be MAILED! I think Miss Manners AND The Martha would agree with me on this. Spring for some stamps!"
That makes perfect sense, no?
And most of you echoed these sentiments: CONTROL FREAK!
But. Then I read Artemisia's articulate comment that shames me:
"She may be over the top in her efforts, but Christ on a cracker, her heart is obviously in the right place. ...if the OCD mom wants to go overboard making sure kids' feelings don't get hurt, more power to her."
It's true. And I know that's why I took the question to you, The Internet Brain Trust. Because this mom is only trying to save hurt feelings in her twisted OCD way.
Unfortunately, by her making a bigger deal out of it, she has brought glaring attention to the uninvited, hasn't she? Dani took the words right out of my keyboard when she said:
"By making it a big secret it makes everyone uncomfortable, and those not invited feel slighted. And wont the kids be talking about the amazing "A List Only" party on Monday after? It's the idea of the "secret" that is wrong.
I have to say that's where I stand.
This is probably the tenth party in the last five weeks and I know that this is just the beginning of the whole awkward invited/uninvited popular/unpopular thing. And I hate that. Because as I've mentioned before, I was far from popular. And despite what I may have thrown out there when Savannah first started school, she's having her issues as well. We haven't been invited to every single playdate and party. Savannah hears about them after the fact and that hurts. Period. And THAT is what bothers me about this situation. It wasn't my daughter that was hurt THIS TIME. But, whether this mom had the best intentions or not, to specifically articulate who is being excluded is to call out the unwanted.
It's like a little list of broken hearts.
I know that life isn't fair. But, the fact remains that we are the parents and it is our job to insulate our kids from as much rejection as possible. Because there will be plenty of it in their lives that we cannot control. It is our job to be fair.
So many of you have stories about your own kids (or yourself) left out socially in childhood. Especially Allie's story? Go read it. I'll wait.
The exact same thing happened to Savannah with our old neighbors. We could hear the little party girls squealing and laughing and playing next door in their yard. And do you know what my daughter did?
She pulled a chair over to my bedroom window, so that she could watch them.
UGH. Let's cite that as reason #45,629,469,374,979,364 why I'm glad we moved from there.
But, I know it can happen anywhere. Kids can be mean. But, the whole point of this discussion is to ask 'where does it start?'. Hello! With the moms.
I don't have all the answers, but I can tell you what I would have done in this situation.
Considering that there are 30 eager five-year-olds brand new to each other? Considering that these little guys are just starting to venture out from their moms and into the scary world of social interactions? Considering that their feelings this year may shape their view of school for years to come?
If I couldn't have invited everyone, I would have just invited all the girls. Every single one. I would have scaled the party way back or whatever was needed to ensure every little girl could happily chatter about the party on Monday.
What's a few more party bags? A few more hats?
When the alternative is to leave someone watching from the window?