Party politics (for kids)

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I love a good party. Cake, candy and conversation – it’s simple really.

Well, that’s what I thought when I started planning for my daughter’s birthday. Then the requests started coming.

“Mum, can I have my party at the pool? The zoo? The play centre?”

“Mum, can I have a Doctor Who cake? An echidna cake? A princess fairy castle cake?”

“Mum, can I invite Sally, Cally, Molly, Holly, Tammy, Sammy, Pixie, Trixie, Zoe, Chloe . . . ?”

“Mum? Mum? Mum? Mum? Muuuuuuuuum?!*@?”

Please, make it stop.

The first and most difficult hurdle was the guest list. We had to keep it short, but that meant choosing between friends and friends-of-friends. Disappointment somewhere along the line was inevitable.

Next issue to be tackled was the theme which would invariably influence the venue. There was talk of a dance party, a glamour party, a rock and roll party, a disco and a sleep-over. Her friends had done it all before, so why couldn’t she?

After much discussion (and a little bit of coercion) the birthday girl opted for a movie night . . . at home.

I breathed a sigh of relief then set about decorating the house in-keeping with the movie. It took a full day but we turned our house into a jungle and probably cut down a small forest in the process.

Then came news that there was another party on the same night – and the guest lists overlapped. The birthday girl was reeling but five of her six friends stayed true so the turmoil was brief.

But what about a cake? Photographs appeared out of nowhere. Elaborate pieces of cake-making artistry well beyond my humble abilities – tiered, personalised, themed to perfection.

We settled on cupcakes. Home-made, topped with green icing, chocolate eggs and shop-bought sugar flowers.

And party bags? If you’re partying in a jungle, you may well need a survival kit and that’s exactly what they got.

My stress level was high. Sleep quota was low. But satisfaction when the birthday girl smiled made it all worthwhile.

Now, just a few more months until we do it all again for the youngest.

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