It’s about that time to start planning another birthday party, as Hannah will turn two in about 44 days time.
Yes, I am the same person who said I’d never do this again after Liam’s 2nd birthday party. I decided then and there that the next party in our house, would be in the year they turn five years old. Not because I am a party pooper, but rather because parties are just so expensive and I think when they are this small, they’d enjoy a birthday cake with a jumping castle in the back yard, just the same as they would a 5 star bash at a fancy kiddies party venue. I love birthdays, I love celebrating that person’s life on their birthday, I place great value in making a woohaa about the person who’s having a birthday – more so when it’s my own kids. But I find that kiddies parties often become more about the adults, than about the kids. And to this end, I decided that I’d do something small at home, with just their cousins and close friends until they got to an age when they could have a say about the type of celebration they wanted.
The truth is, it’s just so much simpler to go to a venue, isn’t it? I did the house party thing for both Liam and Hannah’s first birthdays and yes it was fun and everyone had a good time, but it means someone (read: me) has to prepare and make everything look pretty and make sure the house is clean and that the guest bathroom hasn’t been Liamanised (boy, my son can make a clean bathroom dirty in under 5 seconds). It means someone (read: me) must be in hostess mode all afternoon, which means that I don’t ever really unwind and enjoy myself because I’m too busy trying to make sure everyone else is having a good time. It means that someone (read: me) must clean up afterwards, and who really wants to clean up after a party, with two kids who are crashing from their sugar high and are miserable because they’ve missed their afternoon nap? Even in terms of cost, you think you are saving money by having your party at home, but you aren’t really.. perhaps you’re saving a bit on venue hire, but is the little bit you’re saving, really worth the added stress that a house party brings with it? It’s like cutting your nose to spite your face, isn’t it?
So we have decided to have a little party away from home. A party where we just pitch up half an hour before the start time, the adults relax while the kids play, we sing happy birthday and take some photos, I give them my credit card, and then we get into our cars and drive off to our clean homes.
Our local Spur has just revamped their outdoor kiddies area – specifically the toddler area, and they have a lovely new Astroturf area with little play houses, small swings and slides, those bouncy, springy wooden horseys and zebras and then of course the bigger play area for the older kids with jumping castles, climbing frames, and a basketball hoop. Sound like Papachino’s much? Oh and if you’re wondering why I’m not going with Papachino’s, it’s because they only take parties of 15! Anyway, Spur comes in the cheapest and a little party pack is included. And I think this is just A-OK for a two year old party. There’s no theme, there’s no colour scheme, there’ll be no homemade party favours – it’s just a come-as-you-are get together to wish one special little monkey-girl a very happy birthday.
All we have to do is pitch up. Oh! And order the cake! Done!