I’ve buried my head in the sand for too long and with Lucy’s 4th Birthday fast approaching I decided it was time to hold her first proper party. It should be an exciting time, but it filled me with dread, who do we invite, the whole class or just her closest friends? Where to hold it at home or a hall? Do I pay an entertainer or do it myself? Decisions decisions. . .
My daughter’s going to be 4 and yet I felt under pressure to book Kylie to keep the little ones amused. But rather than paying a few hundred pounds I thought I would go it alone and organise an old-fashioned party at our Haslemere house.
Writing out the invites was no easy task; the pen had just dried on the first one, when my daughter announced: “Actually, I don’t want him to come because he called me a worm 10 days a go.” Now she tells me!
Little did I know, these days no child can lose a party game, all children are winners and in each neatly-wrapped layer of pass the parcel a sweet or present must pop out because this is what children expect. In my day, pass the parcel was one present wrapped up in crumpled layers of newspaper. How times have changed! So 15 layers of sweet-laden wrappers later I‘d accomplished my first mission.
I was writing clues for the treasure hunt and felt very pleased with myself, until my husband pointed out that the party guests were 4 and my cryptic clues would be better suited to The Eggheads, so I went back to the drawing board.
When it comes to the party food it used to be jelly and ice cream, now you have to swap lolly sticks for carrot sticks and ice cream for hummus to cater for children whose parents will only eat healthy food. I tried to strike a balance between the two.
I think the party bag fills every mother with horror. We are haunted by party folk-lore where every child was given an iPod or 2 first class return tickets to New York. Some bubbles and a bouncy ball just can’t compete, but that’s what I went for, I didn’t want to set the bar too high for future parties.
Then the big day arrived. At 3pm, the door bell rang and a small smiling super hero appeared followed by an Indian and lots of princess all ready and waiting to be entertained. The pressure was on, children can be very critical and honest and if they don’t like something they won’t spare your blushes. As the first game began all eager eyes were on me, it was like being a stand up comedian, on an empty stage, not knowing if you were going to a hit or heckled off stage.
To give credit to all the children they were impeccably behaved and made my job easy, so it was a huge relief when the last superhero flew out of the house. Although it was a traditional party with no glitz or glamour I hope fun was had by all. I am already planning what to do for my next party; I just need to track down the number of Kylie’s agent.