Now, back in the day when your first born had a birthday, it was a momentous occasion with much thought and planning going on. Then cue more children and you've been there done that and the birthday planning becomes a bit of a chore.
|Not the actual picture of my husband but you get the picture! Pic ebay|
He shook all the children's hands, in particular, the boys who were dressed in Spiderman costumes. My son was opened mouth and the parents found it all rather amusing. The husband even cocked his leg up on the way out in a vein attempt to climb it before merrily departing the room waving to all his admiring fans.
Never again I vowed. For 3 years running my son has had a stay at home cinema party - that in all honesty is about as stress free as you can get for a kids party. Make the room dark, give them popcorn and stick on a DVD. Okay I did order cinema ticket type invitations, had a VIP banner on the door and something Oscar related but all in all it was stress free.
So without further ado the hassle free parties what are they? Well they're the ones that say "let us take the stress out of you party" normally a minimum number of children is required like 100 - okay I exaggerate again but the minimum is set so you pay somewhere in the region of £80-£100. That's the price of stress free.
But is it really? I decided on 'stress free' this year as my son didn't fancy a cinema party. I'd had a good innings with this one but alas it came to an end. So laser quest it was. On their website there was no minimum - oh the joy, the joy! Given that he only likes 2 boys in his class this was easy. Turns out, yup, the minimum was 6 = £100. Still its stress free.
He invites 2 boys not in his class. Two boys I don't even know what they look like. One by all accounts, who's very nice, but his parents can't be arsed to let you know if he's going to attend. No he will just turn up. One of the school mum's gave me the heads up on this. A friend of mine had the same problem but the person didn't turn up and she made the mum explain her reasons why and I quote "I had her in the playground you know, I fucking had her (we don't all star in Eastenders by the way) I went right up and said oh X was disappointed X couldn't come and we had a party bag." Cue bumbling answers and cold looks all round.
So if you reading this and think oh yeah I don't do that then you is one LAZY THOUGHTLESS FUCKER. Okay. How difficult is it to text and say "yes" "no, can't". Not very I'd hazard. I'm assuming you teach your child manners? Well don't bother if you can't do this simple thing. No one is that important or busy. So you have that aspect of 'hassle free' parties - guessing who's going to turn up. By the way, this child was vegetarian. As I'd had the heads up and my son had collared him in the playground I'd pre-ordered his food.
Then the snow comes. It hasn't snowed on my son's birthday since he was born. So I have to re-arrange to the following Saturday. By the way, the thoughtless one phones on the Friday to check about the snow and when I say "oh, thanks for coming back to me" they laugh nervously with embarrassment.
I've spent 3 days making him a cake. Now I have to arrange something so it gets eaten. So I collect 3 of the friends in the snow to play at our house. I don't know why I suggested collecting his friends - I trudge out with all 3 children in tow thinking why, why, why! This birthday party has dragged on forever - it finally finished on Saturday with a shop bought cake (oh the shame of it, the shame). So two cakes and two 'stress free' parties for well over £100. Thank you very much.
Talking about the shop bought cake - it was a chocolate affair from Sainsbury's and very tasty it was too. It felt strangly liberating just bunging the box over to the staff and sitting down. One mum had made a cake covered in snakes and my word it nearly did 7 laps of honor. She was having her picture taken with it, she was all puffed up proud as a peacock (I don't do this I promise) and my friend said (who isn't at all ranty or gossipy like me) "she seems very pleased about her cake doesn't she?!" cue giggles. I didn't even feel annoyed the Skylander one wasn't there to upstage it - see, you get to an age where you just don't give a hoot about kids parties. I am at that age. I have arrived.
So, tonight I've been organising my daughters bowling party. Of course its 'stress free' and only for a hassle free amount of £75!