Rebecca Fletcher from ‘Margot tries the Good Life’ tells Country Child about the thrills and spills (probably literally) of planning a children’s birthday!
Anyone else taking a nice deep breath now that Christmas is over and a New Year is with us? I for one am ready to get back to the old routine! The lead up to the biggest day of the year is always filled with festive fever in our house. Not just because it’s Christmas but because we have Poppy, my youngest’s birthday just before it. Believe me, the week before Christmas is NEVER a good time to try and organise a child’s birthday party, dear Reader. However, I suppose I ought to consider myself very fortunate that Poppy has been a punctual child from birth and arrived in the early hours of her due date and not on Christmas Eve when the hospital had scheduled a caesarean if she had been overdue.
Children’s parties. I’m sure I can’t be alone in dreading children’s parties at the best of times?! Hosting them, organising them, even going to them…..you get the general gist, I’m sure dear Reader. PLEASE don’t get me wrong – I am not some sort of birthday party Grinch. It’s just that children’s birthday parties always make me inclined to lose all sense of proportion. Is Primrose’s party going to be original enough? Should we invite the whole year group or in Poppy’s case, the whole nursery? Is the entertainer going to be entertaining enough? Ridiculously, I even found myself worrying about the parents coming along to the party being disappointed if no alcohol was laid on for them. Don’t tell anyone, dear Reader, but I once took a 3 year old Primrose to a party where I found myself longing for a large gin and tonic and a lie down in a darkened room, a mere twenty minutes after arrival. I was not forearmed with the custom of dropping your child off to parties and returning at cake time at that point in my parenting rollercoaster. When did children’s parties become such a minefield for parents? What happened to good old fashioned musical chairs and party bags that didn’t require parents to re-mortgage the house?! We always used to play the game where you had to throw the dice and get a six before donning a hat, scarf and gloves and cutting up a huge bar of dairy milk with a knife and fork. I seem to remember many a party desperately trying to cram as much chocolate into my mouth as possible before the next person threw a six! Bliss for children and zero hassle for grown ups.
Farms in the garden, soft play shenanigans, tea parties with fairies and pixies…..we’ve organised all kinds of big bashes – all have been memorable for better and for worse! However, without fail, my real party nemesis is the CAKE – not content with simply buying one, somehow every year I make it my working mother’s mission to come up with some ludicrously themed cake, GBBO ‘show-stopper’ style, all hand made of course. I still haven’t learned my lesson from the ‘pirate ship’ year when I stayed up until 3am trying to create authentic chocolate finger ‘teak’ decking. It would be fair to say that I am not Mary Berry’s double or anything close.
Still my darling girls take my party organisation madness in their stride. Primrose has never been that fussed on parties and would rather have a select group at home to make things or a trip out to the cinema. Whilst, Poppy’s main focus at most parties is how quickly she can get to the party rings and crisps and what’s in the party bag.
So when party day dawned, we opted for a favourite in our household, a Punch and Judy puppet theatre. Was it a success? Apart from the terrifying puppet lady who managed to silence the murmur of parents in just one sentence, I would say I haven’t seen a room full of 3 year olds quite so enthralled and grown ups so entertained in years. I put it down to the giant giraffe. “Now that’s the way to do it….”
Read more of Rebecca’s journey’s on http://margottriesthegoodlife.com/
Photograph courtesy of Millie Pilkington Photography