Into the Deep End: Tales of a Birthday Party


There’s only one thing worse than having to throw your child a party and that’s having to throw your child a swimming party. My son is 7 on saturday and after all the, ‘How did that happen?’, ‘Where did all that time go?’ type questions, we forced ourselves to ask him how he’d like to celebrate.

‘I’d like a Mario Cart Wii party’ he said, looking expectantly up at me, ‘For my 25 best friends’.

‘Hmmm that might be a teensy bit tricky’ I replied in a slightly hysterical tone, ‘What about a cinema party for 5?’

‘How about an Angry birds party for 20?’ he begged, jumping up and down with glee

‘Or a tea party at ours for 7?’

The negotiations went on like that for a while until suddenly I had somehow accepted the deal on a swimming party for 10. Fabulous. You can see how much I like swimming pools here.

And now, just 2 days before the party, the reality has struck. I have worked out that no matter which way I look at the numbers and ratio of kids to adults, there is absolutely no way I am going to be able to get out of going in that pool. So I will be subjecting not only myself, but other parents to the joys of the local kids pool, crowded and noisy with 10 excitable 6 and 7 year olds.

It hasn’t gone down too well in the playground, either. Every parent I gave an invitation to immediately said, ‘Ooh thankyou!’ Then after closer inspection, ‘Oh. A swimming party. Great’, barely able to keep the tone of impending doom from their voices. People have started to back away when they see me coming, (though to be fair they already did that) for fear I will ask them to actually enter the water with their child as opposed to sit on the side behind some protective glass. Surprisingly no one has backed out. Yet. I expect a mass exodus on the day. Or at least that is what I’m hoping.

To top off the fun of the swimming, we will be hosting an indoor picnic back at ours afterwards. The weather has put pay to our idea of letting the children run feral in the local park before eating a birthday tea and throwing sandwiches at the ducks. Instead they will be running feral around our living room and throwing sandwiches at the cats. I’ll probably have to move the sofa and kitchen table into the garden to make room for them all, but at least it will contain them. I have had a few nightmares of losing one of them in the park and having to say to a parent, ‘Well, we managed to keep 9 of them safe. That’s pretty good statistics, hey? You win some, you lose some’.

After everyone has gone home and our house has been made to look like something that has barely survived a napalm attack, our 7 year old will open presents in the manner of an animal being given food after a weeks starvation diet. More mess will be created and we will spend hours trying to work out which child gave him which present so he can send out thankyou cards (these took him 4 months to write last year, even after a lot of bribery. Indeed some took so long that they were given out with this years party invitation).

We’ll later sit and drink wine, survey the damage and relax, safe in the knowledge that it’s out the way for another entire year. Until one of us brings up the subject of our daughter’s party in September, a Harry Potter Magical Princess Disco for 35, that is.

Happy birthday, little man


12 thoughts on “Into the Deep End: Tales of a Birthday Party

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    1. Yep, I have an assortment of hard liquor at the back of the kitchen cupboard. Though not sure whether to consume this before or after party? Bless him, he doesn’t know what fresh hell he’s putting his poor mother through. He’s worth it though

  1. Wow! Lots of respect to you! But, um, I’m sticking to soft play. Or better still, hoping the fact that my son’s birthday comes in the summer holidays means we get to miss a turn without anyone noticing …

    1. Oh that was very well planned, having a summer holiday child. I wish I had one that had a birthday hidden in the middle of a long holiday. I tried to pretend an Easter trip to see my mum in France was his birthday ‘party’ once but he was very put out that it just involved us, granny and some cake. Hopefully as he gets older he’ll narrow down his list of friends. And go off swimming.

  2. Oh my goodness, the swimming party. Is it one of those pools with fierce currents and huge waves? I still dream about that…
    and now I can just take my son to the pub! One look at that lovely chap of yours and I can imagine you both chatting away at the bar… happy days and GOOD LUCK!

    1. Ahh I do dream of the pub with my lttle people, one day in the future. Unfortunately it’s just a bog standard small pool next to the big one. I used to go to Broxborne Lido with my family when I was little, that had a wave machine. It was brilliant! I’m not sure if it’s still used as a pool but if so maybe I’ll take my two there one day. Thanks so much for reading xx

      1. VERY fortunately it’s the small pool! I didn’t like to say, but I remember a swimming party in a huge packed pool with powerful currents and deep water not AT ALL fondly…!

  3. You do make me laugh ๐Ÿ˜€ So, pray tell, how did it go?

    Hang on in there, the party thing gets easier – or, perhaps I should qualify,the magical abyss which lies between children’s mess and teenagers getting themselves in a mess is blissful – at age 12, my youngest had an ice skating party during which my friend and I left them to it, sat next door having a coffee…

  4. So, I think you know by now that you’re one of my chosen Inspirational Bloggers, much deserved of the award for, well, writing blogs which make me think and smile and encourage me to put pen to paper. Congratulations! I’m afraid that I need to ask some work of you though. The rules, if you choose to accept them, follow. It took me a bit of time to put together my post but it was fun. I hope you’ll take up the challenge and look forward to reading your post ๏Š
    1. Display the award logo somewhere on the blog.
    2. Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you.
    3. State seven things about yourself.
    4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.
    5. Notify those bloggers that they have been nominated and of the awardโ€™s requirements.

    PS I’m hoping this may drag you kicking and screaming back to blogging? Go on, you know you want to. And your posts are just brililant. Pretty please?

    1. Jackie, thankyou so much, what kind words. You have inspired me to get my blogging hat back on! I’m looking forward to having a go at the challange, I just have to think of 7 interesting things to write first. Yours are brilliant, how can I compete? My life is not nearly as interesting! Still, I’ll give it a go. Thanks for the award xx

      1. He he! My work is done!!! Seriously, I love your posts, have just read your latest on not leaving the house – brilliant, chortle chortle – so can’t wait to see your seven. I’m glad you like my 7 but if you look, they’re heavily steeped in my twenties which were, errr, twenty years ago so hmmm, maybe my life isn’t quite so exciting now… love it though (but now we’re getting back to your ‘not leaving the house blog’ so leave that there and comment there instead ๐Ÿ™‚ Please let me know when you’ve posted and I’ll pop back and have a giggle, no doubt.

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