Yesterday was my 10 year old son's birthday party and he invited 23 kids. 2 RSVPed 'no' immediately, which was fine, and the others all said yes (a few I had to chase up but I suppose that's that norm these days). I was hiring some entertainment that was based on a pay per child basis so really needed to know definite numbers as 15 was the minimum amount of children.
Come party time, 1 boy from school did not turn up at all, no phone call, no nothing. I've never met the parents, have no contact details etc. My son was a bit upset/puzzled by this but I explained that maybe some emergency came up (possible I suppose but not likely in my opinion). We are on school holidays now for 7 weeks so by the time school starts my son asking his friend why he didn't turn up will be long forgotten I hope.
2 other girls (not related), who live in our street didn't turn up either. I only found this out when the parents were dropping the younger siblings of each of these girls' off. They are both 12 1/2 years old and I understand that attending a 10 year old boy's party may not be their thing at the moment, although they play together quite happily with my son at other time. I wasn't annoyed at their absence at all and my son never mentioned it. But if they didn't want to come they should have said so earlier and neither my son nor myself would have taken offence.
Is it rude not to tell the party hostess that your child is not coming only at the time the party is starting? Or am I thinking about this too much?