The Several (many many) Steps of Organising a Children’s Birthday Party

Dedicated to my beautiful, not a baby any more, Lala who is turning 3.

  1. Say there is no way you are going to organise a party; they’re expensive and very knackering.
  2. Listen as your 5 year old tells your 2 year old that they have to have a party; over and over again.
  3. Smile and nod when 2 year old asks for a party. Secretly decide to organise a day trip instead.
  4. 6 weeks before birthday feel guilty and start looking for a party venue, because there is no way it’s happening round your house; 7 little five year olds in April taught you a lesson.
  5. Tell yourself that no one answering your enquiry e-mails straight away is a sign and go back to day trip plan.
  6. 3 missed calls and some answerphone messages later, realise you have indeed booked the hall for child’s birthday!
  7. Go on Party Pieces website for some idea of a theme. Have a panic attack because you’re a bit of an anxious over thinker. Do nothing.
  8. Panic buy some multi coloured bubbles themed plates and napkins randomly in Sainsbury’s on the way home from work one day.
  9. Go back the next day for the matching invitations.
  10. Write invitations and hope that they are handed over by nursery and pre-school as you don’t know several of the children your child wants to invite let alone the parents.
  11. Panic again that your friends won’t get the invites you’ve posted so create Facebook event for it.
  12. Calm down slightly when friends accept.
  13. Try to forget about party for a couple of weeks as there’s not a lot you can do until a couple of days before.
  14. Think about it anyway.
  15. Try to be proactive and buy a lot of sweets in order to make the party bags.
  16. Decide that Haribo and mini marshmallows are now the devil’s food and you never want to see them ever again.
  17. Week before go shopping with birthday girl for more food. Forget to make a list and consequently fail to buy a few things.
  18. Just randomly.
  19. Two days before party go food shopping again. This time have panic attack in Asda whilst looking at cakes as you can’t decide what to get. Leave without birthday cake.
  20. Day before go to Marks and Spencer and buy a Colin the Caterpillar cake; Colin won’t let you down. Also buy a small bog standard cake just in case.
  21. Go home and get everything out just to check you’ve got what you need.
  22. Confer with partner over what you have and even though he and you agree there’s enough, worry about it.
  23. 11pm night before rummage in the cupboard for the bunting you know is there somewhere.
  24. Look for matches and candles.
  25. Go to bed
  26. Day of party wake up determined it will all be good. Resist the urge to be rude to your children when they wake you up really excited at 5.30am.
  27. Make a lot of sandwiches whilst telling your over excited children to go away.
  28. Herd everyone into the car. Then remember to put all the food and other bits in the boot.
  29. Try not to swear, this is supposed to be fun.
  30. Get to venue, hope you’ve remembered the key they sent and set everything up (because that’s the easy bit isn’t it?!!!)

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