The past few days have been a frenzy of presents, baking, partying and weather so cold it hurts your eyes to be outside.
The Lord turned three on Friday. Three is the age when kids are finally aware that birthdays mean gifts and cake but they’re not quite sure why! Needless to say the joy of opening presents is quickly proceeded by tears when Mummy says world-ending phrases such as “but you have to share your toys with your brother” or “he’s only little, let him have a go”.
On to the party. Let’s be honest, at the age of three a birthday party is just a chance for mums to prove to themselves (and other mums) that they still have some remnant of creativity/organisational skills/baking ability (delete as applicable) left after the harsh first three years of parenthood.
The Lord loves anything to do with diggers so a construction party seemed like the perfect theme (until he spent the last week getting excited about his fire engine party…oops!)
I sat down with my two best friends – Cab and Pin (surnames Sauv and Terest, respectively) and between us we came up with the perfect party. Now, given my past performances in these areas I always manage to fall slightly short of my expectations. The homemade goodie bags always look homemade (think pre-school Valentine’s Day cards rather than Martha Stewart) and the cake always comes up short. Regardless of this, I give it a go each time and quietly cringe as people struggle to smile through my cake and casually stick back a goggly eye that’s slipped out of position on the goodie bag.
This year, however, my plan was smarter and more organised. I made actual, realistic lists(shopping, cooking, preparation lists) that I stuck to. The theme was black and yellow…no fancy things needed. The only area that could fail was the cake so I drafted in the help of a dear friend (and pro-baker!) Sweet Louisa. She left me to bake alone during the day and joined me after work to help put the icing on the cake (literally!)
So, after weeks of planning and a very well organised schedule we managed to pull off a successful digger party. The Lord enjoyed it, his friends went home full of sugar and the General got a cheeky snog from his little girlfriend.
Here’s how you do it:
- Don’t be too ambitious…simple and well done is more effective than extravagant and messy
- Do your research. Pinterest is a great resource but please see my point above!
- Plan your time. The week before a party is critical so work backwards from P-Day (Construction Party Planning)
- Make friends with people like Margo and Louisa! Round up someone to entertain the kids while you bake and get help with the things you can’t do yourself.
- When P-Day arrives, start early. Inevitably you will not have everything done in the time you think you need…add a couple of hours leeway to help yourself!
- Toddlers are notoriously unpredictable, particularly when tired so we always do our parties in the morning. This also negates the need to sauce up the parents, saving money and keeping the focus on the kids!