This event occurred several years ago but I still think of it from time to time and wonder if I handled it correctly.
My daughter (Miss E) was 7 years old at the time and had been invited to a classmate’s birthday party. I was recovering from surgery and unable to drive so I organized a taxi booking to pick up E and drop her at the party and collect her 2 hours later. This is not such an unusual occurrence where we lived and taxi drivers in our town were known to be very friendly and trustworthy members of the community charged with ferrying children to and from school regularly. It was only a 5 minute drive between our homes. I called the host to RSVP and mentioned the taxi arrangement only to explain why E would be presenting herself alone. The host insisted on picking up E herself despite my protests that I didn’t wish to inconvenience her while she was preparing for the party and that it was in no way any problem for me to do this. I just wanted to ensure E got to the party as she was really looking forward to it. The host mum remained insistent and said that it would make better sense to pick up E as she planned to pick up some catering just before the party and would be driving past our home anyway. I agreed and cancelled the taxi.
So, the birthday girl’s mother did not arrive to collect E who was dressed head to toe in the theme color (purple) and pacing across our porch with wrapped gift a good hour before the expected collection time. This time came and went, I tried calling the host but it went to voice mail. At the party start time I called the taxi company again only to be told that without a pre booking it would be at least a 45 minute wait. At this stage my daughter was quite forlorn, not angry, just sad and I just felt so heart broken for her.
I called a friend who dropped in that evening with her favorite take away and a movie and we had a nice night, I hoped our treat helped her feel better. On the following Monday E went off to school, with the gift, and gave it to the birthday girl who according to E explained that her mother simply forgot to pick her up.
This seemed to satisfy E but I have wondered if I should or could have done more. At the time I had considered inviting the girl out with E and I for a picnic or some other activity thinking it might show the girl that there were no hard feelings on our part but to be honest I was a bit miffed that the other parent never even contacted me let alone suggest such a solution herself. In hindsight I also realize that I should never have relied on a busy party host to do me a favor, despite her insistence, and I should have retained my booking.
Miss E is now a confident 17 yo, and has attended dozens of lovely parties since, but I now have a 2yo son and soon I’ll be back in the realm of play dates and kids party etiquette. I’d love to hear some opinions on this. 0212-16