My youngest has just turned six. I missed his official birthday because he was at his dad's, but am planning a party for him on Saturday afternoon.
I asked him who he wanted to invite, and he gave me a number of names including one for his big brother so he wouldn't be bored. He left out a couple of names that I expected to be included, however. As he is only six, I reminded him that there were a couple of boys from school who hadn't been included on his list.
He hadn't forgotten them at all. He had purposefully left them out despite them seeming to be big buddies from his class. I felt a sense of impending embarrassment. Not for him mark you, but for me, with their parents. He told me that one was too bossy and always tried to be the leader, and that the other was too annoying because he wanted to open presents which weren't his and was always being silly. My son takes no prisoners...
I made up some little invitations on Publisher with fighter planes zooming from left to right, which he approved immediately as planes were one of the things on his birthday list this year. I added the names, put them in envelopes and took them to school yesterday. Normally I'm in a bit of a rush because I have to get to work. I had to get to work yesterday too, but I was not keen to bump into parents of children who were expecting to be invited to the party. I thus hung back from one set, and gave the envelopes to Marion the helper to distribute.
She set about distributing them there and then in a loud voice, and I realised that another parent had appeared; one whose child might well be on the list of guests but wasn't... I decided that flight was the best policy, gave my son a kiss and pretended not to have seen the mother (who ignores me mostly anyway).
That evening, I collected my son from school and asked him about his friends. He told me that one had said he was looking forward to coming to the party whereupon my youngest disabused him instantly and said he wasn't invited. I squirmed inside at his bluntness, but was also secretly in awe at his cool decidedness. He doesn't make a fuss; he just says things how they are. It's a talent I wish I had. I'm always trying to see the other side and worry about how others are feeling. My own desires have often been drowned in the process of course.
However, little boys are very resilient, and despite straining the friendship on the day, it seems that the uninvited friend has got over the situation and they are good pals again. I'm not so sure about the parents...
By the way, we are waiting for one of his birthday presents to turn up via Chronopost - a pair of Talkie Walkies. If anyone knows of a good game for six-year olds with them outside, please let me know!