So your little munchkin is turning a year older. And for whatever reason (you want to splash out, show them off, had enough of them begging or simply madness) you decide to throw them a party.
Oh you brave naive fool.
Firstly you will get carried away (read about my last party Dino Dig Party here). Start looking at venues – is a castle too extravagant for Seb? At entertainment options – will Tabitha want a camel or a unicorn? Food options – do you think we could theme the food around his favourite film?
And finally when you have realised that you are just having it either in your own house or the local community centre, with the same bouncy castle and ham sandwiches that everyone else has had before you, because that’s just what kids want, then you move onto THE LIST.
It’s all a numbers game. How many can you accommodate and/or afford. Then you ask them to tell you who their favourite people are at nursery or school, it’s easy to get a stress on. Bring out the wine!
You: “Oh but you haven’t said about Peter?”
Child: “I don”t like Peter now we’re not friends”
You whispering: “Well you bloody were yesterday!”
Child: “I want Jillian to come.”
You to your friend at drop off: “Who the hell’s Jillian and more importantly who’s her mum?”
Then you might talk to one of their teachers – and this brings with it a world of pain as they unleash 40 names that your kid has never mentioned and denies all knowledge of ever having laid eyes on. You painstakingly go through the list with them and they change their minds every time. Pour more wine.
You might add in kids whose mum you really get on with so you have a chance to get a catch up at the party. You might add in kids that you get the impression are ‘nice’. But that list will change a lot before you are through. Then, just when you think you’ve cracked it and are ready to hand the invites out the next day, your child will announce loudly to his best friend at afternoon pick up that they are having a party and you will want the ground to swallow you up as you hussle home to add in anyone you had forgotten or who your child has now told you he has invited. And drink all the wine.
So, the invites are out. And of course you have managed to remember to add an RSVP date on there (if not you are fucked, people will take this as a get out of jail free card and you will play Russian roulette as to who is going to turn up) so now you wait. After a week the panic sets in. Especially if you have forgotten someone and had to slip them an emergency invite hoping they don’t realise. How long do people take to get back to you? You get impatient. Even though you sent the invites out earlier than you sent your own wedding invites. You want to message people or post something up on Facebook to make sure everyone hasn’t forgotten but you are scared of looking too needy. So you wait. No more wine, so it’s onto the gin.
A few days before the party and you still have no idea of who is coming. You know yourself how many times you have found crumpled invites in the kids bags that have been there ages, or else you have been handed invites that you absolutely intended on responding to but they got forgotten about, yet you ignore this fact and decide that other parents must just be rubbish for not realising how important your childs party is. You hyperventilate at the thought of no one turning up and almost turn purple when you bump into someone who isnt invited (guaranteed they give no shits about it but you will tie yourself up in knots wondering if you have offended them).
The day of the party arrives. You are in a flap. You have made ten thousand ham sandwiches and chilled some emergency prosecco for later. People begin arriving and you don’t even realise who hasn’t turned up. The food gets eaten, the party games get played, the kids have a ball and all the parents snaffle the ham sandwiches and top hats. What was all that stress about?
Two hours later and your kid tells you they have had the best day ever. Their smile is all that matters …and that chilled prosecco!
How are you at party planning? I must confess I am a bit of a party pro (and so modest🙈). I bloody love throwing a party. But I have come to the conclusion that it’s not worth stressing out about. You can never invite everyone and to be honest, most parents aren’t keeping score of who gets invited to what party – to be REALLY honest we all dread other peoples kids parties just a little bit it. Or is that just me? The kids just want a couple of mates to go mad with for a few hours and a giant cake.
P.S my sons invites go out this week 😜