Scrap book: Ru’s 4th birthday party
Behind-the-scenes details from LP’s son’s celebrations
My Fussy Fledgling’s 4th birthday shenanigans happened the same weekend as a nearly-new sale I was hosting a stall at, and my nephew’s 3rd birthday picnic, which was held in our garden – let’s just say it was a pretty crazy few days! But then my to-do lists are well known for being, er, full-on…
There were 20 four-year-olds on my son’s invite list, so a space-themed soft play centre seemed the perfect choice of venue for all that crazy pre-school energy, especially as he loves anything about planets. I took that theme through to a few of the little details and had edible space cake toppers on little cream-cheese-iced cupcakes, and scattered gold stars on the main (chocolate red velvet) birthday cake. I also bought some holographic initial cake toppers from Notonthehighstreet.com, which I can use for a few more birthdays to come.
On my spacey list were metallic purple and silver balloons to scatter around the venue. I also included glow stick bracelets and clear cellophane cones filled with a galaxy of mini ‘planets’ (aka marbles) in the party bags, alongside a noisy blower toy (essential), a mini packet of raisins and a treat-size box of Smarties.
The party bags were a great find from the brilliant HEMA, which has excellent kids’ and party fare, as well as a tempting selection of great-value stationery (my weakness). I picked a mix of brightly printed paper bags that came with stickers for sealing.
I loved the party bags so much I picked up wrapping paper in similar designs while in HEMA, as well as printed washi tape, for his birthday presents and for upcoming parties (for more wrapping and card inspiration, see It’s A Wrap!).
Then, for a little something extra, I filled leftover clear cellophane sweetie bags with a mixture of popcorn, mini marshmallows and chocolate-covered raisins for him to take in to his school friends after his party weekend (nothing like keeping the birthday celebrations going – if it’s good enough for the Queen…).
As discussed in 10 Things Kids Love That Parents Hate Part 1, we do a lot of things to keep our offspring happy (and give us a precious half an hour to trawl Instagram, er, clean the house and get the dinner on). Keeping the young'uns amused and busy with any engrossing activity that tears them away from their best friend The iPad for a few moments makes us feel good about parenting. Plus look at that happy little face! So why wouldn't we want to provide them with things that make them smile? Because some of those things make life for us Hell On Earth. That's why...
Sadly, the things that bring our kids joy just... don't do it for us
My first child was a boy. At my 20-week scan with baby number two, we discovered we were having a girl, and after a couple of years of boy clothes and toys - despite having some seriously lovely clothes and toys for my son - the temptation to go out and buy something unashamedly girlie was intense. But once I'd got a few pink items out of my system, I was quite determined that she wasn't going to be a floaty pastel cliche of girldom. And whenever a family member would buy her a pink outfit or shoes, despite whether I liked it or not, I almost felt embarrassed putting her in it. It seemed so obvious and blatant and, well, standard
... from holidaying with the kids. As we've just returned from a nine-day break in the South of France with our two Small Ones, I thought I'd scare, er, share with you the valuable insights I've gleaned from our little jaunt. Sharing is caring, after all, and if it allows you to feel more prepared for your own holiday en famille - or at the very least provides you with the reassurance that it's Not Just You - then my work here is done.