As someone who has failed in every way when dealing with kids birthday parties, here are a few pointers.
N.B. These tips are for surviving the Birthday parties of other people’s children. The one you organise for your own child is a different kettle of fish. Good luck with it. Don’t forget the party bags.
1., Be Organised
Buy a calendar. Write dates of all events to attend on calendar including children’s birthday parties. Remember to take party invites out of child’s tray at preschool. Do not stuff all party invites from child’s tray at preschool into ‘draw of requirement’ in kitchen, the drawer that I walk past a few times thinking about how much I really need my keys/painkillers/receipt for ridiculous purchase/kids party invite etc before actually opening and rifling though enormous amount of crumpled up washing machine guarantees, broken kites, dried up pizzas made of play dough, drawings from pre school, conkers, bloody sodding pebbles
(which my child is obsessed with collecting and caring for) in the hope of actually finding desired item such as kids party invite with important details on, such as time and place of party and what the bloody hell your supposed to dress them up as this time.
2., Buy present and Card
Buy present and card in plenty of time like, not an hour before from Tescos in aisle full of other parents in toy aisle on Saturday morning who are also trying to find an appropriate toy for kids birthday party.
Buy present and card with enough time to wrap up nicely, maybe even with a decorative bow? Do not buy new wrapping paper and roll of sellotape every time you buy a kids birthday present so that your kitchen ‘drawer of requirement’ starts to fill up with rolls of sellotape and kiddy wrapping paper.
Buy well thought through gift on the internet, calmly, in the evening when kids are asleep and within plenty of time for delivery, rather than impulsively attempting to buy gifts as a last minute panic purchase at the Mothercare till.
“Oh look Audrey, Frozen umbrellas! They look nice. Why don’t we get one of those for so and so’s party tomorrow? Do you think she would like that?”
“Well Mummy, I actually really reeaaaallly want one of those and my fairy umbrella broke so I actually really reeeaaaally need one.”
“You have an umbrella at home that is fine and besides I don’t mean for you, I mean for so and so’s birthday.”
Audrey picks up the umbrella.
“I want this. I really really want this umbrella because I actually used to have two umbrellas and actually now one is broken so I need another one now to make two umbrellas and I don’t have any umbrellas with princess Anna on or Elsa and my other umbrella hasn’t got a princess on at all and . . . “
And so continues endless persuasive rant by three year old child at the Mothercare tills. You get the picture. This is not a good way to buy a present.
3., Eat Before the Party
Like something relatively healthy and low sugar. Of course you will have time to do this because you will be so well organised in your approach. Of course you will not attend kids party on an empty stomach so that towards the end, after you have spent an hour and a half rescuing your sweaty threenager from the deepest darkest corners of the soft play complex and desperately trying to locate a sock in a ball pool which smells like filled nappies
and is full of abandoned toddlers, you will not feel ridiculously jealous of your child when they are presented with a plate full of white bread sandwiches, a glass of squash, crisps, cheese and pineapple on sticks, party rings etc.
Suddenly kids party food never looked so appealing.
But you will not want any or try to steal any off your child’s plate because you will have eaten a lovely ham salad sandwich on brown bread before attending.
Seriously, the food is for the kids. Stop eating it.
Step away from the Frazzles.
4., Do not breastfeed in the background of cake shots.
Shouldn’t be too hard if you are male/ not dragging infant along to kids party/ not breastfeeding etc.
That cake photo (you know, where the candles are being blown out?) is going on Facebook. If you don’t want your nipple on Facebook too, you had better get out of the shot like right-
5., When you are presented with a party bag, leave.
It is over, you have survived, well done, now let the poor parents sweep up all the silly string and attempt to dispose of the remains of a pineapple and cheese hedgehog (tricker than you think) without your hyperactive child running through all the mess shrieking with glee.
Go home, take off your make up and have a cup of tea.
Every Mummy deserves it.