The days of ‘Pass the Parcel’ (with just the one present at the end), ‘Statues’, ‘Pin the tail on the Donkey’ and a plate of fairy bread are officially over.
It seems children’s parties have morphed into a dizzying heights with each party pushing the fun-limits of the one preceding it. Jumping castles, face painting, fairies, and the most perfectly iced cupcakes.
And, if ‘Pass the Parcel’ is played, there must be a present in every layer. Why? Because we need to teach kids that life is fair and everyone has an equal chance and (more to the point) I really don’t want tears and tantrums. I want everyone to be happy and have fun, so everyone opens a layer and everyone gets a Freddo Frog… Life in kids-party world is fair.
The truth is, every year I advertise (mostly to my husband) that we are having ‘something small’ this year, but before I know it I am caught up in the excitement of my little one and their special day (and the fact that I can double-up the event catching up over a quiet wine with my ‘mum-friends’ is an attractive bonus).
Both my children seem to cope ok with the party (although my son did flick the elastic from the hat on his face on his 1st birthday and cried his eyes out for what seemed like most of the party). Have you ever noticed that the birthday boy or girl often ends up in tears? All the attention is sometimes just too much for the little tikes and they seem to always end up breaking down over wanting their own way over something. “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” comes to mind!
My little boy had his 2nd birthday last month. This year I returned to work so there was no way I had the time or physical capacity to get caught up in a ‘little’ celebration for him. I did consider having a party on another day and pretending it was his day, but this just didn’t sit quite right (maybe it was more to do with the fact that I was secretly happy not having one!). Rather than get caught up in the planning, prepping and preening, we would just have a quiet cake and a few balloons. No party.
This is Mr Z’s farmyard Birthday Cake. Note: very large kangaroo about to attack the farmer. He loves “hop hop” so I chose to include it regardless of the inappropriate scale!
In the morning I leave him in daycare with mini cupcakes to share with his friends, I head to work. The feelings of sadness and guilt were an understatement.
When I arrived to pick him up in the afternoon there were balloons and streamers and he was full of life and smiles, I am told he has had a wonderful day.
He loved the cake and by 7pm he was exhausted – I watched him sleeping in his cot and wondered if he really needed more. Perhaps a quiet celebration with his family and a few new toys to play with was enough for a 2 year old? I just had to convince myself it was enough for me too and remember this in July when my daughter’s birthday comes along.
She is going to be 5 – I think 5 is a special birthday isn’t it? A fairy-face-painter would surely be appropriate and not too over the top?
Do you get carried away in the excitement of a party for your little one?
What are the most extravagant parties you have been to?