Sydney Mum finding motherhood is totes hectic
The sun shone, the cut lawn was inviting and it was time to break out the balloons, bunting, streamers, mini disco balls and find the air pump in the shed. Frozen Party Round 2 was on.
At 9am I looked at the clock. In two hours the party would start, then 2 hours later it would be over. Hectic plus. I even had a clipboard with the schedule for the morning. Who was this organised mother? It looked like me… but as the day unfolded, let’s see.
Item 1: Craft table. Make your own party bags. I read somewhere that giving kids a craft activity to do when they first arrive gave them a focus and helpfully kept them occupied. I’m not into laying out the sweets first thing. Craft first; sweets later (if you’re lucky)
Success. Everyone squirted coloured glitter glue, stuck on paper snowflakes and one lovely mum took charge and supervised the chaos.
Item 2: Put on a Frozen style cape. Figuring every kid likes a cape I bought metres of sparkly snowflake fabric and made 18 capes. I studied websites of simple -to-make-capes involving cutting a toile first, laying out the shapes, measuring to each child, trimming the edges and securing with double sided velcro. So what I really made was 18 squares of cut fabric. Tie them round the neck, presto. Frayed and uneven, but hey, it’s a cape.
Not a single child wanted a cape.
Food time: Sister-in-law brought sushi, which may not be exciting to her, but is deeply impressive and wanting by all of us. Aldi came good with lots of pastizzi’s, as-healthy-as-possible chips and cheezels. Frozen coloured blue water in must-have water dispenser is more decoration than anything. And I forgot to draw Olaf right way round on the plastic cups. Fruit poppers are way more popular and each child aims to drink only part of each bottle before losing it and opening another. I’ve learnt that small packets and individual drinks are way more popular and easier to clean up.
Item 3: Game time. I asked husband to come up with games for 4 yr olds. He looked a me blankly, I said google it. Musical chairs or statues, pass the parcel and treasure hunts are all popular. I vetoed the parcel as it appears everyone needs a present in each layer and with 25 kids that was too exhausting. Husband was yelling for kids to start playing and they all ignored him, even with his super loud authoritarian voice. He dejected look turned to determination. A few minutes later I heard ‘Who wants to play Catch the Water Bomb!” A large crowd of small people formed very quickly.
Success but I failed to get the super new ice lollies out as a party reward. Left with 2 boxes of ice fruit in freezer
Item 4: Lunch while assembling party bags, getting cake organised and continuing to find half empty poppers on each surface. I loose all my counting ability in these situations. Same happens when trying to work out a bill at the end of a dinner, I just can’t count. Luckily another mum helped me count the kids, check the bags and distribute. The birthday girl was very insistent on party bags; like she’d had a revelation at their existence.
Success but again forgot to insert extra sticker boxes.
Item 5: The Cake. The call had gone out that the cake was over a week old, mostly stale and had been through a week of heat waves. However it was an Anna Frozen Doll Cake; the only viable cake. We had back-up cupcakes and adult cake (not what you think, just not cake covered in blue icing).
Success; people seem to enjoy stale cake!
Item 6. Goodbyes. Yes, goodbye everyone. Wrenching kids away from toys, opening other kids presents and wiping their faces, checking underpants are dry, then leaving quickly with party bags.
Finally. The Mess. Remnants of just about anything, plus more mess, from front door to end of the backyard. It was a party bomb and even a week later small parts of balloons are prised from parts of the garden I thought were clean.
I’ve also learned to have an items list. I missed giving out ice fruits and the stickers which is now just a pain to work out how to either give them away or slowly work through them. My skills at giving home kids parties are still not perfect.. Damn it!
Conversation between husband and I later that night.
“I can totes understand why people have parties in play centres.”
“Me too, never ever doing that again”