You know your child is getting older when the fun at a birthday party revolves — literally — around a game of spin the bottle.
But when your child is 8?
Parents gave me an earful about the incident during my son's third-grade field day at school this week. I had missed the party because of work. Here's what appears to have happened, based on eyewitness accounts.
First of all, the kids did not use a bottle. They used a water gun. And it wasn't called spin the bottle, but "Kiss and Tell Spin the Bottle."
All 12 kids were in the circle, although there is disagreement on who was playing and who was just observing. There managed to be two kisses — on separate turns, two different boys kissed two different girls on their cheeks.
That is when the mothers, talking and helping out the hostess, noticed what was happening.
"We said no kissing," the hostess recalls. "That's inappropriate."
So the kissing became hugging, and there were four of those before the parents ended the game.
Out on the field at school, parents didn't seem too pleased about the party game. They weren't angry at the mother who hosted the party or even the child who may have instigated it. They seemed more shocked that 8- and 9-year-olds would even think to play such a game, let alone want to play it.
I asked my son, Harrison, what happened. He confirmed doing some hugging. Then I asked what he thought of the whole thing, disclosing that I wanted to blog about it and asking his blessing.
"Sure, go ahead," he told me. "I thought it was stupid."
I am not really bothered by what happened. In fact, my husband and I both had a laugh as I told the story, especially at the part about using a water gun instead of a bottle. But I don't encourage it either. If I saw it happening at a party I was throwing, I would have stopped it, too.
It's just that sometimes a peck is just a peck and a hug is just a hug.
Should I be alarmed? Parents, please weigh in.