Tuesday, July 7, 2009

13th Birthday Candy-Themed Party

This week, we had a "candy-themed" party for my daughter's 13th birthday. We don't normally do big, theme parties for our kids birthdays; they are usually just smaller family affairs. But, we figured turning 13 was somewhat of a milestone (she's officially a teenager, ack!).

Part 1: The Party Details

We set up a candy-filled buffet table - cotton candy, bubble gum, chocolate, Jolly Ranchers, Starburst, Nerds, and more.....

They played a few games - one was to guess how many jelly beans were in the jar. Another was called 'Name That Candy'. They were given a list of clues describing kinds of candy (ex. Can't hold onto anything = Butterfingers), and then given two minutes to try and figure them out. And, also, a sort-of musical-hot-potato game. A gift was wrapped in about seven different layers of wrapping paper. They passed the gift around the circle while the music played. The girl holding the gift when the music stopped got to unwrap one layer of paper. This went on until the last layer was unwrapped, that girl won the gift.

We made little party favor bags filled with Baby Bottle Pops, mini gumball machines, lip balm, and more candy....

Everything was going along pretty well - the girls seemed to have fun with the games, they were enjoying the candy, my daughter got a lot of very nice, generous gifts. They played outside in the yard for awhile - some kind of hide-and-go-seek game that involved all of them texting on their cell phones;o) I even commented to my husband on how they were so well-behaved and quiet - not what I was expecting from a big group of 13 yr-old girls.

Part 2: The Part Where Things Went Downhill - A.K.A. Mean Girls

My daughter had rented a movie to watch at the party - it was a horror flick. The girls all piled into the living room to start watching tv. Things were going so smoothly, that I went to my room and sat down to watch The Bachelorette. I periodically checked in on the girls (really, I did, every 20 minutes or so). A few of the girls decided they didn't want to watch the scary movie, so they went out to the back yard. I could see them, they were all sitting down, playing around with their cell phones and eating candy. So, I went back in - I had to get back to The Bachelorette, you know.

Well, 45 minutes later, things had went downhill. Drastically. Several of the girls decided (without my knowledge) to walk down the street (one of the girls lives at the end of the street). They went to her house and got bathing suits, came back here, and went to our next-door-neighbor's house (a 12 yr-old boy they all know) and went swimming in his pool! WITHOUT ME KNOWING! (I guess I suck as a chaperone) They just totally ditched my daughter and her party. They only swam for a very short time, then they all came back and hung out on our back porch with the neighbor boy. He is our next door neighbor and we know him very well; we're friends with his parents. But, in the company of all those girls, I guess he felt the need to show off a little bit. He was mouthing off about how my daughter's party was "lame" and boring. My daughter ended up hiding out in the bathroom crying. I was so furious. I didn't want to cause a big scene, that would just embarrass my daughter. But, I went outside and told the kids that I didn't appreciate them leaving without telling me; that I was responsible for them while they were here and if they didn't want to be here, I would call their parents to pick them up. I'm sure they thought I was a "you-know-what" but I didn't care. I should also mention, my 11 yr-old son was with them during all of this - he swam with them and hung out with them outside. So, he had a little lecture in store for him as well. My daughter played it off and acted like everything was fine, but, I know she was so hurt. It wasn't all of the girls, just four or five of them. While they continued to hang outside, they totally trashed our back porch. Candy wrappers and candy laying everywhere. When they left, they just walked off and left it all there, they didn't care what kind of mess they were leaving. I couldn't believe it! And, to top it off, only two or three parents actually came to the door as they dropped off their kids. I never even saw the other parents. They dropped off the kids and left. Then at pickup time, several of them picked the girls up down the street at the other's house. UGH! Am I over-reacting? Am I just being this way because my daughter was hurt by the "mean girls"? We've known several of the girls for years, but, the few others, I don't really know the parents all that well.

My daughter didn't want to talk about things after it was all over. I told her to try and not take it personally and to let it be a lesson as to who her true friends are. Her real friends stayed and hung out with her during the party. Her real friends didn't run off to hang out with a boy. Her real friends helped her clean up the mess that was left on the porch.

If you're still reading, thanks for hanging in and listening to me vent. I would love to hear your thought on this subject.


septembermom said...

What happens to kids once they hit middle school? Some of my son's good friends from elementary school have decided that my son "is not cool" enough for them to hang out with anymore. I hear that girl cliques and politics can be worse. I'm sorry that this had to put such a damper on your daughter's party. I'm glad that she has good, supportive friends that she can rely on. I think it's terrible how mean kids can be. I could probably vent on and on about this in your comments. You threw your daughter a wonderful birthday party. Your daughter and her friends are sweethearts for cleaning up that mess too. You did a good job Mama!

Anonymous said...

I don't want to have children anymore!!! :-( just kidding. Since I don't have kids, this brought back memories from junior high. I think we all go through it and as the adult, you were a lot nicer than I would have been....I think the party was very nice and it sounded awesome!!! It's just that age...kids are jerks and girls ditch their friends to hang out with boys. Plus, they're all obsessed with being "cool" (or whatever they call it now) which usually means being a jerk.

The Redhead Riter said...

Tell your daughter that the middle school years are HELL and that the girls are EVIL LITTLE WITCHES...LOL. Really, those years are supposed to be the hardest for girls. Their hormones kick in and their bodies changes in so many ways while their personalities also change. She needs to find a few, and I mean a few good friends, then she should be involved in SO MANY ACTIVITIES that she is exhausted. Several reasons...she will be too tired to get into trouble -- if she is shunned by one or two girls, she will have so many other girl "friends" that it won't matter so much -- it will help develop her personality. Whew...sorry I wrote so much. I lived through those teeter totter years with Alyssa and know how hard they are for the girls. Good luck.

Stopping by from SITS today!

Jillian, Inc said...

Oh gosh - the teen girl drama. Feel for you... that is so wrong. It's amazing how kids these days act and how hurtful they can be. I feel so bad for your daughter.

Kaylen said...

ugh, my son went through almost an entire school year where his small circle of friends didn't speak to him. He had horrible self-esteem trouble...middle school is just the WORST.
For his 13th, I took him and 3 friends to the bowling alley for the cosmic bowling session. It was fairly expensive for a b-day party for 4 kids....and after 20 minutes of the two-hr bowling session, the friends all changed their shoes and left my son bowling by himself. I found the other boys playing video games, my son was so upset. Horrible situation...but I went and got the boys and let them know that they were being very rude and inconsiderate and they KNEW it was a bowling party, they KNEW it was a 2 hr bowling session and they were not being good friends. They were not happy with me, my son was slightly embarassed, but after they all got over it, they did bowl some more with him and he had a good time the rest of the night.

Kids are mean!!!!

Pearls To Hide My Neck said...

Nothing like sneaky girls wanting to impress a boy and a boy encouraging the girls. Middle school is horrible. I bet if you looked at the girls' moms you would find a couple who still act the same way.
My last thought is why in the world is it ok for 13 year old girls to think it's cool to be on the phone during a party. That is beyond rude.

Jennifer Juniper said...

Wow. I can remember this kind of stuff from when I was in school and it makes me feel relief sometimes that I have all boys.

I can't keep my mouth shut and would have pulled out some sort of lesson about friendship and my kid would have been rolling her eyes for me to shut up. I do think I would have asked the boy to leave and ushered them all inside. It was such a cool party, too! Did she remember any good parts, or was the whole thing ruined?

Pam said...

Stopping by from SITS. I'm so sorry your daughter's party suffered a blotch. Overall, it sounds like a success---It's a mystery to me why some girls are so mean. At least your daughter now knows who her true friends are (which is a very good thing to know.) As the mom of a 15 year old girl, I empathize with you. (P.S.The party theme and deor looked wonderful!)

Sheri said...

My son is 14 and we've gone through the "mean kids" problem ourselves. Boys can be mean too, in different ways, and of course he's learned the hard way that most middle school girls are not going to be his friend. It is so sad, and I hate that your daughters party ended like that. It is a hard lesson, but I think once they learn it and realize who their friends are, they're better off. I have to tell my son all the time, you're lucky to have a couple really true friends.

It sounds like a wonderful party and such pretty decorations. I hope she's feeling better about everything.

Moose said...

Wow. This really doesn't make me look forward to my candy- themed 13th b-day party... I'm sorry that happened.