My twins turned nine last week. I tried to convince them that birthday parties were uncool for the tween set, but they didn’t buy it. They’re junior economists who realize that bigger parties mean more gifts, not to mention more chances for Mom to officially lose it, something that usually results in more TV time.
Magically, we survived. So did the kids, mostly. I only had to make two semi-emergency phone calls to parents. That’s only 20% of the guests!
Without further ado, here is The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Hosting a Kid’s Birthday Party:
- Book it somewhere else. Sell your RRSPs if you have to. This will save you from having to clean your house twice. Trust me, it’s worth it.
- Book the party right after a meal so you won’t have to feed those cute cretins anything substantial.
- Photocopy the invites. It saves your hand from cramping or you from redoing your son’s attempt at penmanship.
- Arrive early. Bribe the gym supervisor to keep all the kids an extra five minutes.
- Tell the parents the party ends 15 minutes before it actually does. This will save your sanity.
- When parents drop off their kids, get them to write down their phone numbers. You appear responsible and—if you parent like me—you’re going to need them.
- Apologize profusely for not knowing Guest C is diabetic and that you only have sugary snacks, including fruit.
Attempt to have a no-work-needed theme. I went with Canadian. Instead of a cake, we had Tim Hortons donuts. We also had Ketchup chips, which Twitter assures me are indeed a phenom north of the 49th parallel. Other easy themes are The Colour Beige, which I did half-heartedly.
- When you walk the kids to the gym with the eager instructor, tell them to close their eyes as they walk beside the party room that was decorated by Martha Stewart.
- While the kids are in the gym with their instructor, work on your blog post, even if autocorrect has no clue what you’re doing. Or does it?
- When the 65 minutes of gym time is over, insist that the kids go wash their hands. This wastes time, which helps the party to finish faster.
- Don’t freak out when four girls come screaming back from the bathroom informing you that Girl 5 has vomited all over the hallway. Don’t freak out when you realize she had rice for lunch. Don’t freak out when you step in the puke. Call the mom.
- Don’t freak out when the child with diabetes takes his blood sugar level and asks you to call his mom.
- Laugh when William’s friend gives him a card addressed to another boy.
- Send your daughter home with a friend for an impromptu play date.
- Be thankful your son received Star Wars Lego (gift it yourself if you have to) so that he’ll be preoccupied for the next two hours at home. This not only allows his donut sugar high to subside, but it also gives you substantial time to have more than one glass of wine before your AWOL husband gets home from the flea market.
- Tell your kids over dinner that for their 10th birthday they each get to choose one friend and go to a movie. The same movie.
What kind of birthday parties did you have as a kid?
What kind of birthday parties do you host?
Have you ever had someone else’s child get sick or injured in your presence?