(LifeWire) -- Two years ago, Stephanie Kaster of Manhattan set out to plan the birthday party of a lifetime for her daughter. Granted, little Sophie didn't have many parties under her belt with which to compare it: She was not yet 3.I am well familiar with the challenges and costs involved of throwing a child's birthday party, but there are limits and then there is the realm of the ridiculous. The example above is ridiculous.
"I just thought, 'If I go to another paint-a-ceramic-bowl or stuff-a-bear party, I'll shoot myself,'" says Kaster.
So she booked a fondue restaurant, hired a musical troupe to perform as the Wiggles (her daughter's favorite group) and ordered a four-layer cake. Each guest took home a Fisher-Price guitar and custom CD.
The price tag? $5,000.
"I couldn't believe that I'd ended up spending that much," Kaster says.
Let's ignore whether the birthday girl needs so much extravagance and deal with what she will remember from the party. The answer is that it is unlikely that she'll remember anything. Sure, there may be pictures and or video memories, but...
What lessons are we teaching our children. I haven't any problem with the idea of renting a room/facility somewhere, provided that you can afford it, but this over the top stuff is ridiculous.
Out here in L.A. I'd say that the average cost of a birthday party for a young child is somewhere around $500.00 or so. That includes a kid's facility (gym, indoor playground) and a couple of their staff, around 20-25 kids, cake and a pizza lunch.
Now I suppose that to some people that my own example sounds ridiculous as well. In theory I'd say that it would be great to throw a party in my own home. There are a couple of issues. One is size and the the other is that the kids are going to wreck my house and then I'll spend a huge chunk of time cleaning up after they're gone.
More than that, it is probably going to cost at least $300.00 to have it my house. If I can come up with the difference I take care of a number of things including entertainment and fear of children wrecking my home.
The good news is that in our school around the time kids turn 7 or 8 the group parties disappear and it turns into a much more manageable gathering of three to four good friends.
Gifts For The Children of The Obscenely Rich