It is Mini’s 5th Birthday next month, and now she’s at school, she’s excited about it and has been for months.
Literally, since just after we threw the last piece of Christmas wrapping paper out for the recycling, she has been asking about her birthday. What are we going to do for it? Can she have a party? Can she have a big cake? You get the idea.
Over the weekend, we finally sat down to officially plan the party itself. We don’t mind her having a small party, after all it’s a bunch of easy to please 4 and 5 year olds, so a bit of cake and a couple of rounds of pin the tail on the donkey like days gone by parties from my youth will be OK, right?
Mini has, shall we say, upped the modern day ante somewhat. Partly to blame is Elder, who (wrongly) suggested that Nursey Sister in Law knew someone with a bouncy castle, or access to one cheaply. Note the wrongly there. Before I had even said yes, or he had
actually listened asked properly about the availability of said bouncy castle, and despite my strict instruction to not say a word to Mini, you guessed it, he “accidentally” told her.
The first I knew that she knew was on the way to school, and, bless her, she’s crap at lying. “Daddy said not to tell you but I’m having a bouncy castle at my birthday party aren’t I mummy”. You can imagine the death stares I gave him later on. Especially when it turned out the lady no longer has access to a bouncy castle at all.
Luckily, we found that there are loads of companies online in Berkshire with bouncy castles available. I did think of having it at our local leisure centre. I thought that you can pitch up, have said party, then naff off leaving all the tidying to lesser mortals. Not the case.
Despite the website saying they hire the hall for £40 per hour, when I rang up I was told I’d need to pay for public liability insurance, pay the wages of 5 staff members, provide my own food and drink, and, should I even think of having a CD on in the background, I’d have to have some sort of performance license as well. Not to mention contacting the owners of the rights to the music as well. All in all, it ended up being quoted as close to £500 for 2 hours! Ridiculous!
Next was who to invite. Mini’s first helpful suggestion was “all of FS2”. FS2 being her entire year, bar one girl who she doesn’t like. That’s 40+ kids. Not gonna happen. So, we made a manageable list of 16 kids, plus she has family coming too.
Invites written, and we set off this morning to hand them out.
You’d think it was the Academy Awards she was handing out, such was the collective excitement (except for two of the boys she has invited who handed them straight to their Mums). Then came tears.
We forgot one for M, one of her classmates. Opps.
M cried, so Mini cried, so then one of her other friends cried. It really did seem like the cloak room would flood with tears. I apologised to M’s Mum (who luckily was fine) and promised to bring an invite later. Phew.
The theme is Pirates and Princesses. God help me, I will probably be bankrupt and on the verge of a breakdown before the party ends. There’s the party bags next. And the food (some of which I’m struggling with as a few of the kids in her class will eat Halal and I have no idea what to buy in that case).
Suggestions gratefully received from my fellow parenting comrades!
Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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