We all know how the kids’ party business has expanded in the last decade or so – it’s no longer the done thing to have a few friends at your home for cake, Hula Hoops and party games, it would seem.
It can feel a bit daunting when the invitations start stacking up from the kids in your child’s class at school. Especially as the date of your own little one’s birthday gets nearer and nearer and you don’t know what you’re expected to do. Treat each invite as a little reconnaissance mission so that when it comes to booking your own it will feel like second nature.
There’s really no need to panic; kids just want to have fun and they don’t really expect fire-breathing clowns and a bespoke Despicable Me cake. You know your babies will enjoy their first taste of birthday party season – here’s how to survive the children’s party season yourself.
Eat before you arrive. It’s frowned upon to steal the kids party bags or get to the cake before they do.
Don’t assume that siblings are invited too – there may be a limit on the numbers allowed if it’s in an external venue, and there might not be enough finger food to go around if all the invitees bring a brother or sister. It’s always polite to ask.
Make sure that you arrive on time! It also helps if you’ve scouted out the area and know where the parking spots are. You do not, I repeat do NOT want to be the last parent and child in the building. Not only will all the Mums and Dads tut loudly and quite possibly talk about how rude you are, your child will miss out and if they’ve hired an entertainer you’re first in line to be publically humiliated.
Get ready for some serious squealing. You’ll have to stay and chaperone your little darling and when they are very small, their preferred method of communication with each other when excited tends to be very high pitched. Ear buds may help at this point, and a fervent wish that they will grow out of it by their teens.
Try not to be too over-protective, even if your cherub is climbing on something you’re sure he shouldn’t and it looks as if he’s about to wobble. Also, try to resist the urge to intervene when the inevitable snatching of the parcel during pass the parcel occurs and tears ensue. Just throw them back into the party with a kind word and don’t ever get into an argument about another Mum’s rude kid. Even if she is incredibly rude.
Offer to help the host out – especially if things are getting boisterous and she or he looks a tad frazzled. All party-throwing parents want their children and their friends to have a lovely time and some parents are just more suited to it than others. Suggest that they book a Learn Play Grow party next year and offer to take charge of the food serving or wiping up the spilled orange squash. It will be appreciated.
Finally…Have a bottle of wine ready in the fridge for when you get home!