Why dads should organise birthday parties …. and moms should sleep on the couch

Connor had his birthday party this weekend.

Kennith has been arranging Connor’s birthday parties since my sh&t fit about four years ago.

I know there are tons of moms who get really excited ab0ut their kid’s birthday parties – it appears I am not one of those moms. I am the mom who gets so stressed and worked up about the birthday party, that I lose my sense of humour at the RSVP stage.

Then it is pretty much all downhill from there.

Any the who, Kennith does the birthday planning for Connor’s birthday party, and I do think at a certain point dads organizing a boy’s birthday is a much better idea.

What Kennith did:

1.  Skipped party packs – each boy got a water bottle and a torch from Cape Union Mart.

2.  Popped down to a local store and picked up a chocolate cake off the shelf.  Me, I would have spent weeks arranging some monster through a specialised cake company and blown the monthly payment for a car on a cake.

3.  He bought hotdogs and rolls, a few packs of chips and cooldrinks.  I would have (over) catered and gone full ball.  Boys ate enough, drank enough and everyone was happy – and it did not take a truck load of food and catering to make them happy.

4.  He organised that Connor invite 9 of his friends and that was it.   I would have invited every cousin, his sister’s friends, the person who once spoke to him at Pick ‘n Pay.  We didn’t  even take the girls with …. and they survived.

5.  He arranged that the boys go to City Rock and do rock climbing.   I was thinking, well that sounds a bit like something the boys are not going to enjoy

6.  Afterwards they came to our house and swam in the pool.   I was thinking, well clearly we need to go bigger here. It appears I was wrong on all counts.

Boys had a great time.

They had fun from the start to the time when their  parents collected them.

To be honest I did not see most of the parents.  I fell asleep on the couch.

Pretty much the way I think one should spend all birthdays and Saturdays!

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The boys try out a “cave” to test out the hand grips.

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Each boy was fitted with a harness and connected to a the “person who holds the rope” on the ground.  At no point did I feel any of the kids were in an unsafe situation nor were they pushed to do something they did not want to do.

But they were encouraged to push on, and really get to points that they probably did not think they could reach.

As they time progressed, the boys started racing each other as to who could climb up the fastest.

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The boys were in two teams.

They were taken through different grades of climbing with a gradual increase in difficulty.

Only one of the boys had ever been rock climbing before, but all of them did it, and it was incredible how much fun they had.

City Rock – great location for a kid’s party – and actually a really cool place to take the kids. {while we were there, there were lots of families that came along and did some rock climbing with their kids}

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Party Planning step one ….. decide on a party theme …..

I know that “rite of passage” to mommy-hood is being able to pinterest the crap out of your child’s upcoming/planned/anticipated birthday party.

I think I have commented before that I am a bit less excited about my own children’s birthday parties, because they overwhelm me so much.

I get stressed right at the planning stage.  By the time we move to the RSVP’s and the parents who do not respond by the indicated date, I am about ready to throw back 10 Zolofts and wonder about the sanity of it all!!

Birthday parties are not happy occasions for me.  They are stressful and I usually just want to count 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, 3-Mississipp until it is all over.

I have no idea how moms who throw parties manage to look so composed and that they are enjoying it all.  Eleven years in, and countless parties, and I still find a pap smear more enjoyable.

Connor has his birthday in December, so he is almost guaranteed hot and sunny weather.  Except on the dates where we plan an outdoor party that is weather dependent  then sure as nuts are sweaty, it will rain or be windy, as it has for the last three years – except the movie party, because on that day it was sunny and 36 degrees.

I have passed the torch of  “Connor’s birthday parties” to Kennith and he has been organising these for the last three years.  Though granted he forgot to get a cake last year, but let’s not hold that against him.

June is the birthday month for the girls. Sadly Isabelle has never actually had a birthday party – she is overshadowed totally by her sister every year without fail.  This year will be no exception.

I was planning on using an indoor venue for Georgia’s party this year, but she is turning 8, and she is at that age where indoor venues are a bit young for her.

I then thought I would look at a Pamper Party for her, but nothing I have seen fills me with much hope.  To be honest two of the potential party places never got back to me, so I am not exactly filled with hope and exaltation when we can barely get out of the starting gates.

Third plan was to have her birthday party at the Aquarium, and do a mermaid party.  But if you have 15 kids, it might just be cheaper to buy a live shark and put him in your pool and then the kids can throw fish at him.

Right now we are back at the idea of having a home party.

Georgia is at the age where the kids are drop off and go.   It is great on so many levels.  I do not have to cater for the parents, and  to this also means a reduction in awkward small talk. Right now I just need to prepare to say “hi there, lovely, wonderful, see you at about 16h00 okay?”

The rest of the time at least the only social awkwardness is me and a room full of eight year olds.  But if it is a late afternoon party, then at least I can drink wine, and that sometimes helps.

I had to first explain to Georgia that we were no longer doing the mermaid party.  I had hyped it up a bit to sell her on the idea. That was a bit of a challenge and an exercise in disappointing a seven-year old, but now she seems to be on board with my new idea.  More or less.

My new party plan (for this week, check in at the end of March for a revised new plan) is that we will throw a “Born to be an Artist” party.

Kids will do canvases and painting and stuff ….. I have no idea yet, but that is the rough overall picture at the moment, and that is pretty much all I have got.

I am thinking of painting a portion of the floor in the garage with chalk paint and the kids can draw on it.  I am thinking we can “frame” one wall in the garage and the kids can paint that too.  The options are endless, as long as it stays in the garage!

I am off to pinterest as soon as I finish this post.