Sunday, 7 December 2014

Kids Birthday Parties: The Dream V The Reality

When I was a kid there were two options. 1) you had a party at home. Non of the parents stayed. Overjoyed at two hours away from their children. You played crap games. Expected to get crap gifts and the party bags consisted of a balloon and a bit of squashed cake or 2) you had a McDonalds party. That. Was. It.

And then? Pinterest was invented. And it became a whole new ball game. Long gone are the days of pass the parcel where you either won. Or you got nothing in between each wrapper. Long gone are the days of musical chairs where you would fight for the death until you got that last chair and the only prize was 'the honour'. Now? It's all shabby chic table displays, face painters, juggling baboons who sing Frozen whilst making magic cupcakes with their feet (OK I exaggerated).

Unless? You are 'creatively challenged' like me. Full of good intentions. Full of dreams of impressing other parents with my creative flair. But in reality full of sh*t. So here is Kids Birthday Parties. My Dreams V The Reality.

The Big Idea
Dream: The theme is decided six months before the event. You immediately create a Pinterest board based on this theme. And scour the net for hours each night. Looking at little teeny tiny impractical milk glass bottles to fill with baby pink milkshakes that, quite frankly are a danger to the kids, but will look amazing on your Insta-sham.

Reality: The theme is decided six months before the event. You immediately create a Pinterest board based on this theme. You look at it once, for ten minutes. Immediately forget about it and a fortnight before type 'Hello Kitty Party Range' into Amazon. And buy it all in a frenzied panic.


Like a ruddy pig in sh*t. Look at that face!

The Invitation
Dream: You invite all your daughters little friends. They are overjoyed and this will be the highlight of their year. Between them the parents discuss what wonders you will prepare and how will you top last year?

Reality: You leave it a little bit too late and loads of the f*ckers are busy! How dare they have a life that doesn't revolve around your child? You plan to immediately cut them out of your life forever. Then get a grip.

The Preparation
Dream: It will be a family affair. Together you will have planning meetings where you will put your Pinterest ideas into action. Little striped paper bags will be filled with unique and interesting bits and bobs chosen individually for each child attending. Your husband will marvel at your creativeness whilst helping you make Hello Kitty biscuits.

Reality: You. Do. Everything. Yourself. Bags of Poundland and Home Bargains crap fill your spare room. Your husband will half arsedly fill three party bags with balloons and a whole host of other crap no parent wants the night before. And even then he will forget to put the haribo in.

Cake made by my close and intimate friend. Asda. 

The Big Day
Dream: You put all your Pinterest ideas into practise. You have hired a little room in a local boutique. Your table displays are breath taking. On arrival a children's entertainer takes over. You and your friends leisurely drink tea and chat about how sh*t so and so's party was last week.

Reality:
YOU SWEAT ALL DAY AND DRINK TOO MUCH TEA AND ARE MANIC AND WORRY AND SWEAT AGAIN AND RUN OUT OF ASDA OWN BRAND WOTSITS.

The Aftermath
Dream: Your child is the happiest you have ever seen them. They laugh. They play. They eat. They dance. They lock this party away in their memory as you are their Mum and they know you love them and that you have tried your very best to make their day special for them.

Reality: See above.

So screw you Pinterest. You are amazing, your little ideas are beautiful and stunning and gorgeous. And the very talented parents that execute them are clever and their photos albums will be full of wonderful table displays, whilst mine will be full of tables full of fruit shoots and squashed frazzles. However. Both albums? Will have happy smiley kids. And the reality is? That is all that matters really isn't it?

73 comments:

  1. So true. N had a forest school party last year (the original plan was pray for good weather and chuck them all out in the garden to play before a picnic!) due to me winning the day nursery raffle for a party in their treehouse.
    Thankfully he just wants a birthday lunch this year - the problem being he wants it on his birthday...on a Wed when I'm at work, he's at nursery, and so are his friends. He doesn't seem to grasp this fact. Funnily enough he has requested musical chairs after seeing it on Topsy and Tim.

    I was planning to invite his cousin over for tea on his birthday (or the weekend after), and then do something outside in the summer when I can hopefully rely on better weather.

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    1. A tea with his cousin sounds lovely! My girl to be honest probably would have been happy at home. I just couldn't stand the mess! x

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  2. Agreed. Love Pinterest, but it sure has a lot to answer for! :-)

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    1. I love it too! But it does wind me up as I can't do it! x

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  3. hahaha! So funny! My girls birthdays usually fall over the summer holidays so I get out of holding a big party with all their friends....hehehe

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    1. JEL! Mine are in Dec and Jan so we are always in doors x

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  4. I totally agree with you and oh yes pinterest has so much to answer for lol.
    Awww how gorgeous does your little girl look her and ever so happy bless her!

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  5. Looks like she had an amazing party!!! Where can I get hold of those juggling baboons? :-) x

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  6. I am holding off on 'actual' parties for as long as possible. A barbecue is about as good as it gets here! x

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    1. That's the way forward lovely! Just maybe not for us in December x

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  7. Bless her! The face says it all. Who needs all that beautiful stuff - it's not for the kids at all. Glad she had such a good time.

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    1. She had a lovely time. Bar all the crying when she didn't win musical statues! x

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  8. This really made me laugh! I'm currently bang in the middle of birthday party planning hell - my daughter's 4th birthday party is on Sunday, and she wanted a "Frozen" theme. Urgh! Yesterday I spent all morning attempting to bake a Frozen themed cake (after spending ca £30 on materials like cake toppers, glitter, snow flakes etc!) and failed miserably. Off to Tesco's today to buy her a shop made cake for a tenner - I don't think it will make a difference to her, but will keep me sane! :-)

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    1. Oh no! My girl did not care a jot about the cake. She just looked. Blew the candles out and then rammed it in her gob! x

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  9. I'm breaking into a cold sweat after reading this as it's my sons party Sunday and I forgot the crap that goes into sorting it all. Arghhhhh
    Ps macdonalds parties were AMAZING! I miss the hamburgular...

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    1. They were so amazing! My Dad suggested doing them for my girl. I'm not sure if they even do them anymore? x

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  10. Ahhhh she is way so cute!! Glad you had a fab party despite all the stress. I know how you feel, our 4th was only a few months back *shudders*
    You did it though! fab post xxx

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    1. Thanks lovely. And thanks again so much for sharing. Really appreciated it x

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  11. You missed off blazing rows with husband and 'let's be happy for the party shall we?'through gritted teeth as the first guest arrives? Love it, and well done - she looks v happy! Xx

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    1. I just could not FACE putting the real life rows and tears. Not yet...Too raw x

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  12. Fab post. I enjoyed it even more as I didn't bother with a party for my daughter this year. Felt bad for oooh 10 seconds about that one. Well done for surviving.

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    1. Thanks lovely! We have avoided it so far for my son. He doesn't care! x

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  13. Love this . I loved macdonalds party's . This is why we have opted for a visit to the zoo

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    1. Zoo and soft plays? Both fab options! x

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  14. We opted out of a party this year, and I'm really glad we did. Nothing to stress about!

    Perfect timing with this post as we were at our friends little boys 5th birthday party yesterday. I think you're own kids party is tolerable but someone else's kids party is enough to make me weep. Luckily there was wine on hand! xx

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    1. Ha ha ha! I saw the picture on instagram and it really made me laugh! x

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  15. Love this...spot on! Funnily enough my kid's parties never make it onto Instagram! And how good were McDonalds parties if you were lucky you even got chosen by the party girl /boy to go into the kitchens and make a burger..that was the super highlight!! You little girl looks super chuffed with her party and that is all that matters well done you and pound land and asda...you are our party heros! X

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    1. Or chosen to go in the big oversize freezer and you would lol and lol when they pretended to shut the door! x

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  16. Love this. You are totally right. And McDonalds and at home parties still hold a special place in my heart :-) xx

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  17. Ahh, she looks so happy and that's all that matters. Now you can rest and start on the boy's pinterest bday board. ;) xx

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    1. His board will say the following:
      Wacky. Warehouse.

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  18. She does look ruddy happy. I've not really done a proper party yet so sense I have this all to come!! This has made me chuckle muchly xxx

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    1. You have bab and it really is DOOOOM! And why do I sweat so so much! x

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  19. "Your good friend Asda" - pahaha! Your point is brilliant and very well made my lovely. Kids just want sugar, mates and mummy. End of. Or in my case, daddy. Sigh. Happy birthday little lady! xxx

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    1. My good friend Asda is always on hand to get me through the tough times bab x

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  20. Hahahaaaa are you in my house??? The first one was completely me. I created a minions Pinterest board with all the pretty handmade minion stuff. Then proceeded to order the lot from Amazon. I'm not even sure what I ordered!

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    1. Ha ha ha! At least we do try a little bit eh? x

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  21. Ah love u! It is so true, I had so many home parties and the theme?? Uh duh it is a party, that is the theme. Got Ls first bday on Saturday and i am taking full advantage of the fact she wont remember and am doing nothing much besides a cake and some balloons. Lol x

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    1. That's made me giggle. That the theme is that it is a party. Hilarious bab! x

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  22. And the reality is.....kids don't care a hoot how much time, money or effort has been spent on their party. If their friends are there and enough chocolate to sink a battle ship, they're happy. Your daughter proves that! Great post as always x x

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    1. Exactly! Thanks lovely. I drew my eyebrows on yesterday. And thought fondly of you x

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  23. hahahah this made me laugh!!! And so true aswell. We decided to throw a gruffalo party and I had all these lovely pics pinned on pinterest - in reality the party looked nothing like I imagined but the kids had a great time none the less! We also had a bright idea to hire a gruffalo costume and my husband had all these fancy ideas about making a cave for him to appear out of.........we left it very last minute and the cave ended up being a gazebo with a couple of christmas trees outside!! http://entertainingelliot.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/hosting-gruffalo-themed-birthday-party.html

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    1. Ohhhh shall go and have a read later it sounds AMAZING! x

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  24. I left Austin's party prep so late this year that the only slot our venue had was the morning of his best friend's party. So they had to miss each others' bashes...hey ho, at least that was a way to keep the numbers down ;-/

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    1. Boom! Yes get another one off the list! Ha ha ha! x

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  25. Ah yes - so very true. Especially the bit about doing everything whilst hubby fills a couple of party bags and forgets the Haribo - yes, that sounds like party planning in our house too! But as you say, the children think it's magical even if it isn't Pinterest-worthy and that really is what matters :-)

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    1. Exactly. My girl loved it and thought it was fun so at the end of the day? That is all what really matters x

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  26. So funny - you are brilliant!!! My tot is only 2 so not had much party experience but for her first birthday I did the pinterest thing and was exhausted! And, she cried the whole day. So, this year we went to Peppa Pig world, ate cake by our friend - Tesco - have you met? Great cakes…off peppa pig plates from Amazon and she had a ball! Lesson learnt! My parties growing up were all in my hans garden and some of my best memories. You daughter looks like she had a BLAST! Brilliant post - I think you our my new fave blogger!!! xxx

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    1. HOORAH! What an honour. Tesco sounds lovely? I bet she is a good cook. She had a fab time hun. She really did! x

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  27. I love this post, it is so true.....I was constantly running around on the day of my lg's 3rd this yr, it went by in seconds for me and I didn't really see what was going on. G was exhausted after but everyone told me she had fun lol. I just have memories of being utterly manic and I still worry the other nursery mums will think I'm nuts! I planned it for so long getting bits n bobs along the way to spread out the cost and actually had bloody amazing party bags and made a frozen cake myself but so many things went wrong and didn't help it being so hot the icing started going to soft whilst decorating or having noone to mind G whilst I did it and her having a massive I'm exhausted crying session for an hour. And then the stero I had for the venue wasn't loud enough!! The most stressful thing ever, but as I said every said all the kids had a great time and I think G's favourite part was getting her face paintd like a terrifying frog as she'd pointed it out a few days before in mummies last minute research! I sent invites out late too, as didn't sort out venue til late so some of her pals (inc her boy crush at nursery) were busy. I ended up with next to no photo's which is the annoying part. My cousin and her nana have still to share them with me! I expect I'll have some by the time she is 4. Taking a break next year and having a day out, no party!! Glad yours was enjoyable :) xx

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    1. Oh no! You seemed to have a similar experience to my girls first birthday party. We had it at home and I brought so much stuff and thought it was going to be amazing. But I just sweated and shouted at my husband the whole time! It was so stressful! My boy didn't even have a first birthday party. Poor sod x

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  28. This kind of thing brings me out in a cold sweat. I effing cannot STAND parties generally (still can't believe I had a wedding) but everyone is always so pro-party. When Gwenn was 1 my sister-in-law and mother-in-law were HORRIFIED that we didn't throw her a party. She's 1 - she couldn't give. The politics of invitations is what scares me most. I'm considering home schooling .... x. #sharewithme

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    1. Oh my girl was brutal. She wanted six friends and that was it. She didn't care about offended anyone! And the teacher handed them out for me. BOOM! x

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  29. Cute Post and very true! Such a panic to get kids birthdays in order!

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  30. Love this post. I have done some parties where I have lovingly made crafts and stuff. I don't bother anymore and this year actually have out some invites the day before my little ones (gym/crèche just bring a cake) party. My excuse the baby was only 2 weeks old but still felt guilty! X

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    1. Oh they won't remember. The parties are more for us aren't they??? x

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  31. Yes!! Totally this!! A perfect Pinterest party surely doesn't really exist anyway does it!!!? Love it x

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    1. Certainly not in this neck of the woods beaut! x

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  32. Fab hun. This really made me laugh, she looks so happy! #ShareWithMe xx

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    1. Thanks lovely. She had a really fab time x

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  33. Love this post hon, just fab, funny and spot on! As long as the kids are happy that's all that matters. I loved the crap parties I had as a kid and hope to recreate that feeling for Monkey, screw pinterest! :) xx #sharewithme

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  34. Great post, really made me laugh as its all true. I too start out with great intentions and end up in the reality of it all a week or so before the main event!

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  35. Oh this is genius because it's all true!!! Love Insta-sham!! That actually made me laugh out loud. Why do we put so much pressure on what should be a happy, joyful day? Fab post! And a belated happy birthday to your girl. Looks like she had a great time xx #sharewithme

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  36. Love this post. You are SO right- as long as there is some kind of nod towards the fact that its their birthday, the kids are happy. x x x

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  37. One hundred percent agree I am obsessed with pinterest but man i am the biggest pinterest fail mother ever!!! Perfect post hun. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me Happy Holidays! #sharewithme

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  38. Haha I love this. This totally resonates with me as I'm gearing up for Ava's 3rd birthday party next Saturday xx

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  39. Oh man, this resonates! It's my daughters 8th birthday party on 1st August and we are having a party at home (think fete/garden party themeish) we've invited 35!!! Kids and so far 21 have accepted with only 2 declines I was expecting more to say no due to it being the holidays and I woke up at 3am last night in a cold sweat - what if it rains, where the bloody hell will I put them! #prayforaniceday010815!!!!!

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