You remember the song “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To” – how can you not remember that classic? But what do you do when the birthday girl really is crying? And she has to leave her own birthday party? What’s the etiquette there?
What, you’ve never faced this dilemma before? Lucky you.
I did mention that Little Miss broke her arm at her own birthday party earlier this summer, right? When it first happened (she was jumping in a bouncy place and a friend pushed her – she landed wrong), I knew it was broken. I could tell just looking at it. And the party was just thirty minutes in. Of course it was late enough that all the doctors’ offices had already closed, so we’d have to go to the ER regardless, but there was a small hope that she could stick it out and head to the ER after the party was over.
I say this only knowing that setting a broken arm immediately or setting it in a few hours won’t change anything with regards to healing.
It wasn’t going to happen, however, as she was miserable and in pain. My husband and mom took Little Miss to the ER, leaving me behind with the party and 18 children still racing through the bouncy house.
Ummmm. What are you supposed to do in that situation? The birthday girl is gone. Do you send everyone home? Do you still have the birthday cake? Uhhh….
The first issue was figuring out what to tell the other kids. They had all gathered around Little Miss as she sat in my arms sobbing and holding her arm. They knew something was up, and they saw when she left. I figured they already knew something was up so the truth was the best – we were taking Little Miss to the ER because she hurt her arm, but we didn’t yet know if it was broken. And yes, the party would go on.
When we got to the party room, we handed out the food we’d previously arranged to have served. That wasn’t a problem. The cake was still a dilemma though. Do you simply cut it up and hand it out, or do you not serve it at all when the birthday girl is missing?
I came up with a better solution. I put the candles on the cake and asked all the kids to sing happy birthday to Little Miss and blow out her candles together, and I’d capture it on video so that she could watch it later when she was feeling better. It worked wonderfully, with lots of the kids wishing Little Miss better after the singing was finished. So sweet!
That made it easy to then pass out the cake and pretend like this was a normal birthday party. The one factor I hadn’t counted on? As parents arrived to pick up their children, they came up to me asking “Is it true?” Oh. Oops. I hadn’t thought about the fact that each child would immediately run to a parent and tell the whole story. Eh, they would have found out anyway.
And yes, I made it to the ER in time for the doctor to read the X-rays and determine that yes, it was a break. And both bones in her forearm were broken. At a pretty severe angle where she had to be sedated to straighten the arm before putting he cast on. Poor kid.
My hope is that you’re never in a situation where you need to figure out what to do when the guest of honor has to unexpectedly leave his own birthday party, but just in case… I’ve figured out how you handle it at least.
PS Yes, she’s doing fine and the cast will come off soon. No weight bearing activities for three months, however.
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