How Would YOU React to this Mom’s Behavior at a Birthday Party?

Y'all Don't Come Back Now

So then…she stomps into the backyard with her son Jeremy and demands, “Is this a drop-off party?” I glance at my 6-year-old birthday boy Tucker cavorting with his friends on the sport court, more pals painting art projects, and yet more kids running around the backyard.

“Uh…no.”

She heaves a frustrated sigh, obviously displeased that she cannot just dump her child and split. I smile cheerfully and introduce myself, since it’s the first time I’m meeting Jeremy’s mom, Tammi. She says, “I thought this was a drop-off party.”

OK, Tammi, let it go.

“Oh, you’ll have fun. You probably know some of the other parents from first grade. Besides, it helps to have adults around with so much going on.”

She gives me a look. A hard look. A look that says, “Hey, your party invitation is an implicit contract for you to babysit my kid for 3 hours while I get a mani-pedi.”

She declines my offer of lemonade and clomps off, whipping out her cell phone.

When the other parents help with the art project, she’s on her cell. When the other parents help clean up, she’s on her cell. I’m pretty sure if a pack of wild Komodo dragons ran rampant through the yard, she’d be on her cell — standing on a lawn chair.

I call everyone in for dinner, a sumptuous homemade Mexican feast of enchiladas, tacos, and quesadillas.

Tammi walks in and says, “I didn’t know you were having dinner. We already have dinner plans tonight.” She frowns. “You really should have put something on your invitation about this.”

I smile cheerfully (through clenched teeth). “But I did! You know, the part that said: ‘Come enjoy our delicious Mexican fiesta. After running and playing, you’ll need a siesta!’”

She gives me a look. A pitying look. A look that says, “Poetry does not belong on a party invitation.”

“We have to leave now. We have plans.”

I smile cheerfully (hallelujah) and say, “OK, be sure to get Jeremy a party favor before you go.”

She does not move. “Jeremy wants to have cake before he goes.”

“Oh. We’re planning to do that at the end of the party.”

My husband David says, “Oh, we can do the cake now if you have to leave.”

I shoot him a look. A hard look. A look that says, “Don’t you dare accommodate this woman!”

But he is already looking for a large knife.

I turn to Tammi and say soothingly, “If we do the cake now, people will think it’s time to leave. I’m sure you understand.”

She folds her arms. “Jeremy really wants cake.”

Now I am looking for a large knife.

David says, “We could just cut off a little piece for him now and bring out the cake to sing Happy Birthday later.” (Since when is he the gracious host?)

“But it’s an ice cream cake and it isn’t thawed. It’s still frozen solid.” I’m determined to stand my ground, but David is oblivious to my frustration. In fact, he accepts this task as though it were a “Survivor TV show” challenge of strength and ingenuity!

After several attempts with a butcher knife, an ice pick, and finally an electric carving knife, he manages to hack away a chunk of ice cream cake for little Jeremy who ultimately declares, “I don’t like chocolate chip.”

— Darcy Perdu

(Before you ask, yep, this is all true. And yep, we learned our lesson.  Instead of inviting Tucker’s whole class to future birthday parties, we became a bit more discerning about inviting the kids he plays with most — and kids whose parents I don’t want to strangle.)

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Click these posts for MORE Moms who drive me CRAZY! —

I Don’t Mean to Be All Judgy on This Chick, But REALLY!

Seriously, Lady — Yer Killin’ Me Here!

(So how about you – any party guests or parents who exhibited comically ungracious behavior at one of your parties? Do tell!)

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65 replies on “How Would YOU React to this Mom’s Behavior at a Birthday Party?

  1. Julie said:

    OMG Darcy!

    You really don’t have to look far to find out where the kids learn it do you? You probably would have been better off letting her go!

  2. KiwiKat said:

    How freaking RUDE!! I admire your restraint in not stabbing/strangling/scratching her eyes out (and thwacking David for enabling her)….

    I loved our birthday parties growing up in the 70’s and 80’s – my birthday is at Halloween, which is late spring here….the pool was ready, so we had pool parties – fill kids full of sugar and soft drink (soda), let them run around like maniacs, dip them in the pool to wash off the worst of the sugar and send them home to their parents…hehehehe red food colouring RULED in those days!

  3. Sarah said:

    There is no f’ing way in HELL I would have hacked a piece of my kid’s cake off before he got to blow out candles and take pictures. What was your husband thinking!!?! PLEASE people, I beg you, stop accommodating a-holes like this. I have a sister-in-law that thinks it should be A-OK for her kids to “help” unwrap the birthday kid’s presents. I have literally had to rip presents out of their hands and physically remove them from the room to keep them away from the presents. While all the while their mom is saying “well if it’s okay with [insert birthday child here] you can help.” Yeah, thanks for putting my kid on the spot to look like a jerk for not letting them “help”. No worries boys, your momma has no problem being the big bad to jerky kids or their parents.

    • Ha! Yep I remember a party for my oldest when he was…5? Anyway I was in the kitchen getting the finishing touches ready. My SIL arrives and has my son sit on the sidewalk in front of our house and open his gift from her! I’m sorry, but unless it’s ALIVE there’s no way that is necessary!!

      • Good grief! She must have been VERY excited about that gift she got him! Have some patience, SIL!

  4. Dear Lord!!! I cannot believe someone was seriously THAT rude about so many things at a freakin birthday party!? Is this what I have to look forward to?? Ugh. You were very gracious. And, if it makes you feel any better, my husband would have probably done the same exact thing. He’s completely oblivious to these situations.
    Allie recently posted..Duathlon National Championship – Conquered!My Profile

  5. What a horrible sounding woman. I’d tell her what to do with her slice of cake.

  6. OH MY GOSH. I just had an a-ha moment.
    I came across your blog weeks ago and read the one about the grey hair in the nether region (I died). Then I lost track of your URL somehow and could never remember how to get back to your site and I’d be like “dammit! she was hilarious.”

    Well, I’ve found you again.
    Slightly creepy? Yes.
    Always.

  7. That would set me off. Wow. I would’ve showed her the door asap, poor kid, he’s going to be the end result of her poor and selfish parenting. On a side note, why wasn’t my son and I invited to this party? We like siestas! Have a great one, Happy Tuesday! -Iva

  8. Mishee said:

    I feel really sorry for that kid. Imagine having to LIVE with that woman as a parent. She obviously isn’t into spending time with her child and being a supportive mom. And if she ALWAYS acts like this, that poor kid isn’t going to even have any friends to complain to…

    That being said, I have a party horror story too. Thankfully it wasn’t my horror, that’s why I can laugh about it. LOL

    My cousin has what I thought were the worst behaved set of three little sons I had ever seen. Boy was I wrong. When the oldest of the three started school, they decided to invite the whole class to a bowling party at the local bowling alley. Furthermore, my cousin had invited plenty of family to help with the little buggers, so he let the parents drop off the kids for some “free babysitting” as you so eloquently put it. This one child was a holy terror. He hit other kids, he purposely threw the ball down the wrong lane, and eventually, he raced down the bowling lane that our party was at and ran across all the lanes while other people were bowling, turned around and ran back across them to our lane. Thankfully (or maybe unfortunately), he didn’t get hit with any bowling balls while doing this. Finally, my sister couldn’t take it anymore. She picked up this strange kid, whom we had never seen before and made him sit in her lap the rest of the party. No more bowling for him, and she proceeded to lecture him for the rest of the party about why his behavior was unacceptable. She did let him have some cake though. I’ve always wondered if that kid went home and told his parents about the mean lady who wouldn’t let him enjoy the party. And by enjoy, I mean destroy.

  9. kat said:

    And… they do that at library programs, too. And with tutors. People they never met, and know nothing about. Drop off? *shakes head sadly*

  10. Oh. my. god. You were sooo much more controlled than I would have been…glad she was never invited back again! And why are our husbands always so afraid of those moms? I think your husband acted out of fear, so I’d forgive his accommodating her — this time. :)
    Emily recently posted..A Plea To Lebron James and The Miami HeatMy Profile

  11. Ashlee said:

    Oh dear lord, I would have lost my shit on that woman. You handled it 100x better than I would have. I probably would have made a fat joke about him wanting cake so bad and said the “don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya” comment.

  12. Say whaaaa?! Oh, no she di’unt!
    This is another reason why I take Xanax. You, my lady, are a much better person than I.

  13. Zed. Oh. Em. Gee! People like that really EXIST?!?! Good GRIEF! Poor Jeremy! He’s going to grow up just like it, unless his teenage rebellion is to turn into a decent human being.
    Considerer recently posted..The most terrifying sound of allMy Profile

  14. What an absolute nightmare! My boys are 8 and 5 and I always wonder when we get a birthday invitation if we are to stay or go…or if we are “supposed” to go, do I trust to leave my kids there? Are they going to at least keep half an eye on them? One of the many rough parts of parenthood.

  15. WHAT??!!! My blood pressure is up just reading this. I cannot understand how someone could be so RUDE. Fine, you’re disappointed the party isn’t drop off…but to behave so ghastly while you are there and THEN to insist the cake be cut early just because you are leaving early…O.M.G. Yes, I’d be cutting something alright, but it wouldn’t be cake. WHAT NERVE!! –Lisa

  16. Wow. Was she his mom? Nanny? Evil StepMother?
    Nevermind, I don’t want to know. I hope that kid is one of those eternally happy children, no matter what. He’s going to NEED to be.
    Thank you for the head’s up on Whole-Class parties!

  17. Paul said:

    Wow! That’s just plain ingnorant of your guest’s mother. Your southern manners are showing Darcy – no way most people could take that without snapping. I am impressed. You should get an award for taking the higher road and not returning trash with trash. I liked the way Charlie Brown put it: “Doing the right thing is like peeing yourself in a dark suit – it may give you a warm feeling but no one notices.” I feel kind of bad for the young invitee – his Mom is in the process of causing him all kinds of problems.

  18. I just found you from your ad on The Animated Woman’s site (yes, ads DO work!)

    Thank goodness, I never faced that level of rudeness from my kids’ friends’ parents. That is awful! You definitely showed more restraint than I would have been capable of. You’re not alone though, my ex would have done exactly the same thing as your hubby did. What is it with these guys?

  19. Your story reminded me of the one and only time I invited the class to my daughter ‘s birthday! Kindergarten….who do you leave out lol. There were about 25 or 30 children and we did McDonalds – no clean up for mom! Imagine my surprise when several (read almost half) brought their siblings and their parents explained it perfectly “they wanted to come too”. Really? Did you want to chip in for the cost of their happy meal? Of course at that age they are too cute to deny, but the parents…..sheeeesh!

  20. Angyl said:

    While I am in no way siding with the infamous psycho mom, I feel compelled to point out that she may not have known there would be food because fiesta is Spanish for party, not feast.

    • Brilliant! I need to start serving LIQUOR at these birthday parties!! I’ll be able to tolerate the guests much more! :o)

  21. I didn’t know you also know Tammi?!? She actually has brothers and cousins who are similar. What a delightfully selfish family.
    My particular fave was the dad who insisted on staying for 20 mins of party time only to pull his son away to basketball practice. Perhaps he should have avoided us all together. Nervous, I ended up pouring root beer all over his son and his uniform. With no time to launder, I popped uniform in dryer. Poor kid probably didn’t have too good a practice in that now cardboard-stiff jersey and shorts. Oops.
    Kelly McKenzie recently posted..Fort Langley FieldtripMy Profile

    • ha! I agree — a 20-minute party visit seems like it’s be more distressing than enjoyable — he probably should have skipped it! Great “souvenir” though! The root beer jersey!

  22. “Here’s a buck and a quarter, Tams. Stop at 7-11 and get him a f@#&×¥g piece of cake.”
    (before the special dinner plans, mind you)
    Virginia Llorca recently posted..Excerpt from LAWMANMy Profile

    • Ha! that’s brilliant, Virginia! wish I had thought of it!

  23. Candice said:

    I hear you sister, my son was turning 7 and I made the error of inviting all the cub scouts from his Den to a laser tag party at one of those “Fun Centers”. The invitation started the time was 2 P.M. to 5 P.M. and that we were having cake and ice cream after the kids played laser tag. A parent showed up at 2pm and was surprised we were not serving pizza for lunch. I gave an apology, and told him we only planed on cake and ice cream since our time slot was after lunch time from 2 to 5. He told me that he had not fed his son lunch since he thought there would be pizza, because there is pizza on the menu at “Fun Center.” I look at this poor hungry child and back at his father, then I looked at the other parents and children that were there to celebrate with us and they had all fed their kids before they got there and said, “oh well, if you guys are hungry, I am sure you have time to grab a slice of pizza before we get the fun started.” He said nothing , blinked twice at me, took his son’s hand and went to the food court. They were back in 15, just in time to get a gun and body armor.

    • oohh, you handled that beautifully — git yer own damn pizza, yo!
      Lunch at 2:00, for Pete’s sake! What are they — European?
      :o)

  24. How rude! And I’m curious what kind of manners Jeremy could possibly have with her for a mom! While I have definitely encountered moms who view the party as a free babysitting service, I have certainly never had one ask me to cut the cake early. The party was about YOUR kid, not HERS! I don’t know how you didn’t explode!

    We had an odd host experience. It was an adult party, and everyone was playing a group game. It was one of those rare occasions where EVERYONE was actually playing the game, laughing and engaged with the group. No stragglers on the patio smoking or talking in clumps in the kitchen. Suddenly, in the middle of the game, literally–not even during the change of turns–the host stands up and says “10:30-time to go!” and starts picking up drink glasses and turning on lights. The invitation had said 7-10:30pm, but everyone was drinking, laughing, and playing so no one had really paid attention to the time. Other than the host, obviously. It was very awkward. People at first thought she was kidding, but then she was taking their drink glasses and pouring them in the sink and saying goodbye. It changed the mood really quickly. People starting gathering their things in silence and heading out, not really sure what had just happened. But since that point, when we go to her house, we are VERY conscious of the time and make sure to be ready to go well before the cut-off point!! ;o)
    Leslie recently posted..Can I Get a Parenting Checklist Please?My Profile

    • Omigosh – how BIZARRE! I can’t believe the host abruptly ended the party like that! Especially when everyone is having such a good time!
      It’s almost like a parole officer had given her a curfew or something and she didn’t want to end up in the slammer!

  25. Gosh your David sounds like my Michael, too nice. He will cook forty different meals to accommodate everybody in the house whereas I have a “you don’t want the food -tough” policy.
    Vivian Pitschlitz recently posted..HealingMy Profile

  26. Oh, man. That is too much. I’ve had some run ins b/4 but never like that. But, you know, you really should have been more explicit on your invitation – like stating cake will be served after dinner as is normal operating procedure.
    One Funny Motha recently posted..Childless and Loving ItMy Profile

    • Yes! Exactly! I really should have made the more clear! Ha!

  27. That is ridiculous!! My biggest issue with birthday parties is when the host doesn’t specify siblings or not on the invitation. Usually I ask, but sometimes people give me “the look” when I do.
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted..Mayan Mysteries Game {Review}My Profile

    • I agree — it’s better to let the guests know up front if other siblings are included!

  28. Bragi said:

    Who doesn’t like chocolate chip?

    • No kidding! He must be an alien from another planet or something!

  29. Sheena marie said:

    I don’t know if i could remain as calm cool and collected, so kudos for that. I feel bad for Jeremy for having such an obnoxious mother. I would remind her it is a birthday party, not a daycare centre and to take her negative attitude elsewhere because it certainly wouldn’t be welcomed around everybody who is actually enjoying themselves. Princess party pooper!

    • Ha! That’s the perfect name for her – Princess Party Pooper!

  30. Kae said:

    For a 6th birthday I would not ASSUME it was a drop-off party unless the invitation said so. Six is a little young IMHO.

    Just had my girl’s 6th bday party too. I had one mom want to drop-off her severely allergic child (with a quick demo of how to use the Epi-pen). We said uh, no!! They wound up responding no, which made me less nervous.

    Another dad came with his 5yo (invited) son and 2yo (surprise) daughter. He was here for about half of the party, then disappeared without saying anything to my husband or me. Dude was MIA and the party ended at 4:30. He showed up at 5:40 to get his kid. We had no cell number and the kid didn’t know his phone number or address. Who DOES that???

    • Are you serious!? I can’t believe that dad would disappear without telling anyone or giving a cell number – then show up an hour AFTER the party ended! That is whack!

    • Ha! Hopefully you won’t get a Tammi-type!
      Have a great time! And Happy Birthday to your son!

  31. Michelle said:

    I would have lost my ever-lovin’ mind on her….

    Anytime my children are invited to a party, I ALWAYS call ahead of time to see if it’s okay for me to drop and run or if I need to stick around, and make plans accordingly.

    • Smart-thinkin;, Michelle. I try to do the same too! In the early grades like preschool, K, and 1st, I try to include the parents so we can get to know each other a little bit. Later when the kids are older, it’s more of a drop-off situation.

  32. Jg said:

    Had a pool party for my then 6 year old daughter. Six. One mom dropped her daughter at the gate…70 feet away from where we were all by the pool. Didn’t come in & say hi/bye/here is my cell phone #…nada. Meanwhile, the lifeguard/me/several other moms spent most of the party watching her little angel, who couldn’t swim…but wanted to be in the deep end.

  33. Stacy said:

    OK so for my daughter’s 3rd birthday we had her party at this bounce house place with pizza, cake, etc and my Mother in law went around collecting the half eaten pizza off people’s plates to take home to “the dog” I am pretty sure she saved them to eat later as after the birth of my oldest daughter, she stopped by to see us and brought a half eaten breakfast platter from Mcdonalds…talk about outrage! I was so embarrassed!!

    • Well, that story takes the cake!
      Or your mother-in-law takes the cake.
      One of those.