My eldest child’s birthday.
I don’t care what anyone says, moving house, new job; yeah they’re all pretty stressful, but if you’re lucky they probably only happen to you a handful of times.
Birthdays, just in case you hadn’t figured it out yet, happen EVERY BLOODY YEAR!
AND if you choose to have more than one of those little people, well, you do the math…
Planning these ‘special’ occasions are probably the most stressful things I do all year, stretching me to my creative limits and sending me into a ‘must-out-do-all-the-other-parties-on-pinterest’ mummy meltdown.
Let’s be honest though, I’m really just competing with myself. My last year’s self. And that’s just the kind of competition I like…(yup, just call me Monica!)
This year’s get together for big man’s third birthday party proper will be at our house, as was last year’s, so here’s what I learnt from that one and how I’m gonna kick last year me’s big fat a*se.
Of course this has to come top of my list before any other considerations. If there are parents coming to your party make sure there is booze. And plenty of tea! They will thank you!! Disposable coffee cups with lids and plastic wine glasses are a godsend with a dozen or so sugared-up pre-schoolers running around!
On another note I’m so glad I’m not heavily preggers this year so I can have a glass of wine or two (ten)…
Yes, kids come first at parties so make sure there’s plenty of finger food to nibble on. Throw in some fruit and cucumber just so it looks like you’re making some effort to provide healthy choices (we all know they’re only really there for the pizza and the cake though).
Don’t make the mistake of not providing any food for the adults though. You really don’t want hangry stares from everyone as they’re listening to the Moana soundtrack on repeat.. again… Plus all that lovely beer you’ve provided is gonna give them the munchies…
Ok, so I made a cake for our small intimate family gathering birthday prequel last weekend. I was feeding about 10. If you’ve totted up 16 kids plus their parents and the birthday boy who will inevitably want at least three pieces, do yourself a favour and head to Costco. Done. They’re so big there will be leftovers for you and hubby for a week. Double done.
In my experience any best made plans for pass the parcel inevitably end up in chaos. And tears. You have all the layers wrapped and recorded in a specific order, gender and age appropriate to each party guest, all listed in black and white and then… you hand it to one of the dads to execute and it all goes to sh*t.
Babies end up with superhero tattoos, and little Jimmy unwraps two layers and then has a tantrum because he wanted the blue snake the girl next to him had and not the glittery hair clips he just threw across the room.
Save it. Piñata all the way. Outside. Have another glass of wine whilst you watch them wrestle for the last Moam in your flower beds.
Incoming- Don’t make the mistake of having a ‘gift table’ because come on, once the birthday boy is old enough to know what’s s going on there ain’t gonna be no party until he’s ripped open every single one, showed all the other kids, shouted he’s not sharing anything with them and then you’ve gotta bribe a dozen kids with your emergency stash of Celebrations to JUST STOP THE CRYING!!!
Seriously though, whip them off the parents as they’re coming in, hide and drip feed over a week or two as and when you need some time to watch another episode of Scandal (how is this the last series and what will I do without Olivia Pope and her ridiculous collection of coats and bags…!?)
Outgoing – Trying to co-ordinate age appropriate party bags when you’ve got, well, a life (read:kids) just ain’t gonna happen. Sorry to anyone coming to our party but your little ones are getting some lovely pre-filled cones of sugary goodness. You can thank me later.
Make sure you make a list of which gifts came from who, taking a picture of the birthday child wearing / playing with them at your earliest opportunity to accompany your thank you note / message.
Child will not enjoy all the posing and be screaming I JUST WANT TO PLAAAAAAAY but hey, it’s just one of those things you’ve got to do so just sprinkle some Haribo on the situation.
Then breathe. 364 days to go until next time. You can have a bit of well deserved time off to at least finish the leftover cake and wine.
And google if it’s acceptable to have a party in the pub next year…