This weekend we celebrated Elle’s first birthday!! Just a few friends round for some tea and cake . . . . NOT!!!!! In my defence it was only family and some family friends, we just have a big family!!
When it comes to celebrating my children’s birthdays I very much struggle to keep things “low key.” My eldest daughter will turn 9 this year and at this point I’ve made a rod for my own back, as they say! A family birthday tea or a sleepover with friends just wouldn’t cut it! My long suffering Sister is roped in every year too! She’s been a face painter, game coordinator, (referee!! but we wont mention that!) and most memorably a disney princess, complete with full costume!! Her boyfriend at the time (now husband) was introduced to the family party tradition of going above and beyond all normal kids parties by being handed a Disney Aladdin costume by my sister which he dutifully wore! I think this was then I realised he was going to fit right in with our family!
No one can say my children’s parties aren’t a full family effort!! Grandma (my Mum) has been face painted as a tiger to portray “the tiger who came to tea” from the children’s book, complete with party hat! You don’t get out of looking ridiculous just because you are a grandparent when it comes to MY parties!!
Every year I stress myself out creating elaborate birthday parties that take up more time and effort to prepare than I have to spare, but I cant help it, its just how i am! To quote the Vengaboys, “We like to party!” And for me this is the fun bit of parenthood!! The bit you get to really wow your kids and show them you are more than a fish finger cooking, bum cleaning, slummy mummy! For one day only you get to be the fantastic mum that has given them a party they could never have imagined themselves! That one day reflects in my bank account for some time after the afore mentioned parties but we wont mention that to Daddy!
So yesterday was Elle’s first taster of the party scene when your’e one of my kids and she seemed to love it just as much as the rest of us!! There was faceprinting, glitter tattoos, floor drawing, and enough sandwiches and sausage rolls to sink a ship!! It was her party but she didn’t cry if she wanted to!! Her mum nearly did when she took the helium balloons out their bag and realised the heat had caused them to somewhat lose their “rise”. Its lame attempt at staying afloat very much resembled myself post party!
After the mammoth effort of tidying up after the party, which I was lucky enough to get loads of help with from friends and family, we retreated home to enjoy leftover cocktail sausages and cake for dinner. Caitlin pointed out that this was “not dinner food” with a turned up nose but come on you can’t have a mum who plans amazing parties AND makes you nutritious meals, be realistic kid!! She did however ask me if she was allowed a party bag like the guests at the party, and when I said of course she ecstatically replied “YES!!!! Best day ever!!” She takes the little bag of Haribos and I think to myself that its all worth it when they still appreciate the small details like a party bag!
As we sit back physically and emotionally exhausted (we carried enough food, toys, tables and chairs etc in and out of the hall to give us some serious Madonna arms!) we reflect on Elle’s first birthday party and the realisation hits me that this mammoth yearly event of organising a child’s party will now be doubled to twice yearly with the addition of our little Elle-Belle! I feel a pang of anxiety at that thought quickly followed by ideas for Caitlin’s next party in a few months!!
Thanks for reading!!