Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A party for three

I absolutely love organising Bee's birthday parties.  Some might say a little too much.  I say if you're going to do a party then you go hard or you go home.  Or something like that.  I'm currently in the midst of organising Bee's fourth birthday party in a couple of weeks, and it got me thinking to the time no-one came to her birthday party. 

It was her second birthday party and we had decided to have it a local soft play.  The little ones could have a few hours playing and basically going wild, then would have some food and go wild some more.  Not the most refined birthday party, but hey, at two, who doesn't love whizzing down a giant slide at least fifty times.  

The list of invites hadn't been a particularly long one, and we had invited some of her little friends from baby groups we went to, friends and their little ones and family members too.  I think the total number of children was about twelve.  A good number you would think.  But, as the weeks passed after giving out our invites the 'we can't comes' started to outnumber the 'yes we're comings'.   Twelve became ten.  Ten became eight. A week before the party, the total number was five children, including Bee.  

I could work with five.  Five wasn't huge, but it was an OK number I thought.  Then two more dropped out.  That left Bee and two of her friends.  

A party of three. 

I shed a little tear.  Who has just two friends at a birthday party? This was obviously my fault.  I clearly hadn't made enough effort with people and now my daughter was going to be friendless forever.  I envisaged the years to come.  My lonely daughter with no friends.  Inviting random's off the street to make up numbers.  She'd become a lonely, single cat woman.  Forever. 

Ok, so I got a bit carried away with my thoughts.  But it all boiled down to the fact that it was my fault. I was a bad mum. 

The day of the party came.  And do you know what?  Bee had the time of her life.  She laughed, she whizzed around, her cheeks were bright red from exhaustion, but that girl had the best time ever in that soft play centre with her two friends. 

Did she mind that her other friends weren't there? No. She didn't give it a second thought.  She had her family there and a ball pit.  She had hugs and kisses and cake. Oh and a big birthday badge. And that was enough. 

Last year we had about 15 children at her party and it was lovely.  But it was no better or no worse than her very little 2nd birthday party.

All those thoughts I had about her having no friends were ridiculous.  As she's got older, we've attended different groups and she now goes to pre-school.  Some friendships have changed.  Some have stopped.  New ones have formed.  And I guess that's all a part of growing up.  It's nothing to be forced or worried about, and it's nothing to do with my parenting skills.  

We all compare.  I think it's human nature.  Parties have got bigger, more fancy and more pinnable, which is fine.  But if you're having a party for your little one and the guest list is small or becomes tiny like ours, then so what.  Numbers mean nothing at all, won't do any lasting damage and your little one won't be a cat lady or cat man.  All it really means is that you have more time for your little one, more time for cake and for going down that really, really big slide.   


  1. Ah totally agree the numbers don't count. But I do gotta say, it is really rude to cancel on a birthday party, especially at that late a stage. There is always someone who is genuinely sick, or has some sick relatives they need to see, but 10? Very rude of your friends :(

    1. Thanks Sian. It was a bit of a nightmare but it all turned out fine in the end!