I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

Party Time – Run For Cover

on February 20, 2014

Once again it has been party central around here although sadly not the grown up kind involving cocktails, 80s music and fake moustaches*. We have clocked up a total of five in a fortnight, comprising two firsts, one second, one third and one fifth. I say, ‘WE’, I of course mean ME and the kids. The invites were all extended to the dads but my lovely husband responded with his stock phrase, “I would rather pan-fry my testicles”. Quite.

In principle, kids parties are wonderful gatherings of darling little people, coming together to celebrate the special day of one of their own. In reality, and I include my own efforts in this, they are melting pots of chaos and tantrums, veritable war zones with multiple sugar-fuelled dictators bombing around, each demanding ALL the prizes but refusing to play by the rules. This is your reward for the weeks of stressing about invites, games, food and party bags as well as the yin/yang panic about far too many kids coming or nobody turn up at all.

Not actual events. But actually, fairly accurate.

Not actual events. But not far off, TBH

For the under-fives, other kids parties are equally as horrendous as your own as all parents must be constantly vigilant, ready to appease squealing infants, separate sparring little ones and occasionally bandage up open wounds. To calm things down, you muster your best ‘kids TV presenter’ voice and chime the fateful words, “Lets play a game!”. That’s when the shit really hits the fan. The worst offender by far is the seemingly innocuous ‘pass-the-parcel’. I don’t know which sick bastard originally came up with this volatile activity but it really should be banned, along with Neknomination* and smoking in cars. The theory behind the game is wonderfully simple. One prize hidden under multiple layers of paper, each to be peeled off by whoever is holding the ticking time-bomb parcel when the music stops. There are two schools of thought about controlling where the parcel lands. The modern way is a bastion of diplomacy and gives everyone a turn whilst making sure the birthday boy or girl never gets their hands on the prize. One mother took equality to a new level recently when she included a prize in every layer, and enough for everyone. Murmours of respect from the other parents rippled round the room until the game quickly descended into the usual bloody carnage despite her valiant efforts. The old-school method is brutal in its execution and simply involves stopping the music randomly, resulting in the high probability of disappointed kids and an even quicker descent into bloody carnage. It’s really nothing short of torture for children. Give them a present which is then snatched from their grasp by another pair of greedy hands and repeat, ad infinitum. It’s hardly surprising it never ends well. At the most recent gathering, pass-the-parcel descended into such unbridled conflict, I half expected Orla Guerin to pitch up to comment on proceedings.

Party food is a good distraction from the hysterical aftermath of the games and allows parents a brief window to recover from post traumatic stress, whilst the little darlings fight amongst themselves over marshmallow top hats, chocolate crispies and cheesy balls. I have learned over time that you can never have enough of the latter. Sausage rolls are a waste of time, who are we kidding serving cucumber and carrots and there were even chocolate crispies left over at India’s 2nd birthday party. Cheesy balls, however, are in a different league. There is never so much as a crumb left and I’ve even witnessed desperate toddlers searching under furniture for discarded balls of bright orange, MSG-filled loveliness. God help the child who helps itself to another’s cheesy balls. Ban Ki-moon couldn’t pacify the situation.

I can only hope things improve as they get older and parties actually become enjoyable for all concerned. Reports from the ‘other side’ suggest that this is indeed the case but until then I shall be politely declining all invitations as I shall be happily preoccupied with pan-frying my testicles.

*I LOVE a fancy dress do
**Like, WTAF????

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7 responses to “Party Time – Run For Cover

  1. Caroline says:

    I have tears rolling down my cheeks. Also it’s Brodie’s fifth party next week, I’m assuming, being wonderful friend/sister in law’s sister you are you’ll be making the 18 hour journey to attend. Boom.

    • mrsmachall says:

      *checks diary* soz, am sadly pan-frying testicles that day. Xxx

      Ps have also been pondering a label for our relationship! Sister’s sister-in-law is just so clunky so I’m sticking with friend! Xx

  2. Ha ha! Love this! I hate them, and you’ve echoed my thoughts on Pass the Parcel precisely!

  3. Dave says:

    When you host such a party it is your duty to send the kids home with a mach-10 hair-on-fire sugar overload.;-)

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