A room full of kids. A table full of sugar. A birthday child with a God Complex. You’re gonna need a survival strategy…
- Check the dress code beforehand and don’t stint on the costume budget You know that reoccurring dream when you’re on stage naked? Or the one where you’re taking an exam with no trousers on? That’s how your kid feels when he’s the only one without a Light Sabre at the Star Wars party. Check the invite and save yourself the psychotherapy bill later.
- The wise parent secures a balloon as soon as they arrive and tethers it to their changing back to avoid a ‘where’s my balloon’ tantrum later. Don’t let it pop. #deathwish
- Eat the savouries you feel obliged to put on your kids plate if you must, but don’t expect your child to. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that kids only eat pink wafers at parties – anyone who says otherwise is a) in denial b) a spoil sport or c) not on solids yet.
- Do not mine sweep the buffet table. Those itzy-bitzy sandwiches are not canapes, they’re kids portions. And manage your expectations when it comes to your drinks – ‘fizz’ = lemonade not champagne. Beer will be the ginger variety.
- When the cake is cut, it’s every man for himself. Some idiots will send in their children. Don’t be that parent. No child should see that.
- The Entertainer is your new bestie. No matter that his trousers are suspiciously tight, his jokes years out of date and he’s strangely dead behind the eyes. The guy has a bubble machine and Cbeebies music on loop – he’s this party’s A-lister and your best hope for five minutes to yourself. Get the poor bloke a cupcake.
- When it comes to party games, don’t enforce participation. Feign exhaustion or schedule a toilet break if your child isn’t willing. It’s Musical Bumps, not musical thumps. Let’s keep it that way.
- Likewise, if your child is a natural born winner, give the other kids a break sometimes. Get tactical with the pause button in Musical Chairs in an emergency. NB It’s never acceptable to pull a chair on the birthday child.
- In the event of a disco, watch your dancing. I know you don’t get out much and the kids love the Beyonce moves you’re bustin’, but this is no time for Twerking. It’s not that kind of party.
- Party Bags. For God’s sake, get one. I don’t care if you have barge the queue, bribe the host or hang around right till the end, prolonging the party agony for hours. A child without a party bag is a danger to society. Be a responsible parent.
- Prepare for the post-party comedown – the kids equivalent of a hangover, but unmediated. Think dim lighting, limited noise and an early night. With any luck they’ll sleep through the blood sugar crash but puke possibilities remain at a peak for up to 24 hours.
No matter what happens, never fear, your child will P.A.R.T.Y on. I speak as a mummy who was reduced to tears at her own child’s 3rd birthday party because I forgot to pack HIS party box. #parentingfail. Did Bouncing Boy notice? Did he hell – too busy being the life and soul.
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