Today we had two kids parties back to back. We double dropped. It was intense, sticky and left us with a sour/fuzzy taste in our mouths (adrenaline and Cadbury’s Roses).
- Remember to RSVP to both parties with an extremely polite “Thank you so much for inviting ‘the bear’ to Max’s party, he would love to come! x”
- Put parties in diary and on family calendar
- Tell cable-boy so he doesn’t plan to make his evil escape
- 2 weeks before: place bulk order on Amazon for boxes of Lego City (c. £8-£10 but look more expensive)
- The night before: wrap both presents and write cards. I am over trying to make the bear sign them himself. It’s excruciating and offends my sense of order.
- Make sure Princess Elsa dress and Spiderman top are both washed (one is highly flammable and usually smells of sour milk and hint o’ wee)
- The morning: brush teeth, wipe Nutella faces and bogeys, run the Tangle Teezer through both barnets, make sure everyone has wee’d (pack spare clothes). Deep breath, gifts in hand and GO.
Party 1 – 11am – 1pm House party
- “Thank you so much for having us. This looks amazing!”
- Both kids lunge for the crisp bowl repeatedly, until moved
- Small fight over a Paw Patrol ATV
- Crisps, a brew and Prosecco were on tap for parents
- Kids pick up Light Saber, Paw Patrol toys and disappear into a cream living room and watch a movie. Some coffee table surfing and crumb dropping occurs, but no major incidents thanks to our friends TV and baby wipes.
Party 2 – 3 -5pm Football party in village hall
- Kids dive into hall and are told to stand in line by a man in jogging pants
- Kids are cajoled into team activities
- Gumdrops breaks loose and pulls ‘Frozen’ poses mid-football pitch (is ignored)
- Gumdrops has her Elsa train stamped on repeatedly. Offender gets yellow-carded.
- The bear doesn’t follow the instructions and floor dives through all cones, Peter Kaye style
- Everyone is sweaty and gurning
- Mums and Dads are politely chatting – how’s your back? How’s work? Where did you get that Superman costume? Amazing Spiderman/Batman cake!
- Kids are falling and crying all over the place
- Kids sit down to eat: Pom Bears and apple juice are inhaled, Sandwiches and grapes are rejected.
- Dads see an empty hall and a football…
- Kids all abandon table and try to join in with the sweaty dads’ football/header game.
- More tears, more sweat, children are hanging off their legs. Mums are muttering “why aren’t they letting the children play?”
- We return with two hungry kids arguing over the cake slice and a ripped Elsa dress
I have not mentioned the party bag thing. Both parties went unconventional, by this I mean they veered away from:
- Thin plastic bag (Frozen/Superman theme)
- Stretchy man (an unbreakable hit)
- Paper aeroplane (usually broken during construction or maiden voyage)
- Bubbles (really? Thanks so much)
- Sweets (they need more?)
- Stickers (on jumper and in wash by the end of the night)
- Cake (usually hidden behind bread bin and eaten later by Mummy)
Party bag 1 – They were given books and didn’t complain. Parents way prefer books (no mess, no fights and something to break the bedtime monotony). But don’t try this sub 5yrs – I did it once and got “What’s this? Where’s my party bag?”
Party bag 2 – Super hero mask and Superman cape + cake. Score. Very cool. Parents and child happy (gumdrops less so).
Party 1 – Tesco Star Wars cake
Party 2 – Baker made 2 tier Batman and Spiderman extravaganza
I love that it’s ok to have non-homemade cakes. I put myself through the tension of making a birthday cake and it is the only cake I make in a whole year. It’s love. It’s foolish. I can’t stop myself.
I love kid’s parties because:
- They provide entertainment and exercise for my kids (= more TV time at home)
- I get to watch my kids playing with their friends
- Someone else feeds my kids and I don’t care if they only eat crisps (there are no enforceable food rules at parties)
- I don’t have to tidy up after
- I get to chat to mum friends
- The party bag usually provides a decent afterglow of stimulation
- The kids’ fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillows
But to survive you must be organised, brave and sociable and these all require effort and no hangover. Oops.