So now Christmas and new year is long gone (how fast did that go?!), the beginning of the year in our household usually only means one thing. No not the new year health kick or dry January (seriously, Why??!!) but celebrating the birth of the joyous Double Trouble aka “The Twins” as they are more commonly known. Of course they have names, but for laziness and despite hating myself for it, its just easier to refer to them as The Twins or The Girls. Yes they chose to arrive or rather the wonderful medical professionals at our local maternity determined they should arrive at the end of the Monday of the months, January. Destined for a lifetime of them wanting to make huge plans for their birthday and everyone being to damn broke to go out and Party Hard with them.
Now, you’d think considering I have children covering 18 years I’d be an absolutely god damn pro at the kids birthday by now. And believe me it bloody well feels like we’ve done them all. Apart from a swimming party, because just NO. Flat out refusal from me there. Luckily I don’t think any of my children have ever asked for one but if they did it would be a no. Wayyyy too much pressure. The thought of getting into a pool in front of random school parents whom you merely share a fleeting courteous nod with in passing in the playground fill me with dread. And in no uncertain terms would I inflict that on any of them. The fact that all three birthdays of my children fall in winter/spring when “body maintenance” (i.e. shaving body hair/fake tanning/post Christmas fat rolls) is slack absolutely has no bearing on this decision whatsoever…….
“The Frozen Theme Party”
A joint effort with one of my best friends, easy to double up when your kids birthdays are days apart. Can’t take credit for the cake, that’s all her handiwork….
I did do the fairy lights though.
Everything else though from the soft play, the gym party, the laser party, the village hall party, the disco party, bowling, football, farm park, frozen themed, right down to the simple “let’s just have a few friends round and play pass the parcel etc” has been done. * The last one in particular always seems like such a good idea at the time yet pretty much descends into A LOT of noise, a lot of crying and A LOT of f***ing mess in your OWN home which YOU have to clean up. See really not as good idea as it sounds is it? Unless it’s summer and you can take it outside to the garden. In my perfect world scenario (and I have many) I had summer babies where we would always BBQ, have a glorious garden party where the sun would shine, children ran free and grown ups sipped Pimms and a bloody lovely time was had by all. Pissing rain, screaming girls running up and down your stairs, squash spilt everywhere and lots of grown up stood around not really knowing what to do (apart from waiting to attack the party food once the kids have finished, or is that just me?) is the reality. Perhaps I’m just crap at hosting kids parties at home. Give me a theme and a venue, that’s not my house, and I’m on it.
Despite all this, if it sounds like I’m whinging a tad, I do actually like planning parties. I almost almost love it. So much so that I’d definitely consider working in events if I ever took the plunge with a career change. Plus I like giving them those childhood memories to look back on. I still remember clear as day the party I had for my own 7th birthday. My mum taking me out to buy a new dress and shoes and making me the best chocolate hedgehog cake I had ever seen with a small party at home, naturally. It wouldn’t have cost a lot but I remember it so fondly and that’s what I want them to have. So with less than a month to go to B Day I decided to sit down and “discuss” with The Twins what they would like to do for their birthday this year. Now this may have been my first mistake. Believing we could have a discussion like grown ups. I mean they’re like still 6 so not technically grown ups, but anyway…..
“The 5th Birthday”
Featuring the Tent that the dog preferred to sleep in and is now languishing in a cupboard…..
I can safely say one thing about those girls. They can negotiate. Hard negotiating. They could give the Government a run for their money with their Brexit talks. So after what felt like hours but was probably actually only half an hour, some ibuprofen and some wine later, we landed a deal. After initially wanting seperate parties, which is perfectly reasonable. They are their own people, have their own friends and interests so I am not totally adverse to this idea, it’s just a bit of a logistical planning nightmare and eventually they decided to keep it together (the party that is, by this stage I am the one almost not keeping it together) Then the next idea of a Build A Bear party was scrapped due to the number of friends they absolutely insisted they want to share this occasion with and the cost of almost £37 PER CHILD (x 8 kids = yeah, not happening). I just knew they wouldn’t settle for the affordable option where they all had the tiniest bear in the shop. No, they’d want the all singing big bears with the rucksacks and the clothes and the shoes. And as much as I (secretly) love Build A Bear, love my children, love their little friends, I don’t love them that much.
We eventually settled on a few (8 is a few right?) friends for a trip to the local soft play after school, have some tea there and then back home with a separate trip for just the two of them to Build A Bear on their actual birthday. Which may possibly now be a trip to Smiggle instead they kindly informed me yesterday (sarcastic yays! all round) Or could they have a HP purple laptop instead. Or a gold one if I can find one. It appears we have some indecision going on. The mere fact I am also one of the world’s most indecisive people? Yeah, the irony is not lost on me at all.
Birthday’s are meant to be celebrated aren’t they. Whether you are 7, 17, or 70. And there’s nothing that makes me feel sadder than hearing someone say they don’t want a fuss for their birthday. After all, in the words of Jay Gatsby “A little party never killed nobody.”