Having done the pinata thing ourselves, it is odd to be teaching nonviolence and then turn around and encourage our children to whack at a paper mache covered object!
I actually don't mind children's birthday parties too much, but it is a bit amusing that we as parents take our children to parties at gym types of places, where we are required to sign release forms saying that we will not hold the company liable for any injuries! Kieran actually got injured at such a place, and I remember reading about a death at such a place last year, when an adult came careening down an inflatable slide, inadvertently crushing a toddler who was standing next to it.
The only safety-horror-inducing party I remember is one several years ago, when I went along to retrieve Chris at a summertime outdoor party...and discovered that the hosting family had an enormous, really high trampoline and entirely no rules about how many people could be on the trampoline at one time. There was one adult there who was jumping on the trampoline with a bunch of kids, and violating all kinds of safety guidelines. As a mother, I find myself being much more protective than Mike...and I was pretty horrified that he had left Chris at the party without noticing the safety risks. I'm sure my kids think I'm overprotective sometimes!
Otherwise, I actually enjoy children's birthday parties. I have to laugh when I consider how much money we all spend on our children nowadays, compared to when we were kids. And when did we start with this goody bag thing? When did it become so essential to send all birthday party guests away with a bag full of junk? :)
My next post will be about my nephews' birthday party, which had a pinata and lots of good active fun! But no bouncy castles...