The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

A fabulous time to be six!

on February 1, 2015

So finally, more than three weeks after #1 turned six years old, we celebrated his Birthday with a party with all his friends.

In six years, this is party number 12 I’ve organised for small children. I feel like I know the format pretty well.

1. Set the date.
2. Book the function room.
3. Invite guests.
4. Write lists.
5. Ignore lists.
6. Bake cake, outsource the creative bits. This is such a great idea to get someone else more talented to do the hard parts. My fabulous friend of My cakes by Catarina has reduced party planning time by days since she does all the cake toppers for me now. Look her up on Facebook. I highly recommend her.
7. Make party bags, decorations, games to play two days before party date.
8. Get party done, relax and drink beer.

#1 has no interest in the creative, planning or doing part of getting his party organised. Besides stipulating he would like a Disney Planes cake, which friends to invite and the fact he doesn’t want Pass the Parcel because, and I quote him, ‘Your Pass the Parcel is boring because only one person gets to win and that’s not fair’. It’s all about fairness right now with #1. And it’s only fair if it goes in his favour.

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He did say that he would like Musical Statues which is a huge step up from two years ago when he refused outright to take part in the game. But I’ve discovered it’s impossible to play the game the way we used to back in my day some 30 odd years ago when those who were not ‘Statues’ when the music stopped were out of the game. These days they barely listen to you and certainly wouldn’t accept they were out of the game and even if they did move out of the game, it would be only temporarily and sooner or later they’d be back in it. I do suppose it would mean that you could just play this one game for the whole hour.

We also played the Egg and Spoon Race which EVERYONE knows the rules of. No, apparently not. As I lined up the children behind the start line, eggs on spoons at the ready, first person who doesn’t drop their egg off spoon wins. Small people are eager to get going. Ready, Get Set, Go! Three of the four contestants grab the egg off their spoon and leg it across to the finish line. Indeed it was an Egg with Spoon Race after all.

One final game we tried out was the good old fashioned Sack Race. One year School Sports Day, I actually couldn’t get into the sack to take part in the race and so missed the whole thing. Anyways, I was sort of a bit nervous about this one. The flooring is highly polished parquet and there are small people bouncing around in sacks and I had visions of them falling flat and knocking themselves out. So I had to ask some parents to act as human shields to break any potential hazardous falls. After all, we haven’t taken out the Personal Injury Insurance Policy for Small People at Birthday Parties Inebriated on High Sugar Products. Neither had I stuck a disclaimer on the wall purporting that ‘The Party Hosts accept no responsibility for the amount of high sugar products consumed at this event nor for the resulting high sugar related behaviour you may take home with you’.

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As far as #1 is concerned, he had FUN. There was cake, crisps, sweets, juice, chocolate dipped marshmallows (which #1, 2 and 3 all helped to make and resulted in hundreds and thousands rolling all over our marble tiled living room floor), sausages and his friends.

Most importantly his friends. How children interact with their friends and form bonds is a beautiful sight to behold. I love their passion and how easily they can fall in and out with each other.

Did he notice the handmade paper decorations in hues of Dusty Crophopper hanging from the ceiling and all around the walls? Did he notice the individually crafted party bags personalised with each party guest’s name? Did he notice the fondant was drooping around the back of the cake like Nora Batty’s tights? Thankfully not. Most likely distracted by the fabulous fondant Dusty Crophopper on top of it created by My cakes by Catarina.

I wasn’t fretting about the details of the party. A lot of the detail I do because I like to and it’s become a hobby. What I have realised is just how little is actually required for a party that will make a six year old child happy.

There could have been no games, no music and no decorations so long as there is ample room for them to charge around in. Charge. Not run. Running is not for five or six year olds. Neither is normal sound levels. They would have been worthy extras in The Battle of the Five Armies. Apparently they are only going to get louder, I have it on good authority from Mr Cupping who has a seven year old.

So long as there are crisps, sweets, juice and cake. They create their own entertainment. They create their own noise. They create their own fun. I know when it comes down to it, I would still add on all the details. Just because I like to. But it has made me even more aware of how much is actually required to make a small child happy. Especially in Singapore where the budget for a one year old’s Birthday party can exceed the cost of my own 40th do. They’re not going to even remember you know. However, of course there are huge benefits to outsourcing party entertainment and not having to get involved in rounding them up to play the games is one of them.

If anything was to tell you how frighteningly quickly times passes, it can be seen in the raucousness of their birthday party. I still remember clearly #1’s First Birthday party. It consisted of a few toys and a birthday cake. As the small people shuffled here and there, we Grown Ups could even have a plastic beaker of wine and a chat.

Those days are long gone and yet the need for a plastic beaker of wine is ever more appreciated. It’s probably time to start doing the whole party drop off and save each other from enduring two hours of high level sugar induced energy from a bunch of rambunctious small people. We are also surplus to requirements in their pursuit of FUN. If anything, we probably hinder it. They are Big Boys and Girls after all.

#1 had a great time yesterday. There is no doubt about it that now is a fabulous time to be six.

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