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NIGHTMARE: Three Kids; One Invite

Its a triplet parents worst nightmare, really.

I only have triplets, so most of what I;m about to say about singletons is conjecture and assumption, but here goes:

I imagine that when you have three kids of different ages its easy when only one of them is invited to a birthday party. Any younger child is probably interested in where an older sibling is going, but is easily refocused. Older children probably just don't care what a younger child is doing, but to the extent they are invested, I'd think its easy to explain to them. After all, they are probably in different schools, or at least different grades. They have different teachers, different classmates, and while they may share some friends, those are largely different as well.

Not so with triplets

When you have three kids all the same age they attend the same school; often in the same class (as ours do). So when only one of them receives an invite, as our daughter did, its hard not to feel slighted. After all, they know, play and enjoy the company of the birthday girl just as well, or better, than Sadie.

Ok, so its not exactly the stuff of monsters hiding under beds, abducted children held in terror domes and losing all your teeth (all nightmares I've personally experienced).

And as it was, this is a "girl's only" party. I won't get too far into whether "girls only" parties are a good idea at this age. Mostly because my thoughts on the topic are initial reactions and rudimentary at best. But in my experience girls and woman can like vastly different things and having a "girls only" party only serves to enforce stereotypes. Same goes for boys. My one boy loves Disney Magic Clip dolls, as you may have heard.

But at least the "girls only" status made it easy to explain to our boys. Thank goodness we didn't have two girls, one of whom was excluded, instead.

UPDATE: An impending winter storm promises to save us from this mess by introducing a whole different mess. So we get a week worth of salvation.

The boys actually handled this really well. They wanted to get mail more than invited to the party. Oh, to be a four-year old. It helps that we promised them we would do something fun.

I think one reason I can't get worked up about some of the things Alex mentioned in her comment stem from the fact that we do a bad job of fostering individual time for each of the kids. Its something we were told early on: you have to make time for each one to be an individual, because otherwise they get lumped as "triplets" and struggle with an identify. We have had some luck in that each one is so unique that that they have formed their own identify pretty easily. Still, we don't do enough to get them out alone with just Mommy and Daddy so that they can develop their own sense of self and have that unique time that singletons enjoy.

THAT is probably my biggest parenting regret four years in.


  1. Gender stereotyping play interests aside...although I could RANT about that...

    The "girls only" party is stupid for another reason, which you've hinted at above...just because your daughter and the friend are both girls, doesn't mean they get along as well as your son and the friend. Why is one child being excluded because he's a boy?

    AND this is reinforcing the idea that GIRLS have to play with GIRLS and BOYS play with BOYS. (AND the idea that we must play with same-sex friends because having opposite-sex friends means we're romantically/sexually interested.)

    And while I'm sure you won't raise your children with those assumptions, it's hard for a child to think outside that box when it's being pressured from every OTHER side in their life. While it's a very different larger social environment than when we were growing up, the "norm" is still very present and being needlessly expressed in parties like this.

    And I get that the parent was maybe thinking of a way to limit the number of kids that could come or limit the number of kids without those not-invited kids feeling "left out" necessarily, but it's silly (and can be unhealthy in the long run).

    ...okay, I'm done.

  2. lol. Appreciate your comments and thoughts. I can't get too worked up about the single-sex only party. Its a drop in the ocean.

    As we tell the kids sometimes... you get what you get and you don't get upset.

  3. Hmm, a problem I had never even considered before. Interesting. But then, I only have one. I enjoyed your thoughts! Also, I see you're from Philly? I'm moving nearby soon from Wisconsin. Glad I'm not there today with this storm though. Stay warm!

  4. Yeah, I think it's probably a thing that mostly affects multiples.

    We are from outside Philly, yep. Good luck with your move, we love the area.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. Have twin boys in different classes so this is starting to happen. N got invited by a classmate to a bounce house party (kindergarten Nirvana) and R did not. Yes, R was upset and I could have asked if he could come and pretty sure the answer would be been yes but decided to give N the time with his class. And agree 100% about the nonsense of a girls only party at this age. I mean if they are doing mani/pedis R loves to have his nails painted, usually in sports team colors.

  6. We too have a boy who loves having his nails painted (and playing with dolls!).

    As it turns out, our daughter took a while to warm up at the party, and had a couple crying fits because she "missed her boys." And while hearing that breaks my heart, I know deep down its probably for the best, because it allows her to learn to operate on her own.

    Thanks for stopping by and for the comment!


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