Fringe Box



Opinion: Mum About Town – Birthday Parties

Published on: 5 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 5 Mar, 2013

Mum about TownThe latest of our Mum About Town opinion articles written by “Towny Mummy”. This time she writes about a fairytale castle party and a collapsing Thomas cake. . .

It is 9.45pm and the evening has passed in a blur. After getting the children to sleep, I have walked downstairs, washed up and checked my emails. I am now considering going to bed. I wonder if it will ever be possible again to do anything productive in the evenings.

It seems that every other person I know has a birthday in February. Not sure why, but it definitely seems to be party season. A few months back, a friend and I decided to have a joint party for our girls who were born three days apart and are both turning two.

As the day approaches though, I am feeling slightly nervous. There are quite a few children coming and I don’t want the two-year-olds to be overwhelmed and intimidated at what is supposed to be their party.

I can never resist the temptation to do something a bit special, not lavish but memorable. My son’s birthday is in September and so far we have been able to do outdoorsy, running around parties which suit him down to the ground. We had a picnic at Frensham one year and a picnic with silly races and a treasure hunt at Waverly Abbey ruins last year, and they both were great fun. But a February birthday calls for something different – a hall. We are hiring the lovely Shaftesbury Hall for the afternoon and getting a bouncy castle. As I write this, I am aware that the party is only a week away and this is mostly distressing because there is a lot that I haven’t even thought about yet.

The day comes and goes in a blur. There are minor catastrophes when we can’t unlock the hall door, when my son chews open a glow stick and when little Lizzy takes a swig from a tube of bubble mixture. But all in all we have a lovely time.

Bouncy castle at the party in Shaftesbury Hall.

Bouncy castle at the party in Shaftesbury Hall.

My husband is on bouncy castle patrol to make sure the little ones don’t get squashed, and there is a good balance of different things going on.

There is of course the bouncy castle but we also make fairy wings and decorate shields. There are hobby horses and paper swords for jousting and cupcakes for decorating.

I can’t take all the credit though; my co-organiser and her partner did a sterling job at preparing all the crafty bits to be ready on the day. As a mum who is relatively new to the world of children’s parties, I actually find it surprisingly easy. I cobble together a rendition of ‘We’re going on a dragon hunt’ to find my husband/dragon hiding in a tipi and the children all love it.

Fun party games.

Fun crafty things

They search for cut out paper keys hiding around the room and open a treasure chest filled with golden chocolate coins and are delighted. We give them some simple party fare and they are as happy as Larry.

Intense concentration!

Intense concentration!

Perhaps it could be that we have not yet ventured into the age where parents leave their child at your party unaccompanied! That will be a whole other ball game but for now, I am content that my daughter and her little friend had a lovely party, and her favourite bit of all? The cake.

I had been asking her what she wanted and being only one nearly two, she answered with ridiculous things such as ‘a Daddy cake’, or ‘a toilet cake’, saying mostly whatever was near her at the time. She eventually settled for a Thomas the Tank Engine cake (She has an older brother).

Delicious cakes.

Delicious homemade cakes.

I thought this would be fine until the evening before the party when I, my husband and my mum all tried to do the cake together! Not a good combination. We left it in a towering mess and I literally dreamt about collapsing Thomas cakes.

The next morning, a pale pink and pale blue Thomas was cobbled together and the day was pretty much saved by strawberry bootlaces which made it actually look like a train. Anyway she loved it and that is all that matters!

After we had packed up and gone home, I breathed a sigh of relief and as much as they are fun, I felt somehow glad that it would be a long time until the next one…

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