Wednesday, 9 August 2006

party people

Thanks for all the comments. Yes, insane. We are.

Just so you all know, some of those 80 people are babies, and I've counted two parents for lots of kids, and I'm sure younger siblings and both parents won't show for really, it might be as few as 50 or 60.

Yeah, OK, insane.

And when I said providing no activities, there is Amy's room with a substantial dress-up box and lots of books and toys and outside (if the weather is fine) there's a sandpit and swing and enough lawn for a soccer ball and other play.

We've always been a social family, and our house has always been a play venue for my mum's group, for a casual dinner with friends, for a drop in afternoon beer or a weekend lunch. And I made the decision long ago that what made this OK was that I would never get uptight about how clean my house was or how good a host I was. You are welcome in my home so long as the whole thing doesn't cause me so much stress I don't enjoy myself. And that's why I could even contemplate letting Amy invite every kid she has anything to do with for a party.

So by now my friends know that if I say do you want to stay to dinner after an afternoon play session I'm not just being polite and they really are welcome to stay. I won't go to more trouble than I'm comfortable with. Sometimes this means I feed them take away. Most of them understand and are comfortable about helping themselves to what's in the fridge, putting on the kettle or offering to run out and pick up drinks if we're running low.

I've never aimed to be the best hostess, have the best decorated house or the cleanest bathroom. I've aimed to have a home that welcomes people and is full of life and fun. I also love to feed people really well and if I have time I'll cook you something that's wholesome and delicious and if the cupboards are bare I'll order really good take away so you won't leave my place hungry.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because I'm rattled that this party has made me rethink this stuff. That I've started to feel, even just the tiniest bit, like I need to perform. Partly because we've invited kids from kinder who I don't know, and whose parents I don't know. There's a bit of worlds colliding stuff I guess, but also because as Amy gets older I'm beginning to see that maybe my priorities, my choices, aren't hers.

So thanks to you commenters who have agreed with me, it's nice to feel I'm not some crazy old party pooper. And really, I do have faith that it's the people who count, that I'd rather have 50 friends in chaos than 10 in a straight jacket, and I hope I am pushing back just a little on a kids culture that focuses way too much on the 'devices' and 'stuff' of kids entertainment. I really do have faith that a bunch of kids can always find something to do if they have each other.

Now I just have to make sure there's enough food...

And these photos are some toys I've been making for my wholesale order. Very soon you will be able to see me amongst the divine wares at Mini Decor. Wow, what esteemed company I keep, eh? I really love this store and the toys and great things they carry from all over the world so it's been an honour to join the crowd.

And sorry no promise of Spring photos because the weather's turned yukky again.


Kristy said...

I'm with you about the kids entertaining themselves thing.I suppose I'm lucky as my second daughter is party organiser extrodinaire at the tender age of 10!Parties are always a big gathering as there are 20+ cousins 11 and under.So adding adults and other friends the numbers can get quite high.Everyone always enjoys themselves without having to pay for entertainment!KIds feed of each other and games are quickly devised.

African Kelli said...

I think having a home where you are always welcome and sure to leave with a full belly sounds like heaven!

kt said...

What a darling bunch of dollies!

And I agree with you--invite people for the company and you'll get the right kind of folks who'll lend a hand by making sure EVERYONE's having a good time.