Monday, 7 August 2006

too soon she spoke

Just as I was ascending out of the fog I got hit from behind. A second virus, complete with gastro chaser and high fever left me in bed for 3 days, way behind on the sewing to fill my wholesale order and Amy's 4th birthday looming in 6 days.

Why we thought it was a good idea to let a compulsive extrovert dictate the guest list I do not know. We must have been on drugs. Or asleep. Or perhaps vomiting from gastro. 80 people for morning tea? Yeah, no problem...and I won't even get into the thoughts that have entered my head for the first time ever, of worrying that simply opening the doors of our home and laying on food is not sufficient for a party. I provide no entertainment or planned activities or anything otherwise worthwhile. I still expect kids to be able to amuse themselves when in large groups and if they can't I see it as someone else's problem...and no lollie bags. Am I a cow or a sensible resister of the disgusting fetishisation of children's parties by parents wishing to remake their childhood in an altogether more affluent vein? With everything else I desperately need to get done why am I wasting time even thinking about this? If I had more time I could do a serious post on the $10,000 4 year old parties I read about and how they make my toes curl, but here's the shorthand version - I think that is completely insane and has nothing to do with what children want or need. So I am astonished to find myself contemplating the edge of the wedge and feeling inadequate that there will be no princess merchandise on my scrappy wooden kitchen floor.

So sightings of me will be thin on the ground for a week or so. I'll try and pop back in to show you some pics if I get the chance of all the stuff that will be walking out the door, getting wrapped up for pressies or eaten by the descending hoards. And maybe a snap or two of the plum blossom and the first buds on the grape vine because they make me think perhaps winter may one day end. How I pine for summer.


Kate said...

Hope you feel better soon. I think your view of children's parties is extremely sensible. I've seen some scary things too. Good luck with it.

Lazy cow said...

My theory is, if you know the kids, and know the parents (and they are all nice people) then everything will be OK. At 4, kids are usually easygoing about these things. It's once they hit school that the peer pressure kicks in. Good luck and have fun!!

red swirl/ginevra said...

Hi Sooz, hope you guys feel better soon. Must admit I would be tempted to try Bill Granger's idea - make your own mini-pizza as entertainment and food ... but even then, I reckon it could get to commercialised ... & I've no idea what dealing with pizza-making 4 year olds would be like ;)

krista said...

I'm so sorry you've been so ill. I've had a taste of it myself this weekend. NO fun. Hope you'll feel right as rain real soon. And don't worry, spring is right around the corner for you so - enjoy! And good luck with the rest.

African Kelli said...

Stick to your guns. You are making the right choice! The children will use their imaginations for entertainment and I'm sure the party will be fantastic!!
And I hope you are feeling better quickly.

Hippy Mama said...

80! 80 Fricken people!! are you insane?!?

My kids just had their birthdays. Quin turned 4 and Morgan turned 2. I shelled out
$200 for a delux Thomas party pack.
$15 for the Costco cake
$25 to Trader Joes for juice and such

I layed everything out on the table at the park and voila' party done.

35 people stayed for 5 hours. Why I do not know. But a good time was had by all. As the kids arrived I gave them their goodie bags to play with when that wore down we did the pinata and then we did cake and presents.

My 2 yr olds party was simpler because she hasn't figured out how to catalog shop yet. Thank you God. She picked out Hello Kitty plates and stuff. Costco cake, Trader Joes snacks and juice, I brought her little tea table and bought a glass tea set for $3 from the thrift store. Set up the big table and the little table. Party for 25 people for 4 hours. Oh' yeah "gift bags" were more waldorf they were silk scarves and some little wool toys and play doh with rolly pin and cookie cutters set aside from the train party and a bubble bottle.

A good time was had by all.

I think of goody bags as the during party entertainment plus little kids like to open presents.

Hope your party turns out well I'm sure it will. I would ask a few close friends to come help set up the day before and before the party. It's a fun thing to do with girlfriends and it makes it tons easier. Besides, it keeps you from stressing too much because your friends are around helping.

Love and Laughter,

Alison said...

With that many people (oh my heart aches for you!!) I'd be tempted (bad mother thing coming up) to let everyone go feral and fend for themselves and the kids will do whatever they want to do - you can oganise them till the cows come home, but only 1/3 will comply. So why fight it. Lay on the food, pull out all the play toys, goodie bags are optional, and you just enjoy the time with guests and your child.

Turning Japanese said...

Oh you poor thing. Are you feeling any better? I have moved into my friend's house in Melbourne and three of them have a cold... just waiting for mine to kick in. Fingers crossed!
Did you get the rest of the cotton I bought? I hope it arrived ok...

Suse said...

No, you're not sensible and sane I'm afraid. 80 PEOPLE!!! Sheesh!

I quite like the idea that you invite the number of children that reflects the birthday child's age. ie. if they are turning four, you invite four little friends, if they're turning 10, then ten friends. Works for us.

Having just said that, we probably had close to 50 for Son #2's party as it was a class party, and we had just moved here and so it was also a sort of farewell family party for that class community. We threw lots of sausages on the BBQ, made a few salads, and baked two chocolate cakes (one log cake for the 1, and one in a ring shape for the 0 - he turned 10, duh) and the kids amused themselves. I set out things in the garden for them to play with such as quoits, boules, frisbees etc and they went for it. So in actual fact, it was easier than if I'd done the whole organised activity thing (which I never do) and certainly cheaper than using a venue.

Sorry for long comment. I've had wine.

Amy said...

I agree that simple parties - for all ages -- are the way to go. But 80 bodies sounds far from simple, even if you just have punch and nuts. Good luck, good luck.

bugheart said...

i am so sorry
you are sick
wish i could
come over
and cook
and clean
and make
you all tea!!!
feel better soon!