Our daughter started school in 2008, which was a turning point in our lives as parents. We were proud of passing this milestone, but also sad because it meant our little baby girl was growing up a lot faster than we wanted.
So, when our daughter turned 5, we wanted it to be a special day for her. Not an MTV style “My Sweet 5th” birthday, but a party as she wanted, including theme, guests, music, food, etc. Just one rule – no live animals or outdoor concerts with Doodlebops!
We had to eliminate certain demands of her in the early planning stages, such as circus in the back garden, horses for everybody to ride on or a professional DJ, but most of her other wishes were accepted by the event manager – miss Latina Flower (mum and wife).
The theme of the party was going to be princesses and princes (or knights). Next hurdle was to to agree on the guest list. There were no need to argue with her about the guest list as she simply had to invite her entire class which is approx. 30 kids. Something in her South American genes that requires her to get her will everytime. I wonder where she gets that from?
However, she also wanted to invite friends from her gym, drama and ballet classes, so now the guest list was getting close to 40 kids – ALL below the age of 6!
As they say in “Indiana Jones – Last Crusade“, we had chosen unwisely. Which sane person would invite 40 kids to their own house for a 3 hour long party, which obviously included food and party games? Well, we did!!
The house was decorated in the theme of the party. We cooked the food, baked cakes, cookies and muffins the day before. We were prepared – or were we? All furniture had been moved to the sides, leaving loads of free floor space, to run and dance on.
One thing was certain and I knew what it was. I smiled devilishly inside. All the other parents in her class were now forced to invite all kids to their parties too, otherwise they would have a riot on their hands. We laid down the law.
The big day came, a Friday afternoon after school, and our daughter was ecstatic – her first party. Now, I’ve seen her on drugs (legally in a hospital of course) and I knew what she would looked like intoxicated. Lucky for us, this was only her 5th birthday and not 15th, so we didn’t have to worry about alcohol. Well, I needed alcohol afterwards.
We should have known the mistake we were making. When parents were dropping of their kids they were running away from our house laughing. Some even wished us good luck and asked if we had a good house insurance. I’ve never witnessed parents being so punctual when it came to dropping off their kids at our house.
For the next 3 hours, our house was invided by 30-35 kids between 4-6 years old. Thankfully we had hired our daughter’s cousins, aunt and grandma to assist us. I had taken the day off work too. It became a mad house within 30 seconds. The loud pitch screams made our dogs run away in pain. Even I needed to wear protective headphones to protect my ears.
It has to be said, I’ve been to my fair share of loud heavy metal concerts in my youth (I’m still young), but nothing compared to this. Man-O-War (the band) use to hold the record for highest Db at a live concert, but 30+ kids broke that record in no time.
Kids at that age, at a party, do not talk, they scream frantically and excitingly to each other, despite standing only a few inches from each other. It didn’t help when my dear wife pulled out her face painting kit. Within minutes, all kids, except the loner on the sofa, were queueing up to get their face painted.
At any party, even when I was a kid, you always had one kid who didn’t want to participate, and it was no different at my daughter’s party. As soon as this particular boy arrived, he jumped onto the sofa. He wasn’t dressed up like all his class mates and he was in no mood to play either. Every 10 minutes he would ask me if he could play on the Wii. He got upset every time I told him no. In the end, I was ready to demolish the Wii to remove that distraction, but decided that it was more fun to tease him by moving the Wii (+ controllers) up beyond reach. 🙂
We prepared the food (chicken wings, sausages, pizza and fries) and placed it on our dinning table. The table was attacked like hurricane Katrina hitting land, leaving only debris of plastic cups and food crumbles. The food they didn’t like or eat, and large puddles of juice, covered the kitchen floor turning it into a ice rank.
My wife had spent all evening, the previous night, preparing the special birthday cake, which was shaped as a princess. It was gorgeous (actual photo inserted). When all the girls saw the cake they screamed hysterically and started to push each other to get a better look at it. Honestly, if Hannah Montana had entered the room they wouldn’t have cared less. They sang their hearts out and clapped. It was wonderful! Our daughter was sitting in the middle of the mob, smiling so much that her smile had to be surgically removed a few days later. It was easy to see that she was having a blast.
Shortly after the birthday singing, it was time for the dance competition and bubble disco. Imagine 30+ kids standing in your living room staring at you ready to dance. My wife started the music and ALL kids started to scream and jump around. Ornaments, flowers, DVDs and books were falling off the shelves. Kids were pushing each other and laughing. It was wilder than attending the Ice T concert while performing the famous “Cop Killer” song.
Finally, my wife decided to introduce a piñata to the kids. Basically, the kids were to smash a animal made of paper with a wooden stick, until it cracked open, so all the sweets would fall out. I was nominated, by my wife, to hold the stuffed paper animal, which meant I had to stand on a chair within swinging reach. The main area of concern was, to be honest, my genitals. Every time a kid would swing the wooden stick, sweat would break on my face and I would have visions of lying on the floor in severe pain. Thankfully it didn’t happen. I was almost knocked over when a little skinny boy burst open the paper animal and all the sweets hit the ground. A surge of kids charged towards the sweets, almost tipping the chair I was standing on. Frantically I grabbed the door frame and swung to safety in my best Indiana Jones style.
3 hours of kids rave past extremely quickly. I was surprised how late some parents came to collect their kids. Most parents were still laughing at us for having the party. One kid wasn’t collected until 20.00 (pm), 3 hours after the party ended.
I was so grateful that the party had been on a Friday, as it gave us the rest of the weekend to recover and clean the house. The most important bit was that all the kids, except the little freak, had a great time. To this day we are continuously asked when we’re having our next party. The best thing was that our daughter enjoyed every minute of it. She wanted the party to continue into the night. This makes me a bit worried since she’s clearly a little party animal and would indicate that she would partying all night!