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.
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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.