Thursday, 6 June 2013

On piñatas and pass-the-parcel...

This week I face the ultimate Mummy test – the birthday party. I admit I have not made it easy for myself, by choosing my house as the venue and inadvertently inviting 26 five-year olds to delight (wrangle?). Added to that the fact that smaller madam wanted to go old-style, I will, on so many levels, be the only ‘entertainment’ as I steer the kids through musical statues and pass-the-parcel. I must now pray for good weather, patience and well-behaved guests. Ear defenders might also be useful, although a misspent youth standing too close to club speakers is dealing with that problem quite nicely.

Your days are numbered...
 
My first challenge was to decide on a theme – and just the one theme. I had to persuade the guest of honour to abandon ideas of partygoers in their pyjamas (for no apparent reason), repeatedly ripping open packets of gummy bears, gorging on a Hello Kitty cake served on Tinkerbell tableware with Disney Princesses, farm animals, mermaids and unicorns flitting among us. Ideally, all set beside a swimming pool. The Great Gatsby himself could not have imagined such an event (let alone pulled it off with his dubious income).
 
Once we had decided on just party games (phew!) with a bit of Tinkerbell thrown in for good measure, everything seemed far more straightforward, and invites could go out. But it also seemed downright boring, so I thought I’d seek out some more exciting games – ones that could be talked about for years after and emulated at parties across the entire village…!! As ever the Internet proved to be a wonderful resource as I set about curating a Pinterest board to store the Alpha Mummy ideas I’d happened across. But it turns out my child was more trad than rad (the shame) and had no intention of trying out these new-fangled fancies. So, I apologise in advance to her guests, because plain old pass-the-parcel and pin the wings on Tinkerbell it is.
 
After planning, came the shopping, with an assortment of Amazon parcels arriving on a day-to-day basis. Mindful of a recent blog I read, I tried to avoid plastics where I could – and I’m rather in love with my (ahem, the) retro paper party bags. Since bashing the fairy dust out of Tinkerbell was not possible, I ordered a unicorn piñata to stuff with sweeties instead. Hopefully this should tire out the most Haribo-hyped party goer before home time, although I fear it might just be me and hubby finishing the beatings off, as past experience tells me, those papier mache fiends can be pretty tough to crack. Note to self: remember to ask the party goers to stand well back…
 
Let the good times roll
 
Then I had to think about the grub. I can’t bear the food waste at kids parties – or the snatching that goes on as the crisps and party rings make their way to the table. I’ve plumped for (cardboard) food boxes instead – and have dodged the inevitable ‘I don’t like ham, I want jam’ sandwich dilemma by opting for mini sausages and cheese strings (barf) within. Ever hopeful, I will pop in some vegetable sticks and fruit too. My older daughter (and maybe her bestie) will assist in delivering the food boxes to the marauding masses repeating the mantra ‘if you don’t like it, just leave it in the box’. If the weather is nice we’ll put out picnic rugs and bypass the need for 26 seats. If it rains, ummmmmm, ask me about that later.
And for the finale? Well, there will be no cake and candle that’s for sure, since my youngest has been put off that idea by witnessing her elder sister’s firework candle that was far more sparkly than we could ever have imagined (fire blanket anyone?). For a while I toyed with the idea of a jelly, but the thought of it all collapsing as I eased it out of its mould moments before presenting it to the assembled crowd was too much for me. Instead I’m planning an ice-cream cake (something else I had to look up on the Internet, how did Gatsby cope without it?). There can still be sauce and sprinkles, singing and a numbered candle, but it probably won’t be lit and – as my offspring so cleverly pointed out – the ice-cream cake won’t be going in those cute party bags…

Handmade birthday bunny by Spinning Top Boutique
So, wish me luck – and keep your fingers and toes crossed for good weather. If you have any last minute advice, tips or anecdotes to help me out and cheer me up – I’d love to hear them in the comment box below. If I’m back next week I’ll be a stronger person for it. And there’s eight months to recover before the next extravaganza…

7 comments:

  1. Draw a smile on your face and just keep smiling....! Make sure you have a drinking session lined up for later if you can muster the energy! goodluck!

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    1. There's some bucks fizz for any adults that stay - which includes me right???!

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  2. Good luck! Sounds like you have everything sorted! :) xx

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    1. Thank you. I will now go and wrap the pass-the-parcel...and breathe...

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  3. I am sure I commented on this already? Anyhow, hope all goes well (or went well). I think it does get easier as every year passes!

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    1. Doh, my reply to this is below! I keep commenting in the wrong area...

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  4. Hello! I didn't see a previous comment, but some of my stats went missing last week too!! Party did go well thank you, partly due to the weather I think. My husband was brilliant at child-wrangling!!

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