That is my new mantra!
It has taken me almost a month to recover from the party that we threw for the girls.
Way back in September 2010, we purchased a party at Busy Bodies indoor play ground through WagJag. It was a really good deal. Until this point, we have been able to avoid a party where anyone other than family has been invited. With Munchkin in Grade 1 she has been invited to many friends’ parties and had started asking for her own. This discount through WagJag was exactly what we needed.
In the middle of October, I called to arrange a December or January party. Due to the nature of this deal, there were only limited days available and we got to pick from dates in March. Ya, March. Fortunately, I was able to rationalize this. We’d pick a date close to Peanut’s birthday and have Munchkin’s and Peanut’s party together. Perfect!
We had the girls pick their friends who they wanted to come. We had some from school and some from the neighbourhood. There were only a handful of friends at the party for just Munchkin; most of the attendees knew both girls so it worked out perfectly. Invitations were delivered 4 weeks before the party, with an RSVP 2 weeks before the party. We had to give numbers and other detail back to the party place a week before so we wanted to be prepared.
I started getting all the things ready that we needed to take with us: plates, cups, cutlery, cake, snacks (the party place was providing juice and pizza) and loot bags.
Yes, the dreaded loot bag. Most parents don’t care for the dollar store
junk treasures that comes home in most loot bags. I know I don’t. So I went online and very quickly and easily ordered the Loot Bag Combo from Mabel’s Labels. (I’ll be posting more about this tomorrow!) ** See review post here **
Party day rolls around. And this is where we start to realise that we are never going to do this again. “Never” is pretty harsh. We will have a part for the girls again, but there will be major rule changes.
The party was to run from 9:30 to 11:30am. We could arrive 5 minutes early to set up. And we had 5 minutes to get out after the party was done. Fortunately, they had a staff member there as an extra pair of hands. They helped set the table with plates, etc. When pizza time rolled around, they dished that up and they cut the cake.
Getting the kids rounded up and seated to eat was not an easy task. I felt like I was trying to herd cats. Once we got all the kids in the room, we realised that there was a kid I didn’t recognize. One of the staff members came to help us out. But the scary part was that this little girl didn’t know who’s party she was at the place place for.
Kids inhaled their pizza, scarfed down the cake and went running off again to play. I was able to clean up a bit and BigDaddy started taking the presents out to the car. (Another reason I don’t want to do that again…no time to open presents with their friends). And just as we finished cleaning out the room, parents arrived to get their kids. Loot bags were handed out. Thank yous were said.
That was the fastest 2 hours of my life. I was completely stressed and rushed. I’m not sure exactly what happened.
What I learned:
- don’t invite so many kids
- research the time-lines dictated by the play place
- it’s nice to have the mess outside my home
- don’t do a party so early in the morning
- make sure the place allows Tim Horton’s products