Must be the season for difficult child birthdays... Mine had his party this afternoon at a hamburger restaurant - about 9 other kids who were all taken off by a young girl who entertained them with various high jinks for an hour and a half. J emerged with multiple varieties of transformers, cars and fire engines and had clearly had a good time. He impressed me by thanking people - unprompted by me - for his presents. About presents... I gave him just a couple, carefully chosen and he had a few other things from members of my family. He was so happy with it all and it struck me (in the context of Christmas) that really less is more... Kids don't need huge numbers of presents. Just a few things that they really appreciate. It's difficult when the peer pressure is on, I know.