I can’t believe my little girl is 8 years old. Where did time go? I can still remember the day she was born, as that’s the day I became an emotional twat. Any commercial or movie that somewhat hinted at being created for the sensitive individuals, or should I say the softer side, brought tears to my eyes. I’m even getting a little watery as I type this post.
True to tradition, we had to organize a birthday party to celebrate yet another year has gone by, and at the same time make sure the party is cool. The latter becoming increasingly important as she gets closer to double digits.
The area we moved to would appear to be fairly well off, or at least for some individuals in her class. Some of the girls had their parties already and there seems to be a trend to have them professionally organized, which covered themes like Girl Spa, Fashion Show, Sports party, Madness playtime, etc. Not easy to compete with these bling bling parties.
I’m starting to fear what’s in store for next year’s birthday parties.
An even more important question. Who to invite? You can’t just invite every person you’ve met in recent months, which seems to be the default suggestion by my daughter. After hours of negotiations, we managed to get the number down from 35 to about 11, which is the core group of BFFs.
– another term a parent has to learn when your child gets a certain age.
A few days before our daughter’s birthday, my wife had ordered the birthday presents online. When we received the email confirmations, which includes the delivery details, my wife quickly realized that the presents were not going to arrive in time! I scrambled to the nearby game-shop to pick up a few things and had to visit the Apple Store in the area to get a new cover for her iTouch. This obviously ended up costing us a bit more than we had budgeted for, and resulted in our daughter getting sh*t-load of presents. Much to her delight I’m sure.
We started the party planning, by visiting the local “Party City“. The first of a few mistakes. The aim was to pick up a few essentials, to decorate the house and treats for the goody-bag. $150 later and we were leaving the shop with 3 large bags of treats, balloons, plates, cups, glittery decorations, sweets, party dress, candles, and a few other essential things.
As in most households, the wife is the boss, so I was assigned the task of Easter-egg and treasure hunt activity … and it was not allowed to cost anything!
My creative side of the brain kicked into gear, and I created a pretty cool treasure map which looked fairly authentic and wrinkly – if I have to praise myself. The trail was made up of toys, logs, cardboard, garden tiles and dog pooh. The latter was contributed by our over-sized St Bernard, who felt it was necessary to create these natural obstacles.
The day finally arrived. As the theme of our party was red riding hood, most girls arrived in fancy costumes (probably bought for the occasion) which had little or nothing to do with red riding hood – however, we were delighted to see all the effort the girls had put in to look fancy; high heels, make-up, cocktail dresses and furs … were these kids only 8?
Party music blaring from the speakers, girls screaming, sweets all over and the constant BFF hugs were just the beginning. 2.5 hours lay ahead of me. I was deep in my mind looking forward to a glass of strong alcohol later, after the party had ended, to calm me down again.
It’s amazing how the happy and positive energy can rub of on everybody. Within minutes, we were all screaming and chasing each other. Well, I was merely trying to stay off the dance floor, but was dying to show off my dance moves too.
But, I had to be the responsible parent and guide the girls into the garden, so they could focus on the obstacles ahead and finding Easter eggs.
Had I know that chocolate Easter eggs could have such a profound impact on 8 year old girl’s ferocity, then I would have chosen marshmallows. As soon as they spotted the tiny chocolate eggs in the grass, they dived across the obstacle and reached for the eggs. This went on for about 30 minutes, until the next party game was ready.
Musical chairs, chasing, dancing, cake eating, sweets, pizza, presents, treasure hunt and insanely loud screams was the recipe of the party.
By the way, did I mention that we had blindfolded piñata, which is extremely dangerous and which again brings out the dark side of the girls. Vicious swinging the baseball bat trying to hit the poor piñata, and narrowly avoiding hitting their friends.
The girls had a blast and as the party was drawing to an end, they all hugged and wished each other a wonderful weekend. Most girls stated that it had been the best party ever, which obviously made our daughter extremely proud. It was important for her to impress all her new BFFs in a new country.
We, the parents, were shattered. Thankfully it’s a full year until the next BFF birthday party! I finally got a chance to get a glass of wine, and fell asleep on the sofa just before the movie started. I could’ve used my secret party drink – just for me!