herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Start rolling your eyes Kate, those parties will only get worse

When I was a kid, the entertainment at birthday parties was pass the parcel, musical chairs, dancing 'til someone shouted "freeze" and tearing around outside.

The victuals were Rice Krispies buns, sponge cake with lemon curd or jam in the middle, queen cakes or fairy cakes (today known as the 'cupcake').

The libations were soda stream cola and orange. Sometimes mixed together and sometimes beefed up with a scoop of ice cream to make, what was it called? A float? It was basically a big, foamy glass at the best party eeeevvvver.

Nobody actually had a party 'til they were about four. Certainly nobody was throwing parties for one-year-olds.

But I guess when it comes to a future monarch like the royal baby George, a party for someone who has no idea what a candle is seems like a good idea.

But here's a heads up, Kate. From now on it only gets tackier, more expensive, more oneupmanshipy and more political. More Electric Picnic and less queen cake.

When my son turned three last year we were playing 'good cop, Mammy' and we didn't actually have a party.

Well, we did. Except that I invited my pals around, told them to bring their kids and told my toddler that that was his party.

He loved it. Well of course, he did. He didn't know any better.

This year, all the party insanity is on the superhero-themed bandwagon - with save the dates weeks in advance, goody bags, face painters and favours (not even sure what these are - goody bags by a different name?) And Invites. How many? Who to? The whole class? Do you say 'parents welcome' on the invite?

And if they come, do you then have to provide wine for them?

Then that means being in an enclosed space with other parents for a few hours, to discover that you think differently to them about just about everything.

A pal recently advised me to check out Pinterest. It would give me ideas for themes.

tat

A theme? How about Disney villain? Buy a cake? But what about the thrill of licking the spoon and running amok with sprinkles?

Lavish gifts? Of course. Sure they don't have enough primary coloured, noisy tat as it is.

Two days cleaning because you didn't want to fork out for the play centre? The theme of my home is war zone.

Finally, beware. There's now an American craze of mothers creating registries for their kids' birthday parties. And thank you notes.

Start rolling your eyes - you just know it's on the way here.

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