My son was recently invited to a birthday party by one of his classmates. He is starting over in a new school and was super excited about the invite. The birthday happened to fall on a weekend that he was scheduled to visit his dad, who lives out of the area. I offered to pick the children up a few hours early so my ex wouldn't have to do all the driving and so he wouldn't have to figure out something to do with our other two children while our son was at the party, but he insisted that it was fine.
Well he waited to the very last minute to RSVP and the showed up at the party with my son and his two uninvited siblings. The party took place at one of those moon bounce places, I am sure that the parents of the b-day boy had to pay per head. All of my children got to play and enjoy the pizza and cupcakes. Also I found out from my son that they also went empty handed. Apparently their father took them to the toy store to pick a gift but since they didn't really know what the boy would want they got nothing. Although he did end up getting a toy for each of our children.
I am not really surprised that my ex would do this but I am completely mortified. I have no idea if their father paid for our other two children to participate of if the birthday boy's family did. What should I do? I don't want my son to miss out on future parties because of all of this.
I would contact the mother of the boy who invited him and explain the situation.
Ask her if your ex paid for the other two children and if not pony up the money and reimburse her.
Also, I would go out and buy the little boy something, wrap it and bring it over saying that "in the chaos of being at their dad's house the present was forgotten at home"
If your relationship permits, you should have a non-combative talk with your ex asking if he paid for the other two children to attend and that your son absolutely should have brought a gift. As long as your son picked something he thought the boy would truly like, his gift would be perfect. (It is then the birthday boy's responsability to pretend he loves it even if he doesn't.)
My thought is he should have dropped of the child invited and found something to do with the other two children. But not being there, maybe that wasn't possible?
Depending on your ex's answers, you should call the mother and explain; also, have your son deliver the gift with you, stating simply "Sorry I wan't able to give this to you at the party." It's the truth but vague enough that no "little white lie" is necessary.
HTH and good luck in the future.
I would probably do the same as Auryn said. Contact the mom, explain & offer to pay. More than likely, she'll tell you not to worry about it but will really appreciate the thoughtfulness.
A lot of the parents hosting the parties that we've been to at those places factor in the siblings when they are planning. I think the bounce places here have packages that are like 'up to 15 kids is a set price' for the small party & 'up to 25 kids' for the larger party & then you pay a per kid price if you go a few over whatever the package was.
I would also buy a present for the birthday boy & give it to his teacher to give to the child at the end of the day to take home (unless you usually see the mom at school or elsewhere on a regular basis).
I'm with Auryn, call the mom and explain the situation and apologize, and give a small gift, even if it's late.
I think talking to the mother is also the best thing to do as well. She'll probably be very thankful you did and really appreciate it, regardless if she asks you to pay or not.
Thanks so much for the advice! I talked with the mom and arranged to meet and give her son his gift. I also asked her if my children's father had paid for the other two kids or if it messed up her head count. She said "no it was fine". So I don't really know for sure if she was being nice and not wanting me to offer to pay or if she had extra for siblings or if he paid. I wish I could address this issue with my ex so we could avoid this recurring in the future but no matter how nicely I put things he will turn it into a huge problem. I have no idea if he really is just clueless about birthday party etiquette or if he is just THAT inconsiderate. Thanks again!
If in the future your son gets an invite when he scheduled to be with his dad and he's still going to the party, I would get the gift ahead of time and have him take it on his visit with his dad so that he has a present to bring to the party.
I also asked her if my children's father had paid for the other two kids or if it messed up her head count. She said "no it was fine". So I don't really know for sure if she was being nice and not wanting me to offer to pay or if she had extra for siblings or if he paid.
She's probably not going to make a fuss--she may be fine with it or she may be fuming. It's hard to say. Maybe call the place the party was and ask what it costs per head at a party and offer it when you meet. Ex's can make things so uncomfortable at times...
Just a thought, would your son know if dad paid or not??
Perhaps when you tke the boys gift around you could take a little batch of *something* that you have made to show your appreciation...even tho its your ex who should show it...but we won't go there
That way at least they know that you are thoughtful enough to care.