Tacky Parenting 101

In a world where people un-ironically name their children Unique and produce enough bizarre maternity photo shoots to provide fodder for entire blogs dedicated to the genre, it’s hard to believe that the Tacky Parenting ante could be upped. But ladies and gentleman, we may have a new unit of measure.

Being billed for flaking out on attending a 5 year old’s birthday party.

Yes, this actually happened. Here’s the story if you haven’t heard it yet. 

As a parent, I’ve been billed for a lot of things. Doctors appointments, karate uniforms, school field trips, and bike tune ups are the sort of things I’ve come to expect as the cost of raising kids. Yet in 9+ years, no one has ever slipped an invoice into my child’s backpack for an afternoon of snow tubing that he declined to participate in.

I suppose if I had, I’d be writing this with my head fused to the carpet.

Sure, saying you’ll show up for something and going full MIA on the day of has its own level of tacky, but there’s an endless list of acceptable excuses for such an offense. I can’t really come up with a decent one for side stepping an honest conversation and demanding payment from another parent for not following through on accepting a birthday party invite.

For one thing, five year olds are not reliable people. Hell, some of them still lick things they find on the ground. Being unwilling to absorb costs associated with the decisions of people who likely still pooped in their pants less than one presidential election ago is unrealistic.

And for another, when did elementary school birthday parties hurl themselves into the stratosphere of wedding planning? I get that some people elect to throw parties that have a per head cost. However, if $15 puts enough of a dent in your wallet that you need to recoup the loss, maybe next year bake a cake, toss up some streamers and beat the crap out of a pinata in the backyard.