I’m sorry. I am so, so, *so* sorry that this is yet another birthday post! However, you have to admit, this has been a pretty important birthday. First child turns one, etc. By the time we have our next baby, I’m sure there won’t be *this* many posts about his/her first birthday!
Anyway – I’m sure you will all (apart from those of you that have extensive experience in this area) benefit from this post.
So, if you don’t have experience in planning and organising a children’s birthday party – please continue reading. I have drawn up a list of things I have learnt about having a children’s party.
1. Find helium more than 4 days in advance of party. The party planner said she would fill the balloons. ‘No problem at all, Dia’, she said. I looked at her price list again. £4.85 for each foil balloon. £3.20 for each latex balloon. Was she mental? I had about 40 foil balloons and 40 latex balloons. No thank you. I was given the number of someone who would supply the helium for £100 a tank. He said I would need two tanks. Maybe three. And he was going to add on a £30 service charge. I told him I’d call him back. I didn’t. I finally found a store where I could buy the helium tanks (without having the price jacked up) and fill the balloons myself. If I’d known it was going to be such a nightmare, I’d have found the store and bought the helium a couple of weeks ago (and I wouldn’t have been so stressed this week)! And, now I know, 3 tanks doesn’t fill 40 foil balloons.
2. Order burger buns a week in advance. Not a day in advance. I forgot. I forgot and only did it the day before the party. Thankfully, they were able to do it for the next day. You’d think it would be easy to get burger buns, right? Actually, it is. But since the burgers are ‘mini burgers’, I had to get ‘mini buns’. If I’d remembered to do this last week, I wouldn’t have stressed about it the day before the party!
3. Find someone to help you blow up balloons. I did them all on my own. Actually, that’s a lie. My sister did two of them. It wasn’t too difficult, but some help would have been nice. Thank goodness I’m not a smoker anymore, or I’d be dead.
4. Learn how to tie balloons. There really is no point in blowing up balloons if you don’t know how to tie them. I needed help for that!
5. Concentrate while blowing balloons. I was busy making faces at the baby while blowing a balloon. I didn’t realise how inflated it was and it popped. While it was still in my mouth. It hurt. Quite a lot.
6. Keep dog in another room while blowing balloons. If you have a dog, I’m sure s/he is very well-behaved. Mine is not. He is a monster. Each time I blew a balloon, he would run and pounce on me. Luckily he didn’t burst any.
7. Assemble Little Tikes Crazy Coupe a few days in advance. A friend suggested I use her collection of ride-ons for the party. I thought this was a brilliant idea. She loaned me five of hers and I had the Little Tikes Crazy Coupe, still boxed up, to add to it. Deciding to assemble it at 6pm the night before the party wasn’t the best decision. I thought it would be simple – stick the wheels here, put the steering wheel on there, etc. It wasn’t. And I needed a drill, which I didn’t have. So I left it half-finished! Hub brought a drill home the morning of the party and finished it. V looooves it!
8. Source return gifts locally. I knew I wanted part of the gift to be little animal backpacks, I just didn’t know where to get them. I didn’t find what I was looking for on UK websites, apart from on Amazon. Unfortunately, they were way too expensive. So… What bright idea did I have? Ask my cousin in China to find them and get Hub to freight them over. Everyone thought this was a great idea. And actually, it is. Except they didn’t arrive until 4 days before the party. I could not work out how I was going to wrap, bag, package them until I *saw* them. I got them on Monday night, and started gift-wrapping on Tuesday (until Thursday). Had I looked around here first, I could have made my life a LOT easier!
9. Don’t have the party at home. Really… It must be a lot easier (and maybe a teeny bit more expensive) to have it out somewhere. Somewhere where they organise the space and the food, etc. It would be so nice to just turn up and enjoy it!
10. Make a list! I did make a list. I made lots of lists – I just couldn’t remember where I put them. So, make a list of the things you need to buy, things you need to do, people you need to invite, etc. And don’t lose it!
AND… this next one doesn’t really have anything to do with the party, but…
If you have to spend 5-6 hours at the temple the morning (and afternoon) *after* the party, don’t stay up drinking champagne until 2am to celebrate that the party is over!