We went to a kids party yesterday.
As Boo is nearly three, we are still at the stage of me going with her.
We have been to countless parties since she has been born and it is just a minefield of party etiquette which no-one ever tells you about.
As party goers, it’s the mothers who always get my attention.
There are the mums that know each other and stick together and don’t want to talk to anyone else.
The ones who throw themselves into playing with the children to mask the fact that they don’t know anyone.
Then there’s the mums who help the organiser tidying up and ferrying children to the places they need to be.
Some mothers sit with their own child for the whole party and have their own little party of two.
You will also see the parents/grandparents/anyone who could be grabbed of the birthday boy or girl who look like they could do with a sit down and a vodka.
I’m not sure which category I fit into. I think I probably flit from the playing with the children to mask the fact I don’t know anyone to helping the organisers tidy up.
At yesterday’s party, the little boy didn’t blow his candles out quickly enough so, helpfully, Boo did it for him! I got evil eyes of some of the other mothers but I laughed and, thankfully, so did the boy’s mother.
When I was little, the whole point of party games was to teach children how to win and be gracious when you don’t. Not any more.
Pass the parcel games have to have the same prizes through each layer. It can cause toddler chaos if someone gets to unwrap more than one layer.
When Boo was one, we had only got married two weeks before and the wedding planning had just exhausted me so it was just me, my husband, mum and dad who celebrated her first birthday.
Last year we had a party at home for around six two-year-olds.
I’m ashamed to say I did my usual ‘everything has to be perfect’ panic and was a pent-up bag of nervous energy for the whole party.
My husband wouldn’t come (whole other story) so it was me with six two-year olds and their expectant parents.
Thankfully most of them were friends and two people brought their partners who helped take photos and pause the CD player on pass-the-parcel.
Children’s parties can be the most stressful thing ever and I don’t think them getting older makes it any easier.
I am pleased to reveal though that I have decided to only throw Boo a party every other year now. It is so expensive and I imagine she will have to have one every year when she starts school so I have decided this year it will just be family.
Thank goodness for that.