Well think again, the parties I am referring to are in fact the utterly delightful experience that is a kids party.
Now as an adult you arrange a birthday night out which loosely involves choosing a venue, choosing your victims, telling people to turn up to said venue at a certain time, a time that is promptly ignored by the attendees and you drink yourself into oblivion with your girlfriends insisting that you do not look a day over 25 and your boyfriends patting you on the back and shaking their heads. Then you spend your first official day of being a year old nursing the most awful hangover and feeling like shit, the obvious sign of a good night.
So kids parties. Bloody hell, there's one sure fire way to give you an ulcer without imbibing any alcohol what-so-ever.
A's 12th birthday is coming up soon and I will be charged with making the necessary arrangements for the big day. We always make a big deal about his birthday as he finds it hard to make and keep friends, never really being able to read the cues of others and being absorbed in his own world. I have to admit now before I recant the tales of parties past, that I do have a tendency to go overboard, each year getting bigger and bigger or more outrageous. Last year was a fairly sedate affair after the previous year which saw me, with SPD and five months pregnant taking 15 boys on an hour long bus trip into the city to go to four separate events. I had the kids for 7 hours on an unseasonally hot day. This was the event that caused Oh Daddy to shake his head and say no more! This year will be a strange year though. 12. 12 years old. What do 12 year old boys do? They're too big for soft play and too young for paintballing, have done LaserQuest, Cinema, Go Karting etc etc in previous years and so I've run out of ideas.
Any suggestions are welcome!
I used to like kids parties. I actually like mini sandwiches, sausage rolls and Top Hats (little marshmallows with chocolate and smarties on top) and it's the only time I get to indulge. In seven months time, B will be two and I will probably go mental then too. I don; stress too much about the organisational aspect of it, I quite an organised bod and relish the challenge because, well frankly, I'm a weirdo. I live in a fantasy land where I am THE child's party planner extrodinaire! So as B-Day D-Day approaches I always have everything well in hand and sleep soundly until the night before when the awful realisation dawns on me that I will have to deal with the parents of the kids who are invited!
I prepared myself, gritted my teeth and sweetly smiled through my utterances of "Och, it's no bother" and "yes, he's very welcome to join us". I physically prepared by making sure each venue knew that my numbers were approximates and not exact figures and that I would phone them as soon as I had final numbers. Given that these things are usually a pay per head affair, I tried my hardest not to get angry about it. I always orders and made up extra numbers of my awesome party bags (the stuff of legend, you know). I went over and above every year and so did the piss takers.
Last year topped it off. We ended up with a five year old sibling of one of the boys at an eleven year old's party! We started at a restaurant. I had to pay for a couple of extra bods and ordered him the same as everyone else. He wasn't hungry he cried and so I adjusted the numbers again. Then he might eat something he said so I added another head, he then promptly piled his plate high and sat staring at it for the next hour until we left. He then proceeded to cause a riot, fighting with his brother and crying for his mum for the next hour.
He then peed his pants.
Then he cried because he peed his pants.
All the while I am frantically phoning his mother whilst sitting in the disabled toilet breastfeeding Miss B. All I got was her answering machine.
Then I offered to dry his trousers at the hand dryer. He refused to take his trousers off because I was a stranger and so I picked him up by the waistband and aimed the dryer at the wet patch.
Then he said I was trying to burn him.
I gave him his party bag early to shut him up.
He ate all of the sweeties and went a bit mental
He fell asleep in Miss B's buggy.
After two hours all of the boys were ready to go home and gradually they all piled into their parents cars apart from this boy and his big brother. I phoned the mother but no answer and I proceeded to phone her for the next forty minutes until she eventually rolled up in her 4x4. She flung the passengers door open, looked at me over the top of her Gucci sunglasses and said "Sorry, I was getting my nails done. I hope I haven't kept you". Shut the door and drove away with the boys in the back.
I muttered expletives all the way home.