You know what I think?
I think that birthday parties for children under the age of 4 should NOT include public displays of present opening.
The little kid sees the FIRST toy, and has zero interest in the NEXT toy. And so on and so on. So the poor birthday mom is forced to try and make her kid CARE that he just got 47 lego sets when really he just likes the cardboard box that the Buzz Lightyear came in. But there is an audience of other mommies watching, who spent $23 on the legos, and are judging the birthday boy's mommy for not making him LOVE THEIR GIFT!
Not to mention how heartbroken the little birthday boy's friends are to realize that THEY DON'T GET TO TAKE THE PRESENTS HOME! That totally awesome toy their brought to their party has to be given up for adoption.
So, I (whoops, I mean, the totally hypothetical party-goers' mommy, aka HPG) spend the whole "present-opening" time threatening my (HPG ) children with death if they don't stop trying 1. Open birthday boy's presents and 2. Playing with them (Not that birthday boy gives a crap, he's too busy throwing wrapping paper around, as his poor stressed mother goes, "GO SAY THANK YOU TO BILLY FOR YOUR GIFT! YOU LOVE IT! YOU DO!" but all the other mommies are watching.
Save the gifts and let him open one at a time, over the course of a week for all I care. Just don't make HPG mommies/children watch! (I'm sure HPG mothers are wanting to flog me now, because they LIKE seeing the reaction on birthday boy's face. Meh.)
You know I'm right.
And then, send a lovely thank you note, wherein you lie your tushie off, if you must.
Stop the judging, HPG mommies, and just let toddlers be toddlers. They are honest. They.don't.care. And if they DO care, they are so totally overwhelmed by the VAST amounts of new toys they can not even begin to show the proper gratitude. THEY ARE TODDLERS!
Perhaps, for that matter, toy-giving to children under the age of 4 should strictly be limited to family members. Seriously. Henry is having his fourth birthday soon, and we're having a SMALL party. (As in three friends, all from the same family.) And I don't want presents for him. We got him presents. He doesn't need any more toys. Make a donation to Literacy for America in his name or adopt a Panda Bear.
SOMETHING that I don't have to clean up, or step on.