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The plan was:
start with a picnic at the zoo. (Kids are teens and tweens)
3 hours for the kids to wander around the zoo
take the kids to dinner
I didn't plan to provide snacks or souvienirs for the guests during the zoo trip. We finished lunch at 12:30, and I had planned to be at the restaurant by 4. I figured that they didn't need snacks in between.


Unfortunately, the lunch menu didn't please some of the friends (Our menu was BLTs and PB/J, chips, fruit rollups, sodas). Those friends only ate the snacks.


With great admonitions to 'stick together,' we let the 5 kids wander at the zoo. We kept in phone contact, talking to kids about every half-hour.


Some of the kids wanted snacks at the zoo, so those kids treated the rest. (DH and I would have discouraged snacking -- we had just provided lunch, and we had planned an early dinner.)


Also, the kids found their way to the gift shop during their last half-hour of zoo time. Frustrating for us; I had planned that the zoo trip was to look at animals, not to shop. But those kids 'had their own money,' so we didn't pay for their souvienirs.


Anyway, on the way to dinner, I overheard one of the kids telling mine that they loved the virgin daquiris at this restaurant. "You should get one; they're yummy, like a smoothie," she said.


It blindsided me. I had expected to pay $10-$12 for each kid's dinner, but I hadn't expected kids to request mixed drinks -- even virgin ones. And I (stupidly) never considered that these kids would probably expect dessert at the restaurant.


At this point, we were running late. The plan was that DH would drop me off, and I'd see how long for a table.


I took a cell phone in, got a '25 minute' answer on the table wait, and phoned DH. I told him '25 minutes,' but then I went on, telling him that I wanted to go somewhere else because these kids had been trying to sell the group on spendy add-ons.


What I didn't realize was this, DH had his phone volume way up ... and the kids heard me.


We went for pizza instead, but I'm mortified. And so is the birthday girl.


Is there anyway to erase my faux-pas?


Was I unreasonable?
I thought that the zoo and a restaurant dinner would be a nice combination. I didn't figure on zoo + zoo snacks + zoo souvienirs + dinner + drinks + dessert.


Also, I should have seen this coming. When we go, for example, to the circus, we have dinner at home, then we go to the show. We don't buy our kids toys or treats at circus prices. But, when our kids' friends go to the circus, their parents buy them hot dogs and ice creams and a coloring book and a stuffed animal. Add up the treats and toys -- and you've easily doubled the price of going to the circus.


I dunno. Maybe I'm a too-frugal stick-in-the-mud.

I want my kids to have a good time with their guests, but I'm not sure how to walk the over-extravagance tightrope.
 

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First off talk to your DD about it. I'm sure she understands that money doesn't grow on trees and that you are being all frugal like. :) Just see her point of it.

I don't see it as a huge deal. You realized the kids were going to want things you don't want to pay for so you went somewhere else. Personally, I would have told the kids what exactly I would buy them and anything else (mixed drinks, dessert, etc) they would have to pay for themselves and if they didn't have the money, tough cookies.
 

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I think you should just talk to her, she probably already knows that your trying to find ways to cut corners, I am sure if you talk to her about it she will understand.

Maybe next time you can say "We are going to ___ ____ ____ I will pay for dinner and a soda but anything more than that your friends have to pay for themselves"

Good Luck!
 

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I'm sure that in a few days, it'll be nothing. Talk with DD about it and see what she has to say. Is she upset? I bet they had a good time at the zoo and the pizza parlor and went on about the day. Talk with her and get her prospective before you make it bigger in your head than it really is.
It'll be ok.
 

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~Maybe I'm a stick-in-the-mud too because I think those kids got a good life lesson. I think you did them a service by practicing frigality in front of them. Even if your dd was embarrassed, I still think you were in the right to call the kids on their rude "gimmee" behaviour. I'd rather my kids knew how to be satisfied with what they got instead of demanding more.~
 

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I hate it when situations like that happen! My dd also has friends who can behave like that, and it really makes me mad. Maybe it would be a good idea to communicate all that down before hand on the invitation, if you could find a way to word it so it sounds matter of fact, etc. Sorry you had that happen, I'm sure it will all be forgetten soon. :hugz:
 

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Ok so it happened. Bummer. Now talk to your dd about it. Realize she is standing in two drastically different worlds. The financially tighter side and the more popular MTV's Sweet Sixteen mentality peer pressure cooker. Which we know the only real control she has is her attitude.
 

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Too bad for the kids:ack:

I was always taught that if someone is treating you to a meal (or anything) you should take the example of what they order and order something similar or slightly cheaper.

I'm sorry your DD was embarassed, but apparently this was a lesson that those kids needed to learn.

In the future I would either plan to go someplace that doesn't have add-ons like that (maybe a buffet or something) or let the kids know in advance what will be provided.
 

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I think you gave your DD a nice birthday she got to spend a whole day with her friends doing fun things! By treating them to pizza they all were able to eat their fill and everyone likes pizza. You also didn't break your bank by not knowing what kind of expensive food choices the other kids would order at a sit down restaurant. If you think your DD is upset by it, I would talk with her. You could even play up the wait time was too long at the restaurant too. I think 30 minutes is a considerable amount of time when you have a group of restless teens in tow.

I think it must be really hard to provide birthday entertainment for children these days. My soon to be nieces are in kindergarten and 6th grade and between the two of them they are at a birthday party for a classmate it seems every weekend (sometimes two parties). When I grew up my parents were frugal and had a tiny house, for our birthdays we each got to have a friend over for a play date. Then we had something kid friendly for dinner, like pizza or tacos and a home made cake.
 

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I think it's quite rude of the friends to expect that they will be getting additional perks from the party. Where are their manners?
 

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I have to be with kaykwilts , I think the other kids are the ones being ungrateful , When i was growing up i was lucky to get a birthday present , much less party , and god what i would do to be able to go to the zoo NOW , much less when i was younger , Maybe I am a bit biased , and see no reason for anyone to be embarrassed. great full they got anything yes , embarassed , no.
 

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Oh that's nothing. :)

On my 13th birthday we went to Marine World (Africa USA!) and, just like you guys, my parents let us roam... but we had to meet back at a certain time. Well, one group got there before everyone else... only to find my Dad feeling up my Mom. Full on hand up the shirt... bra hanging off...

I was quite embarrassed. What you did, while still kind of bad, wasn't that bad. :)

I have all kinds of funny, slightly disturbing, stories about my parents.
 

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I have to add... it's possible that the teenager talking about the expensive drinks didn't realize how much more those cost that sodas. If she's used to being treated to those regularly by her parents, and doesn't pay for them herself, it probably wouldn't occur to her that those are so expensive. You probably taught her a good lesson in thinking about prices and not assuming she can have anything she wants.

You didn't do anything wrong by suggesting a less expensive dinner.

I don't think the kids did anything wrong by spending their own money if they wanted souvineers, but, I think they were rude to purchase other food knowing that you were paying for dinner later. And I'm assuming their parents gave them the money in the first place because they did not expect you to pay for souvineers & extras.
 

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Oh that's nothing. :)

On my 13th birthday we went to Marine World (Africa USA!) and, just like you guys, my parents let us roam... but we had to meet back at a certain time. Well, one group got there before everyone else... only to find my Dad feeling up my Mom. Full on hand up the shirt... bra hanging off...

I was quite embarrassed. What you did, while still kind of bad, wasn't that bad. :)

I have all kinds of funny, slightly disturbing, stories about my parents.

Oh, my gosh!!!
 

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Yep! That beats any stories I have about my parents...LOL


Oh that's nothing. :)

On my 13th birthday we went to Marine World (Africa USA!) and, just like you guys, my parents let us roam... but we had to meet back at a certain time. Well, one group got there before everyone else... only to find my Dad feeling up my Mom. Full on hand up the shirt... bra hanging off...

I was quite embarrassed. What you did, while still kind of bad, wasn't that bad. :)

I have all kinds of funny, slightly disturbing, stories about my parents.
 

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My kids have a very small dinner on their b-days now. They invite one or two friends. By the way, these kids have been to my house or hung out with us already and know what a tightwad I am. I take the time to explain it to folks the first few times we are out so that the kids all know where I am coming from. The sad fact is most kids today are not being taught anything about budgets or the cold facts of finances. I had one kid point blank ask why I didn't just order a pizza and put it on my credit card one night when the dinner I planned had to be changed because the meat hadn't thawed in the fridge. He had no idea there was interest on a pizza or that you even had to pay off the item. Think of the life lesson your daughter got and perhaps one or two of her friends.
 

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The other point is that you have to realize that it doesn't take much for kids to be embarrased( although teresaabsurd's story might do the trick!)

For one of my girl's birthdays, I took a bunch of their friend to the beach. One of the girls was fidgeting in the back seat, looking really flustered. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she was trying to open the window some more. She wanted to know where the "button" was to open it. I told her that the windows weren't automatic and she would have to use the handle thingee to roll it down. The look of disgust, amazement, bewilderment on her face caused me to laugh so hard, I had to pull over and try to gather myself.(it took about 10 mins or so.) Needless to say, my DD was mortified-she got over it. Your daughter will too.
 

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I think you were right.
if I had planned a trip to the zoo even if it wasn't a birthday I would have done the same packed a picnicn lunch and then dinner after.
I wouldn't pay for snacks or souvienirs.

I think a lot of parents do do that but I would have just told them before what I was willing to pay for same thing about the restaurant I know kids have no idea how much stuff costs so I would say I will pay or this or that and not all the other stuff.

I don't think you did the wring thing at all, money doesn't grow on trees you were being not that doean't mean that you should let kids take advantage of you.

Eileen
 

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That is crazy to expect that! Many kids today are so spoiled...they haven't the slightest clue the value of a dollar. I'm glad you're setting such a good example for your daughter...and her friends! Way to go! Don't worry, she'll forget the embarassment...and hopefully the lesson will stick for all of them. :)
 
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