"Where am I having my Birthday party mummy?"
I have a small panicky moment. I can't really tell him that because his Birthday is quite close to Christmas it has kind of crept up on me. I haven't forgotten it, I'm not that useless! But I haven't got my act together about the party.
"Well, there are quite a few options sweetheart......What would you like to do?
Just as I'm about to go into a flat spin, my prayers are answered by a school friend's mum, who rings to see if I'd like to hook up and have a joint party at a local soft play area. I wanted to hug and kiss her. She had already booked it, sorted out the food and was happy to do all the invites. Can't believe my luck!
The only thing I hadn't taken into account was the fact that she is related to practically everyone in our village, so we've had over 30 yes's so far.....
I don't know how you feel, but big parties raise a few issues that I've never properly got to grips with. A joint party and thirty plus kids means a lot of presents. A lot of presents my son doesn't need. And it's very expensive for parents, especially when there are two birthday boys. It has crossed my mind a number of times to tell people not to bother. But this isn't just my son's party and would it scar him for life if he had a party without presents? I have one great friend whose mum asked parents to give a charity donation instead. She has never forgotten it.
There is another party issue, possibly political, that I'd like to raise. Is it very bad to admit to present editing and recycling? You know, those presents given to your children that mysteriously disappear (often into a big dark cupboard), only to reappear again before another child's party? I feel quite uncomfortable mentioning this. Please tell me someone else does it too!
Of course present recycling can seriously backfire. You need to keep track. My sister-in-law gave my boys books for christmas that we had given her kids the year before - I'd even written in them!