So this month was my daughters’ 4th Birthday.
My darling little bean can be an arduous little madam so when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday I braced myself with what her answer might be…
‘A burfday parpy please mummy…. With all my friends’
‘What? No Princess Barbie, Elsa Castle or Bicycle?’
‘No. A Parpy, Mummy!’
This would be the first year when all her friends didn’t just mean me, her brother, daddy, and her two friends she’d known virtually since birth. She’s now at preschool so all her friends actually means everyone in her class and then some!
Why not!? How hard can it actually be to cook a few sausage rolls, make a few sandwiches and play some party games!
The invitations were sent (little fairy wands with ribbon on – idea found on Pinterest of course!). I pretty much assumed that half the class wouldn’t come… Fool! Only 2 replies came with a ‘no’.
No bother I said. It’s just a few more sausage rolls to cook, few more party bags, and a few more layers on the ‘Pass the parcel’. Pah! Have you ever wrapped a present more than ten times with little bags of sweets between each layer? No? My advice is don’t! Apart from bankrupting myself buying wrapping paper, I think I ended up with more sticky tape on the table cloth than on the actual present!
For the next couple of weeks I lived and breathed this sodding party… boring my work colleagues, friends and basically anyone who would listen!
So the day of the infamous party arrived.. food had been cooked, balloons blown up, ribbon rings made (again courtesy of Pinterest), cake baked and decorated and we were off! That was the easy part!
Thank god I had asked a friend to come help me set up.. after trapping my fingers in the fold out tables for the 50th fecking time, she and my ex took over the manual labour. I was flapping around like a bloody pigeon!
Also who would have thought 100 balloons wouldn’t be enough to fill the Balloon Disco area! (I ‘d cordoned off half the room I’d hired to keep the children penned away from the food/adult area, added a disco light, a party music mix and voila!). Parents and their offspring were arriving faster than I could inflate the reserve stock of balloons I had. One kind parent took the bag off me as I started turning puce from all the frantic huffing and puffing (there are a few angels out there!)
The party was in full swing… kids running amok hitting each other with balloons, colliding with the tables and chairs as they escaped from their pen. I felt like I was herding sheep.
Pass the parcel was like being a Politician, making sure everyone had a go – and that the birthday girl or my son didn’t get the end prize (again thank god my friend was helping as I lost the plot half way through!)
Musical statues was just as much fun! I was now a diplomat giving everyone second, third and fourth chances because I didn’t have the energy to deal with the impending tantrums… one boy point blankly refused to leave the dance floor and carried on with his manic octopus arm waving, smacking everyone in his path (incidentally this particular child’s mother had asked me before the party if she could leave him and go home! He’s 4 and she’d never met me! I could see the desperation in her eyes and I now understood why – I’m glad I didn’t say yes!). In the end I gave up, everyone had a bag of sweets and the game was disbanded.
The worst part was the presents….. as each child arrived there was the (imaginary) obligation of giving a present. It’s the same at every birthday party you go to. I had said to a couple of mums that had asked what my daughter was ‘in to’ to just bring yourselves, but I know how I would feel turning up empty handed so they obviously brought something for the birthday girl. My daughter refused to leave the present table to go and say hello to her friends. She became a tad obsessive counting the present mountain with a ‘gollum’ look in her eyes. I managed to siphon off a few so that the mountain reduced to more of a hill, and she eventually grew some manners and went to play. Once we had got them all home I actually felt a little sick with guilt as there were so many. I have bagged some up to give to charity hoping to redeem a little bit of that feeling.
Now the triumph of the party was the cake (she says blowing a very large trumpet with her name on it!). I had chosen the cake idea months and months ago and couldn’t wait to see my daughters face when she blew the candle out. It was everything I had hoped for. She loved it and loved that her friends kept telling her how lucky she was – she’s no wallflower. She certainly felt like the Princess of the Party!
According to my Princess, the party had be fantastic!
Due to this I mark it down as a success – however the bottle of wine which was consumed to calm my nerves after the small peoples’ bedtime would say otherwise!
Would I do another one? Would I feck!?
Sorry kiddies, Mummy learnt her lesson on this one. Next time its best friends only and a Pizza Hut all you can eat!