Birthday Party Fads

“Oh look,” Mom said. “Jared’s been invited to another birthday party. How nice.”

“When is the party?” Dad asked.

“It’s on Saturday,” Jared said. “It’s gonna be awesome. Steve already told me all about it.”

“Who’s Steve again?” Mom asked.

“He’s the one with the dinosaur umbrella,” Jared said.

“Hmmmm,” Mom said.

“He has brown hair,” Jared said.

“Hmmmm,” Mom said.

“You told him to take the pencils out of his nose last week when we were walking home,” Jared said.

“Oh, that’s right. I remember Steve. I was worried he could trip,” Mom said.

“That could be messy,” Dad said. “He should wait to put the pencils in his nose until he’s safely sitting down.”

Jared laughed.

“He shouldn’t be putting pencils in his nose at all,” Mom said.   Then she laughed too.

“So, is he having a dinosaur party?” Dad asked. “You can wear your Halloween costume to the party.”

“It’s not a dinosaur party,” Jared said. “He had a dinosaur party last year. Besides, my costume is too small now. I need a new one.”

“Maybe we’ll get you a new one for Halloween,” Mom said. “You’ll just have to be extra good at imagining things for now.”

“Fine,” Jared said. He pouted.

“You never said what kind of party it is,” Dad said. “Pirates?”




“Knights and dragons?”



“No. What’s that?” Jared asked.

“Ketchup, mustard, mayo, things like that,” Dad said.

Jared looked confused. “How could you have a party about things like that? That’s just weird,” Jared said.

“I don’t know,” Mom said. “Maybe you can dress up in red, white, and yellow and eat hamburgers and hot dogs?”

“No one would do that,” Jared said. “It’s weird.”

“So, what is this party about?” Dad asked.

“Taxes,” Jared said.

“Texas?” Dad said. “Like cowboys? That could be fun.”

“Noooooo.” Jared said.   “Taxes. We’re going to learn to pay taxes.”

“At a birthday party?” Mom asked. “Are you sure?”

“Yup. Look at the invitation,” Jared said. “We’re supposed to dress up as accountants.”

Mom picked up the invitation again and read through it.   “It really does say that,” she said.   “Why taxes?”

“It’s going to be fun!” Jared said. “We’ll each get our own calculators and a pile of receipts and pencils and stuff. Not the pencils Steve put in his nose, of course. At least I don’t think so.”

“Well, that’s good,” Dad said.

“Yup, we’re learning to be all grown-up. Only grown-ups pay taxes, you know,” Jared said. “Maybe next year we can learn to drive? I’d like to do that for my birthday.”

“You’ll need to wait at least eight years,” Dad said.

“Oh well,” Jared said. “Maybe we can do taxes at my party too. I’ll wait until after Steve’s party and see if it’s fun first though.”

“That might be a good idea,” Mom said. “Why don’t you set the timer and read for twenty minutes so we can mark it off on your chart?”

“Okay,” Jared said. He ran out of the room.

“I’ll never understand birthday party fads,” Dad said.