Happy birthday to you…

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The kids’ birthday party challenge

I am not going to be one of these parents that whine at you about over-achieving, over-the-top birthday parties, crammed with more glee than a billionaire’s bank account. I am not going to whine, no, no.

Because I am one of those parents.

It’s not that my parties cost a lot. In fact, they cost relatively little except acres of time and a large ball of stress.

So, why do I do it?

Because I LOVE it. It’s everything I love to do wrapped up in a big satin bow. Bake. Decorate. Design. Create invitations. Write. Compile. List. Shop. Get crafty. Stuff goodie bags. Create cakes. Think of fabulous games.

I’m a shameless workhorse that any party-loving child could ceaselessly exploit.

And boy do I have two party-loving kids keen on exploitation.

It’s going to be interesting then, when I tell Ella and Riley that this party is the last in a long line of enormous, over-the-top celebrations.

Riley has just turned six and I think I am just about done – especially after refereeing a yard full of kids in a series of strategically planned sporting feats whilst dashing into the kitchen to make sure the party pies haven’t become an imminent fireball in the oven, whilst simultaneously fielding “I’m thirsties” and “where is the toilets” and “I think I might have created an indelible stain on your light-coloured carpets”.

Don’t get me wrong – I loved every minute of it. And the kids were fantabulous but I do think it’s time to scale down.

There’s several reasons I decided to do this one-last-hurrah party, but the main reason is that we’re new in town and I wanted to meet kids and parents and hopefully foster some friendship connections for Riley (he seemed to do that, and then some).

I also did it because the weather was so gorgeous, we have such a great outdoor space and, well – I’m not sure I’m quite ready to let go of all this yet. The kids are getting older – they are becoming more specific, more discerning. Ella wants the one or two close girlfriends to hide away and whisper secrets with. And Riley would be more than happy to go to a local play centre and run amok for three hours.

Yes, the Big Party thing really is wearing off on my kids.

Now we just have to convince one other person it’s all over.


PS: for those of you who are wondering about my RSVP blog – yes, I sent out a “reminder” note and got some quick replies soon after. One parent did RSVP the day before… maybe she didn’t read my blog??? Maybe I need to relax...
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