For her first birthday, we had a party in the park. Despite having friends (childless) who couldn't quite understand the concept of timing a party to the birthday girl's naptime (that would be why a beginning and end time were on the invite - heads up, end time has something to do with when we expect a nap, not when we expect the last guests to arrive), all went surprisingly smoothly.
For her second birthday, P. had just died and I was in no fit state to throw a party - but my amazingly wonderful sister took over and gave 'Salina a lovely party in their back yard.
We were 2 for 2 in the birthday party stakes.
For her third birthday, I thought rather than a party, we would just meet a few friends down at the park and have a play and some cake. The weather looked ominous. Brisbane in November has an even chance of being stormy, and we had just blown the chances. I cleaned my house and yard, rang all the invitees and held it at home in case it stormed. It didn't but I blew the "relaxed" approach.
For her fourth birthday, I decided that I would push out the boat. It was a full on organised party, with over 20 children and easily double that number of adults (I have many friends who still "borrow" my child), a clown and a sausage sizzle. It was huge, I didn't get to see a thing as I was running around "ko kokosh bez glave" and she scored heaps I cannot attribute as the children had a run on the present table before any adults thought to start writing down what was coming out of the flurry of paper.
Her fifth birthday I thought rather than a party, we would just meet a few friends down at the park and have a play and some cake. The weather looked ominous. (I was on a forum at the time where I wrote a splendid rant about the day - unfortunately the forum is now a memory (or rather, a webpage devoted to adverts on single parents, it appears)) So I cleaned my house and yard, rang all the invitees and held it at home in case it stormed. Luckily (for my sensibilities) it did storm - and I was confronted with a dozen children indoors wanting party food (I had a cake at least) and games - that was what the park was going to be for, kids!!! One other mother was the children's coordinator at her church so she stepped in. Ah, the good old days when parents stayed with their offspring at such times.
So - 3 for 5.
Her sixth birthday she had a surprise party with family (and lord how she howled at that - note to self, six year olds do not deal with surprises). For her friends, I thought rather than a party, we would just meet a few friends down at the park and have a play and some cake. The weather looked ominous...
4 for 6.
Just as a test of a theory, her seventh birthday saw not 1 but 2 organised parties. Unfortunately it was a month before I discovered blogging, so you do not have the benefit of that experiment. Let us just say that it proved:
- weather turns out wonderful when I put the word "party" on an invite;
- I am crap at paper mache, and
- chocolate melts in pinatas
Last year, I dodged the whole weather-watch aspect to her birthday, so I am not sure if I include it in the statistical analysis? I shan't.
This year, I went for the (lets all join in here) "rather than a party, we would just meet a few friends down at the park and have a play and some cake" - only to avoid the whole afternoon thunderstorm thing, I pitched it for the morning and a swim at the beach. So yes, rather than thunderstorm warnings, we had morning drizzle that threatened to clear...
That would make it
- I organise a party, it happens (although I am so stressed on the minutae it burns, yes even griefstriken and letting my sister do all the organising I stressed about the little things) with no weather intrusions - 4 out of 4 (although do we count the 6th as 1 party or 2?);
- I organise a "play and cake" alternate to a party and end up having to roust up a party with the added degree of difficulty of cleaning my house and yard - 4 out of 4
Of course, I speak from the sort of deprived childhood that only had 1 proper birthday party - one that I had to share with my sister, even.
So deprived was it that I remember that party as a truly wondrous and special occasion, where my mother baked cakes decorated in nursery characters (it was fantastic) for my sister and I and 8 of our friends.
The good news is that under the house is finally tidied in preparation for the wedding, so its a left-handed tick in the to-do box!