Thursday, November 4, 2010
Pass me a tranquiliser – it’s birthday party time.
Anyone who has a child knows the stress. The offspring start planning the “big event” the minute they have gotten over the euphoria of the last birthday party. The annual party to celebrate them getting closer to independence and leaving home is a SERIUUUUS business.
Do they think for a moment of the pressure that their parents are faced with? “How many brats do I invite?” “If I host it at home – will I be perceived as a bore/battler/tight arse/ bad, bad parent? “If I don’t give the little darlings a drop dead gorgeous party pack with a few diamonds or platinum bars in it, my kid will be ostracised from the “in crowd” “Where will I get a (place your child’s current obsession here) cake from without it costing the same as the GDP of a small country – and be so big it could probably feed every resident of that country?” You get the picture? You got the picture when your 1st born turned one, right?
I have had my daughter’s parties at Mitchell Park (don’t complain – getting pooped on by a bird is lucky you ungrateful sprog); a hellishly expensive spot where the monsters played on jumping castles and ball ponds all afternoon (I know you are suffering from heat stroke, just drink some more red juice and please don’t pass out until your Mom gets back) or Durban’s “when all else besides your bank balance fails” venue – uShaka Marine World.
As a member of the Ama Glug Glug Wine Club, I get invited to “wine clubbers in training” birthday parties. For various reasons, most of the Gluggers offspring are still short people i.e. under 8 years old. I generally do not attend. I know! Bad friend! Duly ashamed and full of remorse.
I did go to a 3rd birthday party the other week though. No hired venue – it was at their home. The children were of varying ages. It was so good to see the older kids playing games like hide-and-go-seek and catches. Not an electronic hand held device in sight. The younger kids had a ball with paints, playdo and Marie biscuit decorating. No hired entertainer/clown/jumping castle/petting zoo. Just good old fashioned playtime. Kids and parents alike had a pleasant, stress-free morning.
Now, anyone know what is “in” for teenagers parties besides sleepovers and movies? The Alien’s 14th birthday is fast approaching and her only bright spark idea so far has been taking a few friends to the Roma Revolving Restaurant. What?! You are turning 14, my girl, not 40. How about Ushaka????
I await your clever ideas, fellow parents and party planners.....