I know it’s before six on Saturday morning. I know your eyes are too crusted shut to look at this stinky piece of cardstock I’m shoving in front of your face.

But today is Persimmon’s birthday party. I found this invitation among coffee grounds and overripe bananas in the kitchen trash, underneath a pristine paper towel, where it surely must have been crumpled by mistake.

Don’t ask why I was looking through the trash. That’s not important.

What is important is that this invitation makes a baker’s dozen of festivities to which my siblings and I have been invited this month, and I fear you are not treating these occasions with the requisite level of respect.

Why are you still in bed? We have so much to do.

Persimmon’s celebration begins at Wacky Jim’s Trampoline Park promptly at two o’clock today, and you need to help me find my rubbery socks. I own at least four pairs, because four of the seven birthday parties I’ve attended this month have been held at this same trampoline park, yet the socks are always nowhere to be found.

Fortunately, it only costs fifteen dollars to replace them. It’s not as if you won’t have your Amex out anyway, because we still have to get Persimmon a present, which I neglected to mention at our most recent visit to Target. Last night. When we rushed in right before close to pick up presents for other kids with birthdays in the next two days.

Not all of them are for my friends—that’s what siblings are for. And that’s why you’ll already be at the trampoline park at ten for Madison B.’s party. You can make a day of it.

No, Madison B.‘s party is not at Ragin’ Ruby’s Ropes Course. That’s Madison T.’s, tomorrow at ten, and the ropes course requires an entirely different kind of socks. I can’t find them either. Also, we need to get there early so you can fill out a completely different liability waiver. Do you have our insurance cards?

Aren’t you excited about the zipline? I hope so, because grown-ups must accompany all children under seven on the zipline, and I am both under seven and also extremely enthusiastic about ziplining despite never having heard of it before yesterday.

I’ll get scared halfway across and kick so hard that we’ll stop and go backwards, and then a stoned-looking teenager will have to drive a bucket truck over to retrieve us from our dangling spot. But that is still in the future, and I am all about the here and now. Where I’m smearing this invitation across your pillow and chanting, “PRES-ENT, PRES-ENT, PRES-ENT” because I found the sugary cereal while you were sleeping.

I never sleep.

So, as to gift-giving: it really doesn’t matter what we get. Whatever it is, it will wind up in the bottom of a cubby with all the other presents from all the other birthdays in this endless merry-go-round of galas for children, all of whom would probably be just as happy with a cupcake and a bubble wand in the backyard.

Calamine’s mom tried that last year. Then, the following weekend, Hibiscus’s mom ordered a bounce-house obstacle course for her backyard party. And then Ellman’s mom constructed a kid-sized car wash out of pool noodles and party streamers, and we all drove Cozy Coupes through it, and on the other side there was a backyard “safari” staffed with baby animals from a mobile petting zoo.

Don’t think I’ve forgotten that you didn’t let me keep a piglet.

But you can make it up to me this afternoon, and all you have to do is spend two hours at a trampoline park after spending a prior two hours at a trampoline park.

And it’s Saturday, so it’s not as if you have anything better to do. Except maybe take out the trash. It’s pretty full of stuff at the moment. Or it would be if I hadn’t dug through it for other precious items that may have wound up in there by mistake.

Items like this bubble wand, plus—Eureka!—half a pair of rubbery socks. It’s amazing what you can find if you’re not dissuaded by germs, slimy leftovers, or bone-deep fatigue. I’m so glad I looked. Can you imagine the fun we would have missed out on?