Since I’ve always known I was never going to have children, I haven’t really paid attention to kid culture. Ever since Kidlet has been staying with us, I’ve been shocked by a lot of things. Like how Nick Jr is a snitch that tells kids exactly when Christmas is coming so you can’t pretend like it’s not instead of having to put up a tree, buy gifts, and cook a turkey.

Like how Target has a ton of little toys right at the damn door so you can’t run past it before the kid sees it and starts asking for them.

Like how bad kid poop smells. We don’t feed her much. We try to stay away from too much sugar and Red Dye #3. Why does the bathroom smell like some construction worker ate some expired burritos and wandered in there to drop an extra sized load? Also, is four too young for a colonoscopy?

Another hiccup I’m having is other kids. Besides Kidlet and my other nieces and nephews, I don’t really know any kids. And now that we moved to Austin, I don’t live in the same state as any of them. So, most of the friends Kidlet has made have been in daycare. Honestly, I should be trying to befriend the moms of these kids but I really don’t have it in me. They think I’m weird. I think they’re weird. Whatever.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to pick Kidlet up again and was stopped by one of the moms of the other kids. She told me that she was throwing her son, Darius, a birthday party that weekend at the McDonald’s playland. It was super hero themed, there would be cake, and all of the kids from daycare were invited. “Just make sure you bring a present and $20 for the cost of the party,” she said.

“The cost of the party?”

“Yeah, I’m trying to make back some of the money on the party. And Darius wants to get a PS4 so I’ll put it toward that, too.”

Now, let’s count all of the ways this chick deserved me to be cursed out right at the door of a daycare:


#1: Darius Won’t Even Know It’s His Birthday Unless You Tell Him

First of all, let’s talk about the fact that if you couldn’t afford to do something, you didn’t do it. I have a PS4, an Xbox One, and a ton of other video consoles. I like video games. I have a job to make money to buy video games. I would never ask Darius and his mama to buy me a PS4 for my birthday.

Also, Darius is 4 years old. He hasn’t had that many experiences yet. There are all kinds of things you can do with that boy that would blow his mind and make it the best birthday he’s ever had. Keep in mind, he’s only had three other birthdays in his entire life. Four, if we count his actual birth, which I know damn well he doesn’t remember. You don’t have to try to top giving birth to him.

And truthfully, he doesn’t even know it’s his birthday unless you tell him. He doesn’t have a calendar. He doesn’t have a Facebook account to remind him. If you can’t afford to give him what you want, just don’t tell him his birthday is coming. He won’t even miss it.

#2: Are You Really Trying to Make a Profit Off of Your Child’s Birthday Party?

Darius must want to be a party promoter when he grows up. He’s already throwing parties with cover charges. How many juice boxes come with the cover charge? Do girls get in free? Is there some sort of Happy Hour we should know about?

I totally understand if you’re having a Build-A-Bear party and we need to pay for our own bears. Or if you’re having a party at Six Flags and we need to pay for our own admission. But you’re saying that I need to pay you for the privilege of eating your cake and hanging out at McDonalds Playland.

Wait. Isn’t McDonalds Playland free? We go there all the time. So for the $20 I was going to give you and Darius, I could take the kid there, buy us both something to eat, AND get an ice cream cone? Then what the fuck do I need you two for?

#3: You Do Realize I Don’t Even Know Darius, Right?

Darius is not my son, my nephew, or my godson. I don’t owe it to him to make his birthday amazing. He’s just some kid that goes to daycare with my niece. I had every intention of buying him a $5 gift–maybe $10 if it was something cool. Add $20 to that and we have hit the $30 mark. And you have priced me right out of giving a fuck about Darius’ birthday.


So of course, I told Kidlet that the only way we’re gonna see Darius is at daycare. And now I’m not one of the cool moms at daycare. But that’s fine. Because I’m not a mom and don’t pretend to be one. Because I don’t give a fuck about being cool. And because Darius and his mother will have to figure out another way to get a PS4.

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Princess Jones

Princess Jones is a fantasy author with an obsession with the stories we tell ourselves over and over. For more talk about books, connect with her on Goodreads.

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