Dueling Birthday Parties On The Same Day

by admin on March 14, 2017

Thought I would post this and see what others think.

Last weekend I went to my Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda’s house for my cousin’s 18th birthday party. There was a load of grilled food, we had cake, everything was fun. My parents and I were the last ones to leave, even birthday boy having driven off with a girl I strongly suspect is his girlfriend. On our way out everyone was chatting and inevitably we wound up lingering. Everyone went through several subjects, commiserating about issues with elderly parents and such, and Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda unloaded about another irritating issue they were having.

Uncle Jack’s two sibling are Aunt Tilda and Aunt Mandy, who had also attended the party.  Aunt Tilda’s son is in the military and living out of state, though he and his family will be visiting in a few weeks for the holidays. His child, Aunt Tilda’s 2nd grandchild, just had her 1st birthday a few weeks ago as of the party. So Aunt Tilda decides she wants to have a birthday party for that baby granddaughter.

Everything’s cool. Then she decides when the party will be, which is on the Sunday that Uncle Jack’s youngest, little Stan, is turning 7. Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda had already planned to celebrate it that day as it so conveniently fell on a weekend. Now I’m a little fuzzy on when the drama  happened (at this point or after the events of the next paragraph), but Aunt Tilda was absolutely adamant that that is THE ONLY DAY that the party can be. And it’s not like the son and grandchild will only be there for that weekend or anything. My understanding is that they will be here for at least a couple of weeks and Aunt Tilda has never come up with any reason for why that day is the only option.

Well, Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda are still cool about things and basically say, “Sure. We can do a double party. It’ll be great.” (My own note here, barring maybe two or three friends from little Stan’s Preschool, the guest lists would be identical anyway.) OH NO, her grandchild cannot possibly share her birthday party. How could Jack and Linda suggest that the 1 year old SHARE!!! Apparently she threw a whole fit and forbid them to merge the parties. I believe she straight told them he couldn’t have his birthday party that day.

Now let’s be honest. 1st birthday parties are for the parents/grandparents. The baby neither understands the concept of a birthday nor cares if it is celebrated. And by the date of said party the kid will be about 14-15 months anyway. Whereas the 7 year old very much knows when his birthday is and cares about the celebration. As my Aunt Linda said, his feeling ARE going to be hurt that he can’t have a party (or must have a delayed party) because the 1 year old can’t share. Never mind that he’s expected AT said party. They could do it the Saturday before, but they don’t want to make Aunt Mandy, who lives several hours away, make the drive two days in a row. Not that they would force her, but she would feel obligated to do so no matter how many assurances were given.

So the way that Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda are dealing with it is this. Aunt Tilda has dictated that the baby’s party will be that Sunday at 2pm. Little Stan’s party will be earlier that day at 10am, after which they’ll go to the baby’s. And Aunt Tilda can just stew about her grandchild not having the whole day.

To give a little context, Aunt Tilda is kinda immature. Stunts like this aren’t out of character, nor is pouting to get her way. And she’s already showed a strong tendency to spoil grandchildren at the birthday party with her oldest grandchild (her daughter’s child). Got front row seats to the four year old having a melt down because he couldn’t take Little Stan’s dinosaur toy, that he was nicely sharing with him, home while Aunt Tilda is promising that she’ll run and buy him one. (Kid wasn’t absolutely horrible for the whole party, but was definitely very whiney and would not listen to adults). And at the birthday party she was asking Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda if she could have their tables for the baby’s party-that-is-displacing-their-son’s (Doesn’t yet know about the earlier party).

Personally, I’m with Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda. But I though I would see what the rest of EHell thought about the situation. 1102-16

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie March 14, 2017 at 7:00 am

1. Planned parties take precedence over parties planned later. While planning, the following needs to be taken into account.
2. People celebrating their birthday on their actual birthday take precedence over those who picked the day out of convenience. Birthday boys/girls should not be expected to forgo their own celebration (whether it’s a party or a day to Disneyland) to accomodate someone who decided to pick their birthday for their own party.
3. If both parties happen to share their birthday on the same date, the party can be shared if the guest list is overlapping a lot, and if they don’t arrangements have to be made, such as having your party on the day every other year, and picking another day the year the other person celebrates.
4. Exceptions are made on number 3 for special celebrations. If there is a year that is special (sweet 16, 21, 50, etc.) which will be celebrated bigger than a usual birthday, that celebration takes presedecence and the other person reschedules for that year.
For example, my hubby and I also share our anniversary with my aunt and uncle. When they had their 50th anniversary (and we our 7th), we gave the day to them and did our own celebrations another day.

In this specific case, it’s not clear to me if Aunt Tilda wants to celebrate on the actual birthday, or the day before/after during the weekend. If the first is that case, shame on her. Go ahead and plan a party.
If the second is the case, still plan the party – it’s not on the same day so no conflict is needed. It’s not your problem, it’s hers.

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Melissa March 14, 2017 at 8:54 am

The OP says that the party Aunt Tilda is hosting is for a 1 year old whose birthday was weeks/months beforehand. The 7 year old’s birthday is the actual day of the party.

I think most reasonable people would have no issue having a shared party especially because it’s going to be almost all the same guests in this case, but of course that wouldn’t be a good ehell submission 😉

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Marie March 14, 2017 at 11:51 am

Sorry, my sentence wasn’t clear. I meant: “it’s not clear to me if Aunt Tilda wants to celebrate on the actual birthday of the 7 year old, or the day before/after”.

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PatGreen March 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

5. If twins or people of the same are and birthday are involved then efforts should be made to make them both feel special. For example when younger alternating who gets to blow out candles first. When older, discussing with hem the birthday dates and events. Never turn it into a contest about who is the favorite.

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Mustard March 14, 2017 at 7:31 am

All of the above would be bad enough if Aunt Tilda was having just a family get-together on Stan’s birthday, let alone a first birthday party for a child long past actual birth date. Jack and Linda must be saints; why should the baby’s party supercede that of their own son? I think he should have the whole day to celebrate.

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Huh March 14, 2017 at 7:45 am

I’m probably not the best to ask, as this past birthday was the first time I ever celebrated it with my cousin! And it wasn’t anything planned, I had already celebrated earlier in the day with hubby and kids, we were all kind of doing our own thing and she called and asked if I wanted to do something. Sure! So I come from the background that you celebrate with your immediate family (mom, dad and grandparents usually) and then a friend party at another time.

So I would say Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda have a party for Stan with his school friends on his birthday, and Aunt Tilda have a little party for her grandchild with her own children and their kids on the same day and just leave the extended family out of it.

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Heather March 14, 2017 at 9:05 am

This.

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clairedelune March 14, 2017 at 10:23 am

So much agreed. Aunt Tilda sounds difficult, but as an adult I’ve been to far many more first birthdays than seventh birthdays. The first one is a milestone; 7th birthdays are for friends and maybe grandparents. I don’t know that there’s a need for the full extended family.

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Amanda H. March 14, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Agreed. At 7, the birthday child can reasonably be assumed to have at least five friends to have over for a kids’ party rather than having to bring the extended family in.

And I say this as someone who grew up near a large portion of her extended family, and still didn’t expect (or even have) the local aunts, uncles, and cousins over for my parties. It was always a few friends from school, plus my sisters and occasionally my mom’s one brother who was only two years older than me and went to the same school.

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i'mhere March 14, 2017 at 8:17 am

Ok, I think I’ve processed this story, although I can’t think of why any of the beginning was included.

Aunt Tilda has chosen to have a birthday party for a grandchild. Just because it also happens to be the day of a nephew’s birthday, why should it have to be shared? I realize that the invitation list would be basically the same, but I’m with Aunt Tilda.

While I don’t throw parties for 1 year olds,I think she is doing it because she rarely gets to see her son’s family since he is military. She probably has never even seen this child that much growing up. It’s her way of trying to make something special for her son’s family. And I don’t see why she has to share it. I can see why she would be saddened at having to share it now, especially when it seems like her brother, Uncle Jack, just kind of came on board with a “okay, well that’s my son’s birthday so I guess we’ll have to share it now.” Who does that? Even in families, you don’t presume you can just double up on the birthdays.

I’m probably going to be the odd one out, I get Aunt Tilda and would probably feel the same way. Obviously an older child at a birthday party is going to get the attention, the “big” presents, the cool games, even special preschool friends–it would overshadow the whole thing she was wanting to do special for a grandchild she’s probably rarely seen or had a chance to form a relationship with. If her son is career military, she’s probably looking down a long road of never being around for the child’s birthdays.

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tatdaisie March 14, 2017 at 10:38 am

I think the trouble here is that Aunt Tilda planned to have this party after Stan’s was already planned, i.e. she expected them to switch the date of a party that was already in the works to ‘clear the day’ for the baby’s celebration. To add insult to injury, this would involve telling a child who knows it’s his birthday and has been expecting to celebrate ON his birthday that his party needs to change to make room for the rather arbitrarily set party of a baby who’s none the wiser. There’s nothing wrong with Tilda wanting to have a birthday celebration for the baby, but she chose to plan on a day when there were already plans made which include some guests she expects to show up at her party. Now she’s on the warpath because those guests aren’t inclined to toss their own plans away to cater to her whims. You can’t hijack someone’s else’s plans and then complain when things don’t go according to her liking.

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Amanda H. March 14, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Not only that, according to OP, Little Stan’s birthday wasn’t the only available day for the 1-year-old’s party that would still coincide with the military leave, so the “this is the only time Tilda gets to see her military son” excuse doesn’t quite fly. What about the Saturday right before?

Personally I think Jack and Linda’s solution was a good one. It doesn’t inconvenience Aunt Mandy, other than making her day a bit longer, the overlapping guest list doesn’t have to choose between parties, and if Aunt Tilda still has a problem with sharing the day at all, well, I’ll bet she was also the sort of bride who threw a fit if anyone else got married on the same day as her or in the venue she’d reserved, even if it was in the months leading up. Because she certainly seems to have a “how dare you ask me to share” vibe.

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Michelle M. March 15, 2017 at 1:02 pm

This. 100%.

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flora March 14, 2017 at 10:48 am

I disagree.
What Aunt Tilda should have done is postponed the one year old party until another weekend. As I understand it, the seven year old’s party was planned first. Aunt Tilda is making a power play by saying her family is more important and by dictating that everyone attend her party she’s trying to make everyone agree to that. Personally I wouldn’t even double the day. I’d send my regrets and have carry one with the seven year old’s birthday plans. And that’s coming from someone who grew up sharing my birthday with both my mother and my grandmother.

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Dee March 14, 2017 at 10:50 am

Well, I haven’t had luck processing this story, since it doesn’t make a lick of sense. I think it’s a fabrication but I’ll pretend it could possibly be true, despite the fact none of it adds up.

The baby isn’t having a birthday celebration since it’s not even close to her birthday. Aunt Tilda can do whatever she wants. Nobody is required to show up for her party. Why are adults and extended family showing up for kids’ parties anyway? Either the entertainment is geared towards the kids and it’s boring for the adults or vice versa. Little Stan can have his party with his (preschool!) friends (because he’s clearly in preschool at the age of 7, of course!) and Aunt Tilda can pretend her grandchild is having a birthday. Everybody else can just stay away from the crazy plans and spend a nice day at home. Problem solved.

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lakey March 14, 2017 at 2:06 pm

In the United States most 7 year olds would be in second grade, maybe first. This varies a bit because of a child’s maturity or whether his birthday is early or late in the year.

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Gizmo March 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm

I teacher kindergarten, and most are 5 turning 6 throughout the year. So this would put little Stan in 1st grade most likely.

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Amanda H. March 14, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Or the comment about preschool friends was meant to mean “friends he made in preschool and still sees.” Or it could be that he’s homeschooled now but has friends from a public preschool he attended. Or it could be he’s developmentally delayed and only now in preschool despite being seven. I know at least one child like that last.

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oregonbird March 14, 2017 at 11:03 am

This makes Aunt Tilda the only person whose desires are considered. The fact that she’s behaving badly and refusing to consider anyone else makes giving her what she wants into a precedent — she’ll continue to demand and force if she is given what she wants. So you can’t give her what she wants. Its the toddler tantrum rule.

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Lerah99 March 14, 2017 at 11:16 am

I see your point.

But here is the crux of the issue, Aunt Tilda PICKED little Stan’s actual birthday as the day to throw her precious little grandkid a 1st birthday party MONTHS after the kid’s actual first birthday.

So rather than pick the week before or the week after (the letter writer clearly states the grandkid is going to be in town for several weeks) Aunt Tilda specifically picked a day where there was already a child’s actual birthday in the family.

Basically Aunt Tilda decided to hijack the day, so Little Stan’s family was being gracious when they said “Ummmm, ok, how about we make it a double party?”

And then Aunt Tilda’s response was “No! You move YOUR kid’s birthday to another day so I can have a party for my grandkid on this day!”

So, Little Stan’s birthday is on the actual day of his scheduled party.
And Tilda’s grandkid turned 1 months ago.

This is pure attention seeking, passive aggressive, nastiness on Aunt Tilda’s part. She wants to hijack a 7 year old’s birthday so she can throw her grandkid a belated 1st birthday party.

If all she wants to do is have a special party for her grandkid with her son and his family – that would be great. But if that’s what she really wants, she would have been happy to pick a different date.

Since she’s not willing to budge, then obviously this has become some sort of power play. And it’s despicable she’s using a 7 year old’s birthday as her battleground.

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AppleEye March 14, 2017 at 7:12 pm

This this this exactly this. I have an “aunt Tilda” in my family as well; this is very typical behavior designed for nopurpose other than to deliberately cause drama and H in the spotlight.

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Devin March 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm

I think Aunt Tilda picked this date because she realized the family had already scheduled that day for a family event, so she could guarantee a good turn out to HER party. By making Jack & Linda reschedule Autie gets the reserved spot, and they get whomever has the next weekend free.

Im my family by 7, we were having friends only birthday parties, and then a quiet home dinner with grandparents another evening. I shared my birthday parties from age 7-11 with my best friend/next door neighbor and loved it. Some of my aunts & uncles threw big family birthday parties for my cousins, which we attended when possible. I think how you celebrate is up to each family, but hijacking an already scheduled date is grounds for ehell.

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Karen D March 15, 2017 at 5:51 pm

This is my take as well.

Some families do come together for all kinds of events. When I was dating my ex, I found that I was quickly proclaimed “one of us” and thrown into their incredibly packed social calendar which included birthdays for each and every one, just about. I wouldn’t have been surprised to have seen a few pets thrown in there. It was a family that just loved getting together. I thought my family was pretty close but this one beat ’em.

For them, this would be a clear case of hijacking, particularly in these particular circumstances.

But I also wonder, had this big and busy family actually planned to come together to honor the returning military member and his new son? If explicit plans hadn’t been made, I can see why Aunt Tilda got a little bit of green-eye.

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Kate March 14, 2017 at 11:25 am

But there are many dates Aunt Tilda could have picked for the 1 year old’s belated birthday party. She deliberately chose to “steal” a 7 year old’s birthday.

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theLadyBugg March 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

I think a key point here is that the 7 year old’s party was already planned when Aunt Tilda decided to throw a party that day. I could understand not wanting to combine parties, but why on earth would you throw a party on a date when you know all of your guests have already been invited to a different party? She basically came in demanding that Jack and Linda change their previously communicated plans (on their son’s actual birthday), and asked to borrow their supplies to host her own party instead, with no explanation given as to why she was hijacking that date. It strikes me as not only rude, but bizarre.

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Ladybird March 14, 2017 at 11:50 am

@i’mhere

The point about the shared birthday does make sense, with the older child getting more attention and Aunt Tilda wanting a special time for her grandchild (especially when faced with the possibility of missing many more birthdays). However, it seems like the party for the older child, whose birthday is on that weekend day, was already being planned, as his birthday is that day.

It’s not clear if the plans for Jack’s party had already been shared with the rest of that family (“Hey, Jack’s 7th birthday is going to be that Sunday and we will have the party that day.”), in which case, it might be understandable that Aunt Tilda planned the party for that day. But it is also common for people to have their parties on or near their birthday date, especially if the day is convenient for parties. And it seems like family celebrations are common in this family, so there might be that understanding in place, without needing to explicitly state it? (And maybe shared celebrations aren’t uncommon either? I can see that being the case in larger families where multiple people will have birthdays around the same time, as long as everyone is fine with it. Maybe with exceptions for milestone dates, as suggested by @Marie.)

I’m also wondering why, if her son is going to be in town for a few weeks, Aunt Tilda has to throw the party that Sunday. I think if she communicated her reasoning, things would go more smoothly. (Perhaps there is no other free day for most of the family?)

@OP

I think it is a reasonable solution, having Jack’s party earlier. That way, they don’t have to guess when Aunt Tilda’s grandchild’s birthday is over, and can control the end time of their own party. (Three hours at that age is a good length for a party.)

Out of curiosity, since Aunt Mandy lives some hours away and part of the issue is making it convenient for her, is it possible for her to stay overnight at someone’s house? That would minimize her travel and make it possible to attend events on different days.

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MelEtiquette March 14, 2017 at 8:32 pm

You’re not the only odd one out. I think OP is letting the fact that Aunt Tilda is generally immature get in the way of the fact that Aunt Tilda might actually have a point here. It’s not obvious to me that Aunt Tilda knew the date of Stan’s party when announcing the date of 1 year old’s party. My interpretation of the OP’s description was that Aunt Tilda mentioned the date of 1 year old’s party and found out in that moment that Stan’s party was planned for the same day, not that she already knew the date of Stan’s party and was asking (nay, demanding) for it to be moved. Perhaps I’m giving Aunt Tilda too much credit, however.

Given that her son is military and is only back in the area for a few weeks, is it really that hard to imagine that this one day may actually be the only day they could do a party? Any time my family members who live far away come home for a visit (military or not), they are pulled in a million directions with a million plans and are often available only 1 or 2 days out of the entire visit. There seems to be nothing special about the date of Stan’s party other than the fact it is a weekend and happens to be the date of his actual birthday (but so what? my kids never have their parties on the actual birth date), so unless they’ve already put non-refundable deposits or sent out invites, it seems like they could be flexible and change the date. They certainly do not have to, and have no obligation to do so, but to keep the peace they might consider it. Given that they seem willing to move Stan’s party to a different time (morning vs. afternoon), why not just move the date altogether?

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Anon March 16, 2017 at 1:34 pm

I would agree with you except for the fact that she threw a fit because of the suggestion of a shared birthday party.

I don’t see why a family should have to re-schedule though for one person when that person is celebrating a birthday that was months ago while the family wants to celebrate a birthday ON THAT BIRTHDAY date!

Also, it sounds like this is pretty typical of her. I’m not sure why people think that “keeping the peace” is somehow going to get people like this Aunt from not causing the drama again. They will ALWAYS cause drama, because that’s what they want. They don’t want to change that, why give into their demands?

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EnoughAlready March 14, 2017 at 8:33 am

I have to wonder how the parents of the 1 year old feel about this. Doesn’t sound like they were even consulted. Stan’s party should definately take priority since it is his actual birthday and it it will be a couple months after the baby’s birthday.

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Anon March 16, 2017 at 1:36 pm

That’s what I was thinking. They probably have no clue about any of this. Aunt was probably just like “Oh! I’ll throw a little party for you guys while you’re here and I’ll do it on [this date]!”

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Wild Irish Rose March 14, 2017 at 8:45 am

Parents and grandparents of one-year-old babies need to either plan way ahead (most people aren’t all that enthralled with the idea of attending a birthday party for toddler) or get over themselves if they can’t have it on a particular day. As you pointed out, those parties are actually for the parents and grandparents. When my kids each turned a year old, we had cake (naturally, because pictures of babies with cake all over them are adorable) and we wrapped up toys that they already had but hadn’t played with in recent memory. All they cared about was ripping the paper off. And we didn’t have guests (no family nearby). When my granddaughter turned a year old, her parents and her other grandparents threw a ridiculously big party with about 40 people there. That poor child was completely overwhelmed. It was fun, but I could tell it was a lot for her.

So, OP, I’m with you. Aunt Tilda (and don’t we all have such a relative?) needs to put things in perspective and stop being pushy about a party for a child who will NEVER remember it.

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lakey March 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm

“When my kids each turned a year old, we had cake (naturally, because pictures of babies with cake all over them are adorable) and we wrapped up toys that they already had but hadn’t played with in recent memory.”

I love this. Isn’t one of the downsides of birthday parties for young children that they get way too many gifts? In my family a lot of the young kids get so much stuff at Christmas that they really don’t need another big haul at their birthday.

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Lanes March 14, 2017 at 6:33 pm

I select a few presents from Christmas that get put in the cupboard, and then one is brought out each time school holidays roll around, so they get 3-4 new toys throughout the year that they forgot they received at Christmas/Birthdays. It also goes towards helping school holiday bordem!

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Amanda H. March 14, 2017 at 4:24 pm

When my oldest turned one, we invited a few families in our church and apartment complex with babies around the same age over for cake and balloons. As in I inflated a few packages of water balloons (smaller) and dumped them out on the community room floor, and the kids got to play with them under supervision. That was the whole party. For my second and third, I think we just did cake in the apartment complex courtyard and let the old-enough kids run around and play and the babies sit on a big blanket. I’m going back to the balloons with friends party for my youngest in about a month, but again, nothing big. I think it helps that we haven’t had family nearby in any of these cases who would feel obligated to attend as well.

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LadyV March 14, 2017 at 8:58 am

I think that your Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda are being WAY more accommodating than I would be! I would have told Aunt Tilda, “I’m sorry, but we’ve already planned Little Stan’s birthday party for that day, so we’ll be unable to attend Baby’s party.” If they had already invited family members to attend, those family members should have a spine and let Aunt Tilda know that they’re already committed to Little Stan’s party. This is one of those situations where if you let someone get away with this nonsense once, they’ll think they can always act the same way – and will throw a hissy fit if you don’t agree with them.

For the record: I’m with the OP on the subject of birthday parties for one year olds. When my son turned one, we had a joint birthday party with friends whose son was born on the same day. It involved both sets of parents, the other baby’s grandparents, and my son’s godmother – and we had cake and ice cream in the park. No one should expect more distant relatives to be excited about the prospect of attending a party for a baby.

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Susan. Haverland March 14, 2017 at 9:03 am

Wow . What drama . Seems Aunt Tilda , is bossy . Why not the new grandchild have his day . We never celebrated with family after 5 for family birthday s

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JD March 14, 2017 at 9:37 am

I would have little Stan’s party just as originally planned. I’d invite who I had planned, and let the chips fall where they may. I’d just have to tell dear Aunt Tilda that since this is Stan’s actual birthday, and conveniently on a weekend, it’s going to stay as planned, or she can agree to combine the parties, her choice. Let her fume.
And has Tilda confirmed this date for this party with the child’s parents?
Who knows what will happen anyway? My youngest grandchild had a first birthday party, for family only, all planned out for her, but she came down with an ear infection the day before it, so no first birthday party at all for her. Sometimes, life happens that way. She was well by her sibling’s birthday two weeks later, so she just joined in the fun, as well as a one-year old can, at that party. No big deal.

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Lerah99 March 14, 2017 at 9:52 am

This would NEVER fly in my family.

Where is Aunt Tilda’s son to say “Hey, my kid will be 14 months by then. It’s Little Stan’s actual birthday on that date. Stop trying to stir up trouble using my kid. Pick a different day or forget the party.”

Where is the rest of the family to say “Sorry Aunt Tilda. We already have plans to be at little Stan’s birthday party on that day. If you decide to throw a party for your granddaughter on the same day, we won’t be able to make it.”

Why is the family walking on egg shells around Aunt Tilda and letting her get away with this kind of passive aggressive, “I need to prove my grandkids are the most important kids in the family”, malarkey? Why hasn’t anyone directly confronted her to say “No”?

It would go something like this:

Tilda: “I’m holding a 1st birthday party for grandchild on Saturday the XX/XX/XXXX”
Family: “Sorry Aunt Tilda. That’s little Stan’s birthday. We already have a party planned for that day.”
Tilda: “But my son and his family are in town. I want to celebrate my grandchild’s first birthday and that’s the only date that will work for me!”
Family: “In that case, we’ll miss you and your son’s family at little Stan’s party.”

Done.

If Aunt Tilda throws a fit, you tell her that it’s unacceptable she’s trying to hijack a 7 year old’s birthday party. And that she should be ashamed of herself and that sort of behavior.

In my family, passive aggressive does not get a pass. It gets direct confrontation and clearly stated “This is why your behavior is unacceptable” come to Jesus talks.

It’s not always nice, and sometimes feelings get hurt. But in the long run there is WAY less drama.

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NostalgicGal March 14, 2017 at 10:54 am

This This This!

From PERSONAL experience, I remember my third birthday party vaguely. There was cake, and I was given a big ‘hold it’s hand and it will walk’ doll that was bigger than I was, and I remember wrapping arms around it and dragging the doll to my bedroom (that is the only real memory I have of that day-dragging the doll away). Fourth I remember. After that they were big deals.

Stan is 7, his birthday is a BIG DEAL yes it is, and it should be on his birthday (though my 7th we had a blizzard that shut school down for four days so my party was delayed-that was a heckuva blizzard) . I can understand scheduling for the 1 year old’s birthday but it is and should be a close family event (parents, grandparents) and that’s it. Maybe send token gifts to the year old’s party but the one that should be is the one SCHEDULED FIRST which is also the 7 year old’s. Sorry, we won’t be attending Baby’s birthday party but (here is a nice card or a small first storybook, etc).

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Reika March 14, 2017 at 11:34 am

Yes, this is where I fall too.

Actually, there were a few times my mother’s sister tried to hijack my birthday for her son’s because of how close the days were. While mom may not have stood up to her sister very often, she always did for me, so no hijacking of my birthday.

I really feel for the kids on this one, especially Stan.

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Cora March 14, 2017 at 10:18 am

Aunt Tilda is an attention-seeking drama queen, we all get this. But I’m going to come down on the side of disarming:

What if you all grit your collective teeth and threw Aunt Tilda a birthday party?

Like, not on her birthday, but whenever you could figure out a time and date. Shower her with all kinds of attention, a cake, cards, streamers, sparklers, do the whole nine yards you’d do for an eight-year-old. It’d probably shut her up for weeks.

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Reaver March 14, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Sounds like a huge waste of time, effort, and money tbh.

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NostalgicGal March 14, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Or worse, she’d demand another one whenever she felt like it.

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Lanes March 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Or she’d expect it again the next year…

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oregonbird March 14, 2017 at 11:00 am

My personal opinion is that the grandmother is baby-snatching and stealing personal moments from the mother and father, and the entire family should point this out. A first birthday is for the PARENTS, not the grandparents, who have had their firsts and should not be bogarting the firsts of others.

Cut out the gatekeeper, contact the PARENTS and make suitable arrangements. If the parents want to avoid the misery that would come with refusing to step aside for the grandmother, why not do something special with the 7yo that weekend — a trip to a bat cave, a day at a water park with him and his two best friends, a weekend camping with s’mores for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then have a quiet celebration WITHOUT grandma. Being that overbearing deserves a consequence.

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Ernie March 14, 2017 at 5:05 pm

This was my opinion too, and I think that is the thing that is irking me the most about this. I don’t like when grandparents build a world around them that says to the rest of the world that their lives and goings on are unimportant and not real. That child’s first birthday is whatever her parents did for her on or right around her actual birthday, in the place that she lives, in her home, with her friends and her parent’s friends. If Tilda doesn’t like missing it, then she should get on a plane and go see her granddaughter on her first birthday.

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pennywit March 14, 2017 at 11:31 am

Hold a birthday party for the 1-year-old on whatever day the parents want. Invite the 1-year-old’s friends and their parents. Hold a birthday party for the 7-year-old on day of choice. Invite 7-year-old’s friends and (maybe) some of their parents.

Don’t know about other families, but in mine, the kids’ birthdays are pretty much an event for the kid, kid’s parents, and friends of the kids. Extended family are invited, but attendance is not mandatory.

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Unsinkable March 14, 2017 at 11:52 am

Another thought… Aunt Tilda wants to borrow Stan’s parents tables for her granddaughter’s party. If Stan’s party is at 10, and her party at one, when does she expect to pick up the tables? As self-centered as Tilda is, I can see her showing up at 10:30 demanding the tables so the one-year-old’s party will be perfect. Let her throw a fit… she needs to back off and Stan can have his party as planned.

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lakey March 14, 2017 at 11:58 am

“They could do it the Saturday before, but they don’t want to make Aunt Mandy, who lives several hours away, make the drive two days in a row. Not that they would force her, but she would feel obligated to do so no matter how many assurances were given.”

That’s Aunt Mandy’s problem. Personally, I wouldn’t drive several hours for a party for a young nephew. I’m not a big fan of inviting extended family to yearly birthday parties. Then again, I came from a family where there were 6 families on my dad’s side and 7 families on my moms. Most of the families had 5 or more kids. Going to birthday parties for all those cousins every year would have been insane.

I can see doing it for a child that you almost never get to see because the family lives out of state, but they aren’t holding it on the actual date anyway, so the family of the 1 year old, should be the ones to change the date.

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lakey March 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Also, I think it was very generous of the parents of the 7 year old to offer to share the party. This just seems like a win/win all around. Two sets of hosts can split cost and work. The aunt who has a long drive can make one trip instead of two. The other guests have one day tied up instead of two. The one year old isn’t old enough to know the difference anyway.

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Huh March 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Yeah, my husband comes from a family like that, about the only time extended family got together was around the holidays or maybe over the summer. Maybe logistics (everyone’s moved different places, family size has grown) have aged this family out of having large extended family birthdays?

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Kat March 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

I don’t understand why people are saying 7th birthdays aren’t something for extended family to be a part of. Isn’t it possible that there are families out there in which that is the tradition?

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JC March 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm

A 7-year old is old enough to know when his birthday party is being “pre-empted” and old enough to be hurt by it. A 1-year old is not, and as stated by others, at that age the party is more for the adults than the child. The current situation is totally appropriate and fine, particularly if all parents are on board.

Aunt Tilda can eat a bee.

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Bernadette March 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

“Aunt Tilda can eat a bee” – I concur! 🙂

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NostalgicGal March 14, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Oh I love this! “Aunt Tilda can eat a bee.” buzz indeed…

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LadyV March 15, 2017 at 8:24 am

“Aunt Tilda can eat a bee” – I am SO stealing this. (Except then I’ll probably have people telling me that I’m being insensitive to those who have insect allergies – which is funny because I AM one of those people.)

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Amanda H. March 14, 2017 at 4:40 pm

It’s stories like this that make me grateful that my parents never stressed having all of mom’s siblings and their kids at my and my sisters’ parties growing up, once we got past the age of 3 or so. And we did spend a lot of time together as an extended family due to the majority of us living within a 20 minute drive of my grandparents. Birthdays were just for friends, not for aunts and uncles.

With my kids, we don’t have the friend party on the day of the birthday anyway. It started with my oldest, whose birthday falls square between Christmas and New Year’s. It was virtually impossible to have more than one friend show up at her party if we were to hold it on the day of, due to holiday travel. So we started having the party itself about two weeks before or after, give or take, and celebrated quietly as just our immediate family on the day of. We kept this up with our other kids to help avoid the stress of having to plan a party for the actual birthday, which may not be convenient every year.

On the topic of shared birthdays, it’s probably my adult perspective, but I see nothing wrong with them. I share a birthday with my SIL. When we both happen to be with Hubby’s family on our birthday (which admittedly isn’t often, as they live several states away from us, but vacations sometimes happen), the family usually goes out to dinner for our birthday and might do cake as well. And we have no problem whatsoever with sharing the day (aside from a funny anecdote when Hubby and I were dating).

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AttackKitten March 18, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Similar birthday celebrations growing up. My only cousins lived out of state but we had many, many, many second and third cousins within driving distance. As a kid there would be a family dinner or going out to dinner (but usually not, and if we went out it was to someplace like The Ground Round LOL! The 70s and 80s) and then kid parties on a weekend.

As an adult I’m also with you on the shared birthdays. I actually love the shared birthday. My best friend’s birthday is exactly a week after mine, another newer close friend’s is the day after hers, and another one of my close friends (who is now also close friends with my bestie) is the day before bestie’s. Bestie, mutual friend and I, for years have just held a girls’ night dinner out with a bunch of mutual friends, and now bestie, newer close friend and I also have a shared event. We’re grown ups with different friend circles, we’re happy to share and blend social groups. The last week of January and first week of February are a great post holiday pick me up of socializing, great food and shared experiences and friends.

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Cat March 14, 2017 at 5:18 pm

I would tell Aunt Tilda that I would not be making any changes in my son’s party time or day; and I would not be driving a long distance to attend a party for an infant. She can have all the hissy fits she wants, my answer is no.

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Lanes March 14, 2017 at 6:39 pm

I’d just like to give kudos to Uncle Jack and Aunt Linda, how gracious are these people? Not only did they give Aunt Tilda one option, when that was turned down they’ve come up with ANOTHER solution to keep everyone happy.

Personally I think I’d have told Aunt Tilda to stick it.

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Lady Catford March 14, 2017 at 7:18 pm

This post reminded me of a Drama in my family that still rankles. My brother and fiancee planned their wedding for December 20, 19xx. We all helped with wedding stuff, my sister helped me make the flowers. SIL to be is a wonderful person and her family are great.

All is going well until December when my sister realized that her birthday was December 13, and this year she would be 21. She was shocked and appalled to find out that her brother was ruining HER 21th Birthday by having his wedding in the same month, and he Refused to change the wedding date. It was the Apocalypse!

Sister made such a fuss that my parents refused to do anything about a 21th Birthday Celebration as Sister was determined to be a martyr.

Sister also refused to go to the wedding, she was not missed. She has not forgiven my brother or his wife. There is more, but that is enough.

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Rebecca March 15, 2017 at 6:05 am

That’s crazy. I don’t even remember my 21st birthday. My parents probably took me out for dinner and gave me a nicer present than usual, apart from that nothing much changed. I certainly didn’t expect the world to stop turning for the rest of the month.

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Lerah99 March 15, 2017 at 8:19 am

Wow! That’s ridiculous.
The wedding was planned for a week after her birthday.
I’m shocked she found that unacceptable.
When I was 20 going on 21 I would have thought “Cool! I’ll get to participate in the champagne toast!”

I wonder, is she also made about sharing her birthday month with Christmas every year?
Does she tear down the city’s holiday decorations because they are distracting from her birthday?

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Lady Catford March 17, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Please. Don’t give my nut bar sister any more crazy ideas

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LadyV March 15, 2017 at 8:27 am

I expected you were going to say that Sister’s birthday was on the same DAY as brother’s wedding – but she’s throwing a fit because it’s in the same MONTH? WTH? Is she planning to celebrate for the entire month? Or does she just want people to make a big fuss because she can finally drink legally (which nowadays is about the only significance of a 21st birthday)?

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Dippy March 15, 2017 at 8:39 am

wow, that is outrageous! what a drama llama that one is!

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Angela March 15, 2017 at 4:48 pm

As a college professor I am very surprised to hear this. Most young people turning 21 have very specific plans that don’t involve a whole lot of parental involvement.

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NostalgicGal March 16, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Agreed. 21st birthday is usually planned involving adult beverages, your crazy friends, and no parents in sight…. or at least the civil party with family then you disappear unto the wee hours and sleep it off.

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Rebecca March 14, 2017 at 10:13 pm

I think the party for the 7-year-old should go ahead as planned, and if Tilda wants to throw a different party the same day, simply say “So sorry you won’t be able to make it” and resume whatever party plans they were making for Stan.

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Margo March 15, 2017 at 6:08 am

It isn’t clear to me whether invitations had ben sent out for the 7 y.o.’s party. It sounded as though they had not, it was just in the planning stages. If that is the case, then the aunt was perfectly free to invite people to her own celebration that day.

If they had, then aunt was still free to hold her own celebration that day and anyone invited to both was free to chose where to go.

7 y.o’s family could go ahead and hold a party for him for his own friends, to celebrate. I would be a bit surprised if a 7 year okld would mind much if their party was on the ay itself or a day or two before or after. Presumably his own immediate family ould esure he had gifts and cake on the day itself even if the party was another day.

Aubt’s hissy fit about having the full day was immature and silly, but it all sounds like a bit of a storm in a teacup. Either you work round her immature behaviour or you do your own thing and let her be mad if she wants.

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Crochet Addict March 15, 2017 at 8:50 am

Aunt Tilda is definitely being unreasonable, especially since her grandbaby already had a birthday (and presumably a party) a few months ago. Little Stan is old enough to appreciate having his birthday celebrated on the actual day- a lot of families celebrate on a weekend day closest to the actual birthday. When Little Man turned one, we did an open house party (DH’s family will have a party for the opening of an envelope- they love any reason to get together!) and invited family and friends. We had crockpots of mac and cheese and chili, and I baked a ton of cupcakes. It was mostly so the adults who’d been through our infertility journey with us and the adults who’d become part of our lives after having Little Man could celebrate with us. He got some new toys and clothes from family and got to wear his little suit, and everyone ate way too much and the kids got to play together. His second birthday? I brought a cake for him to my family’s Thanksgiving celebration, and then we got together with DH’s parents on his actual birthday and another family we’re close to. That was it.

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