Whether you’re holding your baby’s first birthday bash or are mentally preparing yourself for your toddler's fourth party in two weeks (breathe!), there are some things that you just know are going to happen.
1. The unexpected guest
You spent hours pouring over the list of your toddler’s friends at nursery and sending out Peppa Pig invites. But on the day, you open the door to someone who is not on the list, and instead of pointing out their name’s not down, and they are not coming in, you must welcome them in with open arms and scramble around to make sure there are enough goody bags.
2. The cost
As you’re whipping out the upteenth tray of mini chicken dippers and scrabbling around for another box of wine for the adults, it suddenly dawns on you that you’ve spent more money organizing a party for your two-year-old than you did on your own 30th birthday.
3. The food allergy
Despite requesting that moms let you know about any food requirements on your invite, there’s always one mother who suddenly announces her child can’t eat any of the party food because he’s dairy, peanut, gluten and egg intolerant. Cue mad dash to Tesco for some rice-cakes and almond butter.
4. The musical chairs meltdown
However hard you try, and however many trophies you buy so that everybody is a winner, there will always be a meltdown during the standoff in musical chairs. The solution? Hand out sweets to everyone and move swiftly onto the next game.
5. The tipsy mother
Yes, we know that offering a ‘glass of’ makes for happy mummies (and a room full of three-year-olds is reason enough to crack onto the booze as early as possible). But it’s not ideal when little Johnny pipes up that his Mummy is ‘having a nap on the stairs’ and you have to discreetly “walk” her into the guest bedroom to sleep it off. If you’re worried, start with wine but swiftly move on to offering cups of tea.
6. The bodily fluid eruption
It’s impossible to guess which “end” it will come from, but it’s inevitable that one of the children will have an accident. Fruit squash + birthday cake + overexcited toddler = trouble. You can take heart from the fact that while it may well ruin both your daughter’s pink party dress and your cream carpets, most parents won’t even bat an eyelid when it happens, and will happily roll up their sleeves and help to clean it up. If you’re worried, organize the energetic games before the children tuck into chocolate, squash and cupcakes, then organize a quieter ‘sit-down’ game such as pass-the-parcel or a puppet show, for after the food, so there’s time for it to go down.
7. The exhausted collapse
The party lasted a grand total of one and a half hours, but somehow it feels like you’ve been organising it for longer than you did your own wedding. And when the last mini person skips down the path, goody-bag and balloon in hand, and you close the front door, the first thing you do is collapse on the sofa. Surrounded by wrapping paper, plates of jelly and deflating balloons, you vow to yourself that next year, it will be a small party of three close friends. Yes, of course it will...
*This story was written by Hannah Fox and originally appeared on our sister site, MotherandBaby.co.uk.+