Next weekend is D’s 7th birthday. It hardly seems possible that 7 years ago today I was having a final scan because he was playing up even before he was born, and hadn’t want to turn, but finally had. The one thing I remember of that day, was the blind panic I was in after the scan. Why you might ask, was there anything wrong with the baby? Nothing so major. The scan showed this little alien with a mass of hair, it was so obvious! My panic was he was going to be a girl! Our house wouldn’t be suitable to have kids of different sexes, and I had been confident all through the pregnancy that he was going to be Daniel, and not Hannah – the name we had decided upon should we be wrong! Luckily for us, he was just a gorgeous boy with a mass of thick black hair when he was born!!
One of the sad things of M not having any real friends – he now has a few peers that he relates to better but I still wouldn’t call them friends, is that he rarely gets invited to parties. He is always very jealous of D who being a popular lad – especially with the girls, does get plenty of invitations. He also can’t cope with being centre of attention, and therefore the whole idea of him having a party has just never been raised. We have therefore made great effort to do something special for his birthday, and the last few years have made sure we are away so we can make a real fuss of him. It is only this last year that he didn’t scream when he heard Happy Birthday being sung!
D on the other hand has always wanted parties. While he has his core close friends – one boy and one girl he cant life without, he also had many other friends that he likes a lot – many of them girls as he certainly has a way with the ladies, which I believe is because of the gentle persona he portrays when out of the house – one mum actually told me her daughter doesn’t like any boys with the exception of D and his close chum, because they aren’t like other boys!! The last couple of years he has had a small gathering at the local family restaurant where they have soft play, and get to have face painting, and the big bear character comes out to see them – D is quite open that he knows these characters are people dressed up, and yet he loves to give them cuddles! This year though he decided he was too old to go there – he is probably right as the play equipment is probably for younger kids, and so he asked if he could have a bouncy castle. Last year he went to a couple of parties with bouncy castles and they were great!
When I was in the large supermarket on the edge of the city, I saw an advertisement on the community board for hire of the community centre with two bouncy castles! It was at a reasonable price, and with the castles included meant I didn’t have to source them separately! He was over the moon when we told him, and so we booked for the Sunday, the day after his birthday. It all seemed really easy to organise, but then I started thinking about it!
D decided because it was a large hall he wanted to invite all the kids in his class, and that was fine – his motivation was of course one of greed! He said that if I invite lots of people he will get lots of presents, my answers to that is that it will serve him right if all he gets is lots of birthday wishes! He also wanted just one person from the other P2 class, and 2 people from P1. That was fine. He then did a lovely thing. He said to me because he didn’t like it when M couldn’t go to parties he went to, could we please invite the siblings of his friends. I thought that was lovely, and of course agreed because his motivation was drawn from the love of his own brother – even though he will tell you he doesn’t even like him! Because his party was going to be on the long weekend, we decided to put the invitations out before the Easter break, to give people time to think about it. Some organised people got back to me instantly, while others gradually trickled though, but not many. D then tells me he left most of the invitations in his drawer at school, so this meant they didn’t go out until the first day of term. I suddenly started getting replies, and with a few exceptions most people have let me know one way or the other. There have been two new children join his class, one last week and one yesterday, and he asked me if he could invite them too because it would help them to make friends. Sometimes my sons love and understanding of the people around him is so beyond his years it makes me well up, but most of the time I see the ratbag he usually is!!
We talked about what else to do in the hall and D said it would be good to have a quiet area for when people want to chill from bouncing – good idea. I ordered a pile of craft stuff for the kids to colour in and stick things on – some of it has arrived but not all of it yet!! He also wanted tattoos. I have a huge box of temporary tattoos which I will ask one of the Mums to sit and put on any of the kids that want them. We will also take with us that garden games we have, just for breaking up the session!
Then came the talk about food. D has been very specific about what he wants, which kind of makes it easier, but does mean that if I can’t get it we are going to have an unhappy birthday boy! It is all finger food, so I am glad he didn’t come up with anything more exotic! He also wants it served as a picnic! We sometimes let the boys have a picnic at home, and they put a throw – muddy puddle, as its brown, down on the floor and eat there. My though is that sounds great as throws on the floor with hopefully contain some of the mess!
The most important decision was left until last – party bags. There seems to be unwritten rules about what goes in party bags, or is it that the lack of shops in our town means we all shop at the same place so party bags are similar from every party. Now, I am by no means moaning about anything the boys have every come home with from parties, except maybe when they get noisy blowy things. I asked D what the most important thing to go into a bag was, and he said the sweeties. In a lightbulb moment, I said what about if we just get cones of sweeties. D thought that was a great idea, but still thinks there should be at least a pencil as well! We will see if he or I win on that one!!
I am doing a small cake for his actual birthday, and then a cake for his party. He has asked that I make his party cake gluten-free as his best friend has allergies. I have ordered a set of Lego decorations, made from icing, and I just hope they arrive in time – this is probably my biggest worry!
I know I will do too much food, and get too many drinks, but there will be lunch bags to fill for the rest of the week!!!
I therefore think I am pretty organised. If previous parties are anything to go by, I will be a stressed out wreck by the end of it, but if I have a happy baby, then it will all have been worth it!