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Monday, 26 February 2007

Birthday Parties

This weekend, like every other - James was off on his usual tour of the local party venues avec les enfant's. On Saturday morning, Max went to 'TJ's mini Gym' in Crystal Palace, a local soft play party venue. On Sunday morning both munchkins were painting pottery at 'All Fired Up' in East Dulwich.

Our children are like most other small local children - being conveyed by car to an endless stream of parties every weekend. They will bounce in the door of the house every Saturday and Sunday evening, faces painted, with helium balloons and party bags containing all manner of chocolate coinage, mini games, My Little Ponies, Power Rangers, and horror of horror - Water Eggs or other slime type sticky thingamabobs that stick to the wall, or weld themselves onto our fibre optic lights or wenge wood paneling in the study. Is it any wonder that many children voice an ambition to be famous - like (God forbid) Lindsay Lohan and Callum Best - perpetual party animals?

The party bags are becoming increasingly extravagant. Forgive me, I realise they are nothing like the gift bags dispensed at The Oscars, but certainly, they are the kiddie equivalent. Whatever happened to a piece of soggy birthday cake in a napkin? Sometimes, as I dig another gift token from Cheeky Monkey toy shop out from my weekly purchased stash in the kitchen drawer, I wonder if the cost of the gift even covers the cost of the party bag that my darlings will return with that evening.

It was never like that when I was a girl. We had a 'special tea' involving a special cake with candles and a song, - the birthday girl was the only one who got a gift. No, actually I do remember once getting a paper party bag containing a box of sweet cigarettes (very un PC now!), a soggy piece of cake and a rubber ball.

I wonder if I could buy sweet cigarettes on the internet? - I feel like being controversial. I am sure Ana could locate some for me in Latvia on her next trip home. The next set of party bags distributed by moi, shall contain sweet cigarettes and a can of Coke (a can, not a line, although as far as other Dulwichmums are concerned - they may as well be one and the same).

Sometimes the pressure to be a good Dulwichmum gets right up my nose.........


Anonymous said...

As for the party favours, on our recent trip to New York I picked up the beginnings of ours... at wholsesale prices! ("Na-na na-na-na" as Lily would say). She is having an oh-so-original "fairy princess" party (complete with party gazebo in the garden) and so I am making fairy costumes for the 20 girls who are invited. As we are also having a pinata (we aren't Mexican but we are half American) I am wondering whether I should ALSO have party bags in addition to all the sweets and the fairy costumes??

dulwichmum said...

You are such a good mum to be going to so much trouble for Lily. I hate to say it though, the children love a party bag.....

Anonymous said...

I'm on a mission to say no to party bags! They're full of tat, more sweets and rubbish made in Chinese sweat shops. I too often wonder if the gift I've given the birthday kid adds up to as much as the bag my kids receive. I have two girls and one year I used the money I'd have put towards party bags to buy a donkey in the developing world. The children were probably a bit too young (5) to get the concept but I'd do the same again, as my daughter fully understood what we were doing. I do always give a little token going home gift, but rarely for more than £1. As for the lady making 20 costumes, absolutely no way to bags! You're giving them a dressing up outfit for goodness' sake. You're fantastic - don't be pressurised into conforming to some ludicrous standard that increasingly people want to pull away from.