I took my daughter to a birthday party at one of those bouncy house places this past weekend. I always notice the staff at these events, and often make small talk with them about whether this job makes them think twice about parenting, but this time was a bit unusual; instead of the normal gaggle of teenage girls, the party was staffed entirely by guys: three big late-teenaged guys with pants hanging low, capturing flying pigtails and collisions on a digital camera for the birthday girl's parents and friends, muscling the party along like it was a birthday machine.
I wonder: what must it be like for a teenage boy to initiate "Happy Birthday" singing again and again for hours on end, making a fuss over other people's kids, cleaning up their half-eaten pizza and cake, wiping up spilled juice and lemonade? (And yes, I know that for some teenage boys, this job is a perfect fit, but these guys didn't seem like they had a natural affiinity for four-year-olds.)
How many times in one day can you celebrate strangers' kids' birthdays before you start to go batshit crazy?