Save up the effort for when they can actually remember it.
The day was glistening. One of those Sydney spring dazzlers.
There were sparkling glasses of champagne on trays, elegant little chicken sandwiches and the thuck-thuck of stilettos tottering around asphalt.
But it was the waiters’ crisp white jackets that stuck with me. And in particular, the crusting of the Peppa Pig birthday cake upon the sleeves of nearly every single one of them as they attempted to hand out wedges of cake to the crowd of 80 or so adults and children.
I’m not sure I had ever been to a daytime event as totally overwhelming for its indulgence. Or as totally mind blowing for its noise.
This wasn’t a Melbourne Cup luncheon or a charity function.
It was a first birthday party for a neighbourhood child.
Not a celebrity kid mind you – we’ve become accustomed to hearing tales of blows outs on festival-styled occasions like North West’s Kidchella party earlier this year.
Somehow over the past five years, first birthday parties have reached the same status as the 18th, 21st, 40th and 50th birthdays.
Our kid-centric culture has seen us craving only the best, only the biggest, only the most talked about to please our little darlings.
But what a lot of us seem to be forgetting amidst the glow sticks and face paint is the fact that first birthday parties aren’t actually about the kid.
They are about the mum.
Your average one-year-old would be blown away by a chocolate crackle and some brightly coloured wrapping paper to rip to shreds.
They don’t need baby animal farms, jumping castles (junior can barely walk remember) or hot and cold hors d’oeuvres.
The thing that a lot of us forget is that your precious one-year-old isn’t actually going to remember a shred of it anyway.
There is nothing wrong with wanting our child’s birthday to be special. I am just now firmly of the belief that if you find the whole thing too hard, too expensive or too complicated then don’t do it.
Don’t feel the pressure.
I was guilty of it with my first. His first birthday party was weeks of planning. It featured matching colour coordinated helium balloons, printed invitations to family, friends and every single person I knew with a similar aged child (so he would have someone to play with, of course).