Kid’s party panic

Organising, a Christmas party for 200 or a town party for 1000, no problem .  Have me organise  my own child’s fifth birthday party for 12 and I start to sweat.

I’m not kidding.

The Rubinator turned five recently and a Batman party was high on his agenda for a perfect birthday.

Hosting it at our small abode was filling me with dread and so an alternate location, one of those where you turn up and they supply the food, drinks and a cake knife and clean up afterwards, was the answer.

There were a possible 22 preschool kids and 44 parent party guests who would need to be feed, watered and entertained.  Not to mention Batman themed paraphernalia that would need to be to be sourced. Frightening.

That’s 66 people I would need to make conversation with, remember the names of, keep in drink and food and make sure blank looks of boredom didn’t cross their brows.

Twelve was the number of preschool, swimming, playgroup and work family kids we ended up with together with their 20 significant other adults.

At five, the kids are the easy part of the party equation.  They’re not interested in organised party games they just want organised chaos.  A jumping castle, a playground or a a couple of boxes of toys and they’re happy.  They run and run and run, eat some party pies, drink some lemonade, continue to run and then blow the candles out of the butter cake.  They thank you for the party bag and collapse in a heap when they get home.

Entertaining the adults is the scariest bit.  Having not lived here long, at best, for most of them, you’ve said ‘Hello, how are you?’  At worst you’ve never seen them before.  That means some serious conversation making, lots of introductions to the other parents and a few apologies for the wholly unhealthy party food that is your mandatory for the one day of the year you let your child’s diet fly out the window.

T minus two hours and you start to panic.  Will there be be enough of that unhealthy party food to go around?   So you send your brother out to the Seven-11 for a  ‘just in case we run out of food trip’ .  He returns with the supplies. You mop your brow.  Phew, the ‘OMG what if we run out of food, how embarrassing would that be’ moment has been averted.

The party starts, the kids run off, the 20 significant other parents chat happily to the each other and their kids.  The kids come backwards and forwards from the play fort for food, cake cutting and home time.

Before you know it you have a glass of wine in your hand, the presents are packed away and you’ve got one happy birthday boy on your hands.  All has gone smoothly.  Of course you knew it would.  You were never worried.