Stop the birthday party goody bag madness

Sep 9, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. ET
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As much as I appreciate you going through all of this trouble to present my child attending your child's birthday party with such a wonderful gift bag, please don't give them any of these things. No, really, put down the off-brand silly string and leave the dollar store immediately.

The maze of frustration

The maze of frustration |

Photo credit: Amazon

Do you know who invented these little plastic mazes with a tiny metal ball you have to get into an even tinier hole? Someone with better eyesight and hand-eye coordination than me. These mazes are the worst. They aren't fun, and there is no reward for completing them, except you get to either watch the little metal ball fall right back out of the hole or else get stuck in there and deal with your 5-year-old who expects you to somehow fix it. Because as a parent you have nothing better to do than figure out how to fix this dumb plastic piece of garbage and by fixing it I mean you should file it under G in the special filing cabinet you keep in your kitchen that also contains used coffee grounds and empty yogurt containers.

Parachute dudes

Parachute dudes |

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Parachute dudes are the most fun your kids can have for approximately two seconds before they bring you the parachute dude who is tangled up in his own plastic parachute and strangled by his white string. In real life these guys would never, ever qualify to be paratroopers. You can try and convince your kid that they should find another military figure to reprimand parachute dude for always getting tangled and unable to complete his top secret mission of jumping off the second floor landing and floating safely to his rendezvous point next to the dog water bowl, but your kid won't fall for that. Instead you will spend approximately four years of your life untangling these plastic dudes from their parachutes, or however many years your kids get invited to birthday parties. You will also get the added bonus of your junk drawer becoming a parachute dude cemetery, with piles of these dudes tangled in their own string, never to parachute anywhere again.


Whistles |

Photo credit: Amazon

The parent who included these in the goody bag hates you and your kid. It's that simple. They did not want to host this birthday party. They did not want your kid coming into their house for 2-1/2 hours and pinning the tail on their paper donkey and spilling a paper cup filled with red juice on their carpet. The parent who included this in the goody bag knew all these things would happen so they got their sweet revenge in advance by including these shrill, plastic whistles because they knew you would be driving your kid home accompanied by the ear-splitting shriek of these things in rush hour traffic.

The bouncy ball of doom

The bouncy ball of doom |

Photo credit: Amazon

Do you know what's fun? These super-duper bouncy balls that your kid throws and they ricochet off the walls and knock down any fragile items you have in your bookcase or any picture frames on your mantle. Whee!

This garbage

Sticky hand things |

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Whee more fun! The best part about these are the ones that don't stick to your walls and leave a mystery oily mark on your paint, but the ones that stick to your ceiling and refuse to crawl down, so you get the added bonus of attempting to dislodge this thing from the plaster using a broom handle. Now that's what I call a party favor!

Containers of ooze

Containers of ooze |

Photo credit: Amazon

The parent who included the whistle in the goody bag probably also included one of these. Which will end up in your carpet. Whee!

I appreciate parents who go through the trouble of giving my kid a goody bag when they attend a party at their house, but you know what? My kid doesn't need any of these things. An excellent party favor is those tiny airline-sized bottles of booze they sell at the liquor store checkout for me and a sticker for my kid. Let's all stop the goody bag madness and agree to just hand out those things when the party's over.

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