Party Time!

Well, it’s that point in the school term, when despite the fact that I actually enjoy my job, I nonetheless turn into Jack Black’s character in School of Rock, at the end of his first day as a substitute teacher, when he legs it out of the classroom and into his van before any of the students have had a chance to leave. After tomorrow, I only have to work one day until 3rd May (loving the fact I work Mondays and therefore benefit from Bank Holidays, and thank you William and Kate for arranging your wedding to my benefit also!).

I always look forward to the Easter holidays, because it’s often the first holidays in the school year where you actually have a chance to relax, as Christmas is always pretty frantic, with the preparations, then needing to make sure you see everyone, so I often go back to work not feeling that refreshed.

However, due to the extra Bank Holidays, this holiday looks set to be particularly special, because my children will be celebrating their birthdays, and Mummy and Daddy will be off to celebrate for both. My son turns 2 on April 12th (which I’ve heard is free Ben & Jerry’s day, not sure what this is all about, but he’s a big fan of cookie dough, so will keep an ear out!) and we’re planning a visit to Peppa Pig World, weather permitting. We weren’t lucky enough to get freebie tickets before it opened like a few of my Twitter buddies, but I’ve enviously read their reviews and am getting ready to slum with the rest of the general public next week! My daughter will be 4 on the May Bank Holiday Monday, and again, weather permitting, we’ll be going to Moors Valley Country Park, for a family day with lots of picnic and play.

With a nearly 4 year old on board though, I was never going to get away without the ‘P’ word. Yes, the party has been booked! Isn’t it ridiculous how much a kids party costs?! I could clothe them both for a year, including shoes, for the price of the party!

We didn’t have much luck with birthdays last year. These are pretty much the only pictures of my son on his first birthday:

Yes, his sister gave him the gift of chickenpox, and he was such a poorly boy with it. A lot of our friends have said they’ve never seen someone with chickenpox that bad.

My daughter (aka Upsy Daisy) did manage to celebrate, but it was only the day before that she decided to puke her guts up in the car, on both of our car seats. Never try and take the fabric off a Maxi Cosi, ours never recovered after I tried to clean them!

Then it was my birthday and I had tonsillitis, which I hadn’t had since I was about 12, and had completely forgotten how grotty it was, and to top it all off, I had a yucky stomach bug on my husband’s birthday too.

We’re hoping for more luck this year, but back to the party. This year, my two children are having a joint birthday party. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it’s getting to the actual organisation, I’m starting to doubt myself.

I’ve always veered away from organised parties at venues like soft play centres, partly because of the restrictions on numbers, partly because of that ‘lack of personal touch’ but mostly because I thought it was very expensive, but it seems that it doesn’t really matter what you do, the price soon mounts up! We’re doing a joint party, so you could argue that this should cost more like the price of two parties, but last year, we just hired a local community centre, and asked a friend who has lots of experience ‘doing’ children’s parties, to do some games etc. and it was still the same price as an organised party at the local soft play would’ve been!

It’s not because we’re trying to save money, that we’re doing a joint party, which is a good job. I’m sure most people meet other new mums when their children are babies, then grow up together, meaning that all of the children’s birthday’s fall around the same time. For my best Mummy friends, this happens in May, and it’s always really difficult to arrange who’s going to celebrate when. It also doesn’t help, when your husband announces that he’s going a stag do the weekend of your daughter’s birthday! (Incidentally, he’d never miss her actual birthday!) It really was just the most convenient date and it fell between their birthdays, so we thought ‘why not?!’

At the moment, my daughter is totally obsessed with Disney, so we decided on a Disney theme. We’ve told all the invitees that it’s optional Disney fancy dress, because while my daughter feels this should be compulsory, we didn’t want every single guest to feel compelled to go out and buy an outfit! Rapunzel and Woody will be the guests of honour.

My first week of the holidays will definitely be geared towards party preparations this year. We’ve hired the studio at my gym for the party, and they’ve agreed to do some hot food for us which will save some hassle, but what to do for all the other bits?

  • One big, joint birthday cake or two?
  • If it’s optional fancy dress, should we do prizes?
  • Party bags? I’ve still got an abundance of malfunctioning yo-yos and whistles from last year. Is it the party bags they like? I was thinking of getting some small presents then giving children a colour coded lucky dip so they got a present that they might actually use/like, rather than cheap tat that won’t actually work.
  • Games: I was thinking perhaps some active games for the 4 year olds, with perhaps a pass the parcel for the 2 year olds.

I guess I should enjoy this year though, because I’ve heard that once your child starts school, it’s protocol to invite their entire class!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Moiderer
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 13:17:05

    I hope it all goes well and you enjoy the free time! That is an awful looking case of chickenpox – your poor boy


  2. easylifestyles
    Apr 07, 2011 @ 17:09:44

    Another great post. Thanks for sharing this. I enjoy reading your blog very much. Spending time with my family and doing fun activities is something that truly makes me happy.

    Check out these Family Activities


    Apr 17, 2011 @ 07:24:33

    wow, that chickenpox looked terrible, poor little thing. I hope you survived the party this year


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