'I thought throwing a kids party at home would be a good idea. I was wrong. Very wrong.'

Parenting is a huge learning curve.

Before you have kids, you have these ideas of what having kids would look like. Things like, they’d definitely brush their teeth daily and have their hair combed regularly at a minimum. And then there were the big aspirations.

I was going to be the mum who hosted big birthday parties at home – cheerfully, because of course, in my fantasies kids were reasonably behaved and definitely wouldn’t trash my house and make me want to call the cops on a bunch of seven-year-olds.

As you may already have figured out, this isn’t how parenthood pans out. Mostly because, unlike what you may think before you meet them, kids are actually human beings completely independent of any kind of control you may imagine you have over them.

But as it turns out, I’m a slow learner. I’ve been a mum for over a decade now, and despite experience and basically everyone I talked to screaming “no!”, I went ahead and arranged to have my son’s eighth birthday party at home. My home. The place where I sleep, and eat, and generally enjoy being.

My reasoning mostly came down to the fact that Alfie’s birthday falls toward the end of November, and with the budget always being a bit stretched at that time of the year, I decided I’d get more value for money out of hiring an entertainer and hosting it myself rather than paying upwards of $30 per heard for a bowling/laser tag/putt-putt party at a venue.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kelly James (@kelly.elizabeth.james) on

So I went ahead and booked someone to do “gross” science experiments with around 15 kids, thinking that would keep them super entertained until it was time to load them up with cake, lollies, and send them home for their parents to deal with the inevitable rush and crash.

Only, it didn’t work out that way. The entertainer held their attention for approximately 1.5 seconds before they started to disperse, some pinching his supplies of slime and fake vomit making materials.

Pretty soon, I had 15 kids ranging in age from 11 to five running around, covered head to toe in shaving cream and slime, and trying to enter my house (I actually ended up locking the door and escorting genuine about-to-bust cases to the bathroom). There were kids throwing slime at the exterior of the house, putting it on the dog, and mixing every material they could find in a bucket.


The science guy had so little control of the situation that when asked by a devil-child for food dyes, he was going to hand them over without question (I… stepped in at this point).

When it came time to do the cake, I thought I could keep them all in the dining room to minimise mess and damage, but within moments, there were kids ripping apart my couch and beating each other with the cushions.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kelly James (@kelly.elizabeth.james) on

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, if someone else’s parent raised their voice or even spoke firmly (hell, even if they spoke politely), I’d be quivering in fear and immediately stopping whatever misdeed I was up to (shout-out to the time I took a book about witchcraft to my conservative Catholic friend’s family home).

But not kids in 2018. They did not care for my yelling. I don’t think they even noticed. One told me I was mean because I took a burning candle out of his hands. Another little girl told me that gold jewellery looks cheap (is it weird to be offended and a little hurt by a seven-year-old?).

It was around this point that I told my husband that if these little f*cking delights aren’t all out of my house in the next 15 minutes, I’m calling the cops to report a disturbance. I had actually bought paper plates with the intention of the children eating the cake at the party, but my that point I threw pieces into napkins, handed them out, and sent them all home.

I’d like to say that was the end of it, but then there was the clean-up. Reader, I had to HOSE DOWN MY HOUSE. There were discarded cups all over the lawn. It honestly looked like a frat party a-la Bad Neighbours had been hosted there.

Next year, parties are either at the park, or non-existent.