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Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthday Parties Suck

Okay, so I’ve had a week to recover.

It wasn’t long enough, but I’m going to soldier on despite the trauma.

Oh the trauma.

Miss5 became Miss6 last Monday, and, yes I know I’ve already mentioned her birthday celebrations and my nicking off that night to embarrass myself around Dennis Lillee here.

Now, despite the fact that the trauma is still fresh, I'm going to delve into the birthday celebrations in more detail.

6, not that much different to 5, as far as ages go.  A mere 12 months older, to be exact – except now that they’re all schooled up, they have taken on the attitudes (complete with eye rolling, hands on hips, and flouncy body movements) of their tween elders at school.

The effect of this is multiplied, in stereo, HD, surround sound, THREE-FREAKING-D...when they are being egged on by their peers.  Like, for instance, at a birthday party...

So I’ve created a few tips for anyone else not yet  screwed  blessed with hosting a 6yr old’s birthday party.

Do  humour your offspring when they ask you to run through the guest list a bazillion times in the weeks leading up to the party.  The list they put together.  The list they know by heart, and correct you on, should you mis-pronounce a name or forget anyone.

Do   smile lovingly at your little cherub when they rise on the morning of their birthday, and stomp downstairs as if it's immunisation day, looking like thunder.

Don’t  take it personally when you enthusiastically wish them a Happy Birthday! and they respond with “shhh…you’re hurting my ears Mummy!

Don't  make false breakfast promises unless you’re prepared to keep them.  They will remember that one time, a month ago, when you promised them ice cream for breakfast on their birthday, if they’d just get in the freaking pool for their swimming lesson already.

Don't  schedule their birthday party early in the morning.  Early is anything before 11am.  Despite the fact that you’re up and about by 7am, at least one, two or all three of the kids will do everything in their power to delay you.  Including Mstr2 projectile vomiting for the very first time in his life.  And the second and third times, all conveniently after he’d been dressed for Daycare, but prior to actually handing him over so it wouldn’t be my job to de-vomit him.

Don't  tell Daycare about the vomit.  Yes I know every single parent in the world is going to be hating on me for saying that.  But he wasn’t sick.  He was choking.  Seriously.  He’s a whiny man product of his whiny man father, #1 Hubby, and believe you me when I tell you that the entire world is well aware when Mstr2’s sick.  Since he was totally capable of launching himself off the lounge onto his sister, I know for a fact that he was feeling just fine.  He has trouble with regurgitation  whenever throwing himself around like a not so bouncy tennis ball  whenever he gets super excited and giggly, and when the hiccups start we normally have to make him stop and calm down.  In this case, I was too busy stuffing effing cupcakes into suitable cupcake transportation to hear the hiccupping and intervene.  So, just to reiterate, I did not send a sick child to Daycare to share the germ loving.

Don't  think that making cupcakes is so much cuter and easier than a single cake.  It may be cute, but nobody gives a rats arse as long as they get something.  Two different flavours with 4 different icing and decoration combinations is just showing off.  There will be no praise to validate your 2am preparations.  Nobody cares, and all you’re going to do is cause friction and envy amongst the kids when one person doesn’t get a chocolate cupcake with stars, and has to settle for a vanilla cupcake with sprinkles.  Oh the horror…

Don't  think you’re getting off lightly by hosting a party at the cinemas, because all you have to do is sit there in the dark and watch an animated movie about little blue people.  You will not be able to sit down for more than 18 consecutive minutes without having to leap up and Shhhh! a child,  referee an arm rest hostage situation, or get down on your hands and knees to pick up individual kernels of popcorn. Again. And again.  When not doing all of this, you will be escorting children to the toilet – individually.  Because they haven’t learnt synchronised toilet usage.  They operate at 5-10 minute intervals.

Do  clue your child in on proper gracious birthday child etiquette in advance.  It is not safe to assume they just know the right things to say, and the correct way to behave.  If you don’t school them in advance, you may be required to apologise profusely when they greet party guests with “Where’s my present?  Did you forget it?  I can wait while you go back and get it.”  To be fair, she was most gracious in her delivery, and truly thought that she was being helpful.

Don't  over-estimate on the time requirements.  Under-estimate.  There will always be at least 2-3 parents late to pick their kids up.  You are responsible for them until their parents come and get them.  It’s like "white line fever" when you know the end is near, but you have to keep on  suffering  soldiering on until the very last child is collected  by a parent who's just been enjoying a peaceful coffee and some window shopping, and was quite likely well aware they were running late to pick their kid up, but didn't really give a shit because they knew you wouldn't say anything or call their bluff  *ahem*. Longest 45 minutes of my life.  Ever.  Okay maybe not ever, childbirth gives it a run for its money.

Do  take ear plugs (industrial strength, no namby-pamby domestic crap) and Panadol.  You will need both.  Guaranteed.  If possible, pack Vodka to wash the Panadol down with.  You will need it.  Guaranteed.

And there you have it, my foolproof guide to organising and hosting a 6yr old’s birthday party.  Thank the Vodka Gods I have another 3 ½ years until I have to do the attitude filled 6yr old party thing again with the Twin Tornado.  At which point I will be soooooo mega wealthy that our team of 11 Nannies will be able to handle all the kid wrangling, while I sit back with my Panadol and Vodka, inspecting my manicure, Dahlings.

PS - Sorry no pics today...still too bloody tired for anything but the basics


  1. Oh you are just such a fricking genius. Everytime I visit your site I leave smiling. So with you on the Vodka Gods xxx

  2. I dont bother with the cupcakes anymore. Not since Miss 10 was 5, I let her carry the cupcakes and she shook the container.
    For kindy with Miss 8, I took in a chunk of watermelon and a pack of candles. (It was march and very hot still)
    Nowadays, I just shove a multipack of something that is nut free at the teacher and say "Its so and so's birthday today, these are for the kids"

    But as far as birthday parties go, nothing beats a playcenter party, no mess to clean up, kids can run amok and parents can sit and chat.

  3. I think I might word the Miss4 & Miss2 that its all over after their 5th birthday party :0 Thanks for the giggle :)


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