We’ve just had Baby Lighty’s second birthday party. Aside from the fact that I can’t believe my surely-still-tiny baby is two, I also can’t believe that I fell into the trap of throwing a party. Again. After the palaver that was last year’s party. When he won’t remember a thing about it as he grows up. “Oh but it’s all about the memories for us!”, I tell myself and Mr Lighty. Clearly planning a toddler’s birthday party is a little like childbirth, in that you forget all about the pain, the stress and the tiredness and happily do it all over again.
So in an attempt to ensure that next year, I don’t fall into the madness that is planning Baby Lighty’s third birthday party, here are the EXACT steps that anyone that has ever planned a toddler’s birthday party will recognise:
1. Decide that you’re not going to throw a party this year as he won’t remember it anyway.
2. Perhaps you’ll just take a little trip out or go away somewhere instead?
3. But maybe you’ll create a Pinterest board of ideas, just in case…
4. Decide that if you are going to throw a toddler’s birthday party this year, and that’s a big if, because of course you’re not going to, you need to pare down the guest list this year. Strictly close friends only.
5. Oh and family.
6. Oh and Godparents.
7. Oh and if we invite those friends, we’ve got to invite those friends.
8. Decide to send the invites out early because, even though it would do your pared down guest list a favour if people couldn’t make it, you need to make sure that everyone can make it.
9. If you are going to have a party, you’re definitely not going to go mad with props and a lavish theme
10. Start looking up props and ridiculous items that you definitely, definitely don’t need. Such as a professional bubble machine. And a light up dancefloor.
11. Start discussing a toddler-friendly playlist. Obviously this involves much dancing to the likes of Black Lace’s Superman, the Hokey Cokey and the entire back collection of The Wiggles.
12. Order a professional bubble machine.
13. Tweet The Wiggles to see if you can get the brightly coloured party paraphernalia that you’ve seen on Australian sites in the UK.14. Buy a roll of Lino for the party because…well, why wouldn’t you?!
15. Go into the Poundshop and buy all the things.
16. Log onto eBay and buy all the things.
17. Go back to the Poundshop and buy some more of all the things.
18. Compile the aforementioned child-friendly playlist. Debate whether some of the more questionable song lyrics are actually child-friendly.
19. Wonder about your sanity as you sing along to every. single. song on the playlist. Word perfectly.
20. Create signs for the doors, props and anything else you can think of that needs a sign. These require very specific font choices that you feel reflect the theme of the party.
21. Make party bags. Wonder if you look a bit tight with your (lack of) choices of tat that you’ve included.22. Keep a keen eye on the weather. Pin all of your hopes on the one forecast that says it’s not going to rain on the day of the party.
23. Attempt to tidy the house with a toddler in tow.
24. Get a tree surgeon round to deal with the broken limb of your willow tree which broke due to all of the wind and rain we’ve been having this Great British Summer Time (true story, and one which brings me back to point 22). Health and safety and all that.
25. Make a last minute dash to the Poundshop. Buy more of all the things.
26. Set your alarm to wake up in good time on the morning of the party.
27. Snooze alarm so many times on the morning of the party that you’re running behind before you’ve even started!
28. Set up all of your props and decorations. You know, all those props and decorations that you weren’t going to go mad on at the start of this post.
29. PANIC, PANIC, PANIC, PANIC!!!
30. Run around like headless chickens. Chuck a few sausage rolls in the oven as your guests are arriving.
31. Tell everyone to help themselves to drinks (#terriblehostess!).
32. Run around a bit more making sure everyone is ok and has enough to eat / drink / somewhere to sit / people to talk to etc.
33. Finally – finally – manage to sit down for ten minutes and actually talk to your guests and enjoy seeing your toddler having fun!34. Swear that next year you will one hundred percent, not under any circumstances be doing this again!
10 months later…
35. Start thinking about the theme for the toddler party that you will definitely not be throwing in a couple of months time…!
Oh well. How many years have I realistically got before Baby Lighty is too cool for a party?! Maybe I’ll just plan and enjoy and stress over these toddler parties while I can!
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