What is it about the parties kids expect nowadays? It used to be that you had a party only on those special years like turning 5 or 10 years old. There was a cake (mum baked), fizz (generally Fanta, I remember drinking so much once on my birthday that I threw up), potato chips, a few presents, a few friends and the crowd was rounded out with cousins and family!
Now it is a major bloody annual event each year. The round of birthday parties is as long as your arm that kids have to attend. Themed events, activity based, fancy dress or whatever happens to be Hollywood at the time! There is the gift that is mandatory, preferably a label of some significance and of course everyone who attends must walk off with a huge bag of goodies ranging from a sugar based hits to some handy smiggles type stationery.
Last night 11 little girls invaded at 4.30pm for three hours of on tap entertainment. Caetana turning 9 was supposed to be a "tamer" event with the big "10" looming next year and expectations that an Oscars type event will be needed for that. So arriving home a bit earlier to offer support to the preparation and fortified with a couple of Rum and Cokes, I thought "bring it on".....how bad can it be? After all, on their own, all of Caetanas friends seem lovely.
It hit like a tidal wave and when it was over the house looked like downtown Sarajevo (complete with sniper ally). The gym had been set up as the main scene of events for the Pajama party and pillow fight. There were music videos and a fish and chip dinner, cakes, pillow case races (standing in the pillow case and hopping) and so it went on. I make the following observations of a group of 8 year old girls;
- There is always one or two who are bored and feel it their duty to let you know about it. These individuals would be bored at a space shuttle launch so don't let it phase you. In fact grunt and look angry and they will eventually go away.
- They argue like crazy with each other. There is a need for the odd intervention because left unchecked it leads to tears and "hurt feelings" or war. These kids are all in the same class at school so it does make you wonder what goes on each day.
- There will be an injury requiring a band aid and the onset of at least one life threatening illness. Last night we had two girls stay over and at about 10pm one developed asthma. Of course there was no instruction manual or mention of this so after several attempts to raise the required mother an inhaler was whisked down from Mt Pleasant and the treatment duly administered.
- The gluten free kid won't be able to eat anything on the planned menu and must be specifically catered for with a specially gluten free battered hot dog (her mum dropped this in luckily) and a gluten free muffin. This will prevent a slice of the real birthday cake from inadvertently killing them.
- The kid who only likes Ice Cream cake will take it personally when she discovers the birthday cake is a banana cake and then bang on about it all night.
Overall a good time seemed to be had by all....we think. The gifts seemed to be technical and branded enough, certainly there were "wows" and "amazing" outbursts as they were opened and even one "oh my god" shouted from the bleachers.
Afterwards as Belinda and I sat back and enjoyed a late dinner and reflected, it did indeed seem like the event went off well. After all no one was killed, the cats did need counseling but seem to be responding, and our stress levels were dropping with each sip of Cabernet Merlot.
Nothing a good nights sleep and most of Saturday cleaning won't fix.
Can't wait for next years birthday party! If your life is a bit boring you should try hosting one.