I hate children's birthday parties with a passion.
Tim says I'm miserable and they're not meant to be for me, but for me the best part of is grabbing the party bag and escaping the village hall/soft play hell/ over full house and breathing in the peaceful fresh air outside (when I say peaceful it is quieter than inside but normally partially broken but the cheap plastic whistle always included in the bags - but don't even get me started on the waste that is a party bag).
Today's party was for one of Patrick's friends - I always cross my fingers on going in that David Oakley and Dennis the dog aren't stood in the corner yet again. I realise that the performers costs lots (and we even had David and Dennis at Anya's 3rd birthday party thinking we were being original) but I think I could do the broken washing machine routine better than him as I'd seen it so often! I was in luck this afternoon - it was a proper DIY party - the sort where 20 four year olds charge around with balloons for two hours only to be interrupted by shovelling in food, throwing around a pass-the-parcel and screaming because their balloon has been popped. At this sort of party Patch is glued to my side for the first hour, gets his confidence in the last 10 minutes then doesn't want to come home.
The parents stand in their little cliques either looking completely bored/hungover or gossiping and ignoring their little darlings popping the balloons or crying. At the better parties there is a cup of tea, the worst ones are over lunch with no adult catering (at these parties it is normally possible to witness parents piling far to much food onto their child's plate in the hope that they will leave it so it can be eaten by them and not 'wasted').
I would much rather be spending my weekends with the whole family (and this is probably why I hate them as they are always in the middle of the day and only one of the children is invited) doing things that we want to do together. I think that I have been very kind to the parents of my children's friends by only ever holding one formal party (we have held boozy BBQs in the garden but they don't count). One final moan is that no end to this 'birthday party hell' is in sight as Euan has this week received his first invitation - oh joy!
Well after this rant I would like to add that we did go to a lovely party yesterday - it was held at a miniature steam railway club. There were 4 trains running and the children could go on as many times as they liked. Euan seems to have a new love - he has cast aside his cars and can now be heard screaming "chooooooooooooochoooooooooochoooooooooo".
Thought of the week - "Hear no evil, speak no evil - and you'll never be invited to a party” ~ Oscar Wilde