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