The Eleventh Hour

Eleventh hour

I’ve had a number of posts about kids birthday parties in Brazil. One of the characteristics I may or may not have mentioned is that some go quite late.

Can you imagine a room filled with overtired kids that have consumed mostly sugar for 4 hours? Can you conceive of the kind of epic meltdowns that might occur, say, about 11pm after these children have spent an entire evening jumping and spinning around? Can you envision how much your own head might hurt this late into an evening that consisted of flashing lights, loud Brazilian children’s music, (probably no alcohol) and then, the wailing of your own child/ren as he/she/they have hit a breaking point but insist on staying until the happy birthday song has been sung and the cake has been cut… at 11:15pm?

I mean, really. 11:30pm? I might avoid an adult party on most nights if I knew I’d be committed to staying until 11:30pm.

Aye. Needless to say, we are not going to this one. Mostly because we’ll be out of town, but even if we had entertained the idea, as the evening approached, we would change our minds. I feel a bit bad for the birthday kid because I just can’t see it going well. Although, this kind of timeframe is quite common.

What’s wrong with the afternoon?

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9 Responses to The Eleventh Hour

  1. We just attended a birthday party for a friend of my daughter who is in preschool. Her classmate was turning four. The party was on a Sunday night from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm – and I thought that that was bad! I can;t believe anyone would plan a party until 11:30! We went to the party and left by 9:00 (which was really still too late for my kids), but plenty of kids were still there. The next day at school, half of my daughter’s preschool class looked hung over 🙂

  2. Ray says:

    I hear you and agree, it sounds late, but then again, Brazilians eat really late. You try to plan a dinner party for 6 or 7 pm, and people will laugh on your face, and won’t show up until around 9:30pm or 10pm.
    Most Brazilians I know arrive real late to dinners, and usually because they are working very late hours. Remember what time my sisters arrived at our meeting in Sao Paulo, they came late because they were working late. I think that is a good reason why parties are so late, yes, even for children.
    I am too Americanized, we always have dinner before 6pm at our house… 😉


  3. Church attendance also seems to be greater at night rather than morning. And from what I’ve noticed, even within an evening time frame, religious ceremonies held during late evenings will attract more worshipers than those starting at 6 or 7pm. In this case though not all is loss since you can always catch an early mass, or service. Since I just can’t imagine Caroline Ingalls going to church during evenings then I figure this must be a major shock for you Bee-eigh-bee (full Mid-west stereotype mode on). 🙂
    Btw are you watching LHOP on cable? I am.

  4. anna says:

    that is REALLY LATE! I never heard of a childrens party that late in brazil or elsewhere.
    most kids parties I have been to would start around 15:00 ; 16:00 …

  5. Corinne says:

    Haha! This was exactly the time my son’s party was this year! In my defense, it had to start a bit late because the only day open was a Friday. Mine turned six and actually, it was just fine. A couple of glitches (not even real meltdowns) and everyone had a great time. But, everyone could sleep in and recover the next day. I would never do that to young kids on a Sunday!

  6. It’s vacation time! They can sleep it off in the morning, Brazilian kids are using to staying up way late here.. there doesn’t really seem to be a “bed time” for young kids ( probably because they study in the afternoon)

    • UGH. There is no vacation time for moms! And they don’t all study in the afternoons, most study in the mornings. But I suppose if you are going to have to have a kids party that runs until 11:30pm, you should have it on a Saturday during vacation.

  7. Marina says:

    Depends on the age, I’d say a good majority in the country study in the afternoon slot until they reach double digits, then switch to the morning slot. When I was little my sisters (6 and 8 years older) would get dropped off by the driver from school, the faxineira would have lunch ready, and by the time we were done the driver would come back around to pick me up (the parents in the neighborhood paid for a joint carpool school driver that would make the rounds for siblings). That way the littler ones get to sleep in, and the older kids get to use their afternoons with homework or futebol na rua. Another positive aspect was that at night, since I didn’t have to go to bed, I could enjoy my parents once they came home from work and the faxineira left. Quite a handy school system in a country where no one knows how to keep a tight schedule!

    • Every once in awhile I wonder why I don’t have my daughter going to school in the afternoon, especially when I am dragging her out of bed (which doesn’t happen all that often – more often I’m dragging myself out of bed!) But she has a bunch of activities in the afternoon that I’d hate to have her miss. I guess morning school hours is a good reason to be an early bird.

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