The idiot’s guide to birthday parties

Yesterday Godivy turned five. And to celebrate we invited 10 children into our house. For a party. I can barely cope with three kids. I’m not sure why I thought I could handle 13. Anyway, as I’m clearly an idiot. I’ve compiled a little guide for you with some useless tips on the joy that is birthday parties.

  1. Consider your venue carefully. Or in the post-Christmas haze, realise your child’s birthday is in four days, panic and invite a bunch of kids to your house because you’ve left it too late to organise anything else. With four days notice no one will be able to come anyway. Oh! Look at that! Everyone can come, isn’t that great! (Next time, send out invitations at 11.00 PM the night before.)
  2. Exercise optimism. It will be brilliant! How hard can it be? You grew up with birthday parties at home. None of this posh ‘venue’ stuff where you bake a pizza or bungee jump down a ravine. Do some classic party games and you’re onto a winner. Until you realise the games take up 15 minutes and you’ve still got an hour and 45 minutes to fill.
  3. Preparation is key. If, however, this ‘preparation’ sees you go to Hobbycraft, preparation is NOT key. BEWARE. Hobbycraft is a cult that brainwashes you the moment you walk through its doors and convinces you, who hates crafts and never does them with your own kids, that buying up half the shop and doing a craft party is the best idea you’ve ever had.
  4. Glitter. No, just no. Step away from the glitter. 13 four and five year olds and a kilo of glitter. How do you think this will end?
  5. Draft in the forces. Parents are beginning to leave their kids at parties when they start school and hit five. Don’t be all cool and nonchalant, ‘Oh, go and enjoy yourself for a couple of hours. Little Billy will be fine!‘ Little Billy may be fine. But YOU will not. What are you going to do when Little Billy does a giant turd in the loo and wants you to wipe his bottom? Ask the other 12 kids to patiently wait whilst you halt Pass the Parcel? Yeah, that will work. You won’t be wiping Little Billy’s bottom with an audience of 12 all wanting to examine the giant turd. No. If the parents aren’t willing, beg them to stay. Slip them a 20. Lock them in, if you really have to. But don’t go it alone.
  6. Read the cooking instructions then add on half an hour. ‘Ooh let’s pop on some nuggets rather than faff about making 100 sandwiches cut into triangles that will just curl up and die a slow death.‘ Be warned. If you take the hot route, chicken nuggets and chips do not take a casual 15-18 minutes to cook like the packet infers. Especially when you’re cooking 100 of the buggers. As one parent pointed out, nothing says DESPERATE like cranking the oven up to 220C. Thank goodness small children are patient. Haha.
  7. YouTube. If you’re going to be hip and let them watch a couple of music videos whilst you cheer on the chicken nuggets, make sure it’s age appropriate. Justin Bieber romping about with some girl in a seedy motel room probably isn’t the way most parents envisaged tackling the birds and bees talk.
  8. Don’t attempt Dry January if your child has a January birthday. This one is pretty self-explanatory, I think.

So. There you have it. You could of course ignore all of this, play safe and not have a party at all. In fact, forget this post and do that. Much better. More of me over on Facebook and Instagram.

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