It ain't the kids that are messed up -- it's the parents that are messed up.
Kids can have fun with a home-made cake around a formica kitchen table and a few games like pin the tail on the donkey and bobbling for apples. They. Don't. Care. Not about things like stretch limos and F.A.O. Schwartz.
It's the parents that are behaving badly -- using their kids as the trigger a weird modern form of potlatch. The parents need to be spanked and sent to bed without supper.
I remember the birthday cake and games as a kid. Good times.
You're right. What was I thinking? I feel for the kid.