The one you’ve all been waiting for.
Yes, you’ve guessed it. It’s the follow up to the hugely successful ‘Don’t be like Teaching Mum (at Children’s Parties)’. The post, written earlier in the year, gave all parents a comprehensive guide how to totally ‘boss’ children’s parties – then it explained how I did it.
Today my daughter was invited to not one, but two birthday parties and she wanted to go to both and I wanted her to go to both, so we did – we went to both. And when I say ‘we’ I mean all of us: the Teaching Family collective turned up and
trashed crashed the parties.
So, here it is. The Dos and Don’ts of successful party crashing.
DO turn up at party number one with your very much invited daughter holding the birthday present and card firmly in her hands. (We totally did this, by the way.)
However, we also did this…
DON’T turn up twenty minutes late because you ‘popped’ to see Santa first. Every year, our local parish council give all the local children free tickets to see Santa. Never ones to pass up a freebie, we thought if we left early enough we could see old St Nick and still arrive in good time for the party. The problem was that more than half of the village had the same thought this morning – get the Santa sh*t out of the way first. Therefore, the queue to see Santa was outside the building and queuing around the corner.
DON’T dress your daughter in an outfit clearly not suited to the December weather and then say you’re ‘just nipping to Peacocks’ to grab some tights. Only to return to the Santa queue half an hour later empty handed (they only had aged 9 – 10) to find Teaching Dad still in the queue, going stir crazy, with a piece of tinsel wrapped ‘Rambo Style’ around his head trying to stop his son from pulling over the “kangarooooo” (reindeer) that was guarding the entrance to the Big Man himself.
DON’T agree to let your other half do the ‘big shop’ whilst you’re at the party. In theory this was a good idea. We would go see Santa, my girl and I would be dropped off at the party, Teaching Dad would go to Tesco with our son and then pick us back up after. In practice however, this did not work because the boy fell asleep in the car. “Oh, let him come to the party,” I said. “He can just snooze on me whilst I sit and have a cuppa.” Did he stay asleep? No, of course he didn’t. As soon as we stepped into the party, his ears pricked up at the sound of the music, his eyes widened at the sight of the massive, brightly coloured bouncy castle, his mouth salivated at the sight of cake and off he jumped out of my arms and into the midst of the crowded bouncy castle never to be seen again – well at least until the party food was served.
DO apologise profusely to the very lovely and understanding Mum, who has clearly put in a lot of time and effort into organising this party, and explain that this was NOT in the plan. Santa was NOT in the plan, crashing the party was NOT in the plan and my son eating the food that has been made for party guests certainly ISN’T IN THE PLAN, so don’t worry about setting a place for him because we will just sit back and watch while…oh no there he is seated at the head of the table tucking into a sausage roll…
And he most certainly didn’t go on to eat three sandwiches, a bun, a party sausage and then regurgitate the said sausage to make way for a chocolate mini-roll all while drinking from two or more different cups that clearly belonged to others…
Time for Pass the Parcel – thank God!
DO vow keep your son away from the game circle.
DON’T turn your back for a second to drink your tea only to find him seated slap bang in the middle of the circle tearing pieces of discarded paper to bits.
DO text Teaching Dad to ask for wine and to find out WHAT’S TAKING HIM SO BLOODY LONG because you need an extra pair of hands to keep your son from eating every single grape that existed. Ever.
DO repeatedly say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ to the very lovely parents, who as you prepare to leave, hand you a party bag for your son that was meant for someone else.
Party number two started in less than an hour.
DO turn up at party number two with your very much invited daughter holding the birthday present and card in her hands. (We totally did this, by the way.)
However, we also did this
DON’T call home first to unpack the shopping from Tesco, tidy up, wash up, do a toilet run and charge your phone, thus making you late for party number two.
DON’T suggest (yet again) to take your uninvited son to the party whilst your other half completes another errand. (This time it was buying a Christmas tree.)
DON’T stop in the entrance to party venue to say ‘hello’ to one of your Year 11 form members, who happens to work on a ride outside the venue, only for him to ignore you and make you look like you are saying “eyup” to fresh air.
DON’T lie to the parent of the birthday boy about ‘this not being in the plan’ about your son gatecrashing the party as, this time, it clearly was the plan in order that a Christmas tree could be purchased.
DON’T take your youngest to a soft play party and expect to be able to buy a latte and a piece of carrot cake to eat in peace. This is the most ridiculous thing you could do because I guarantee that your child will throw the mother of all tantrums, your latte will go cold, your cake will go uneaten and you will have to slide down the blummin’ slide at least fifty times to make up for being the worst parent in the world for daring to buy a piece of Costco carrot cake as ‘a bit of a treat’.
DO use your teacher voice on a bunch of rowdy boys, who at aged around 12, were clearly too old to be fighting over a plastic ride along cow in the baby area. DO also check that they weren’t the older brothers of the birthday boy…oops.
DO, once again, apologise profusely for your son crashing the party and remain adamant that, this time, he won’t sit and eat at the party table – he will sit on Mummy’s knee and watch Peppa Pig on You Tube.
DON’T turn a blind eye when you see the birthday boy’s father dragging over a chair so that your son can sit next to his sister at the table. DON’T then stand back and watch the whole thing play out in slow motion as your daughter knocks over a full cup of raspberry slush onto another party goer as she moves to make space for her little brother. DON’T add insult to injury by offering to clean up the mess with baby wipes, which are wet and therefore useless at mopping up blue slush.
DO call Teaching Dad and ask if he is on his way to pick you up. DO breathe a sigh of relief when he says he is outside in the car park. DO say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ again to the parents for both spilling a drink and bringing a gatecrasher, while at the same time accepting graciously yet another free party bag for the said gatecrasher.
DO avoid the Year 11 pupil on the way out so not to cause yourself more embarrassment at not being the cool teacher you think you are.
DO come home, open wine and watch as your children, who have both had the most amazing day, decorate the Christmas tree. DO eat all the icing from the additional birthday cakes you have acquired and be grateful that, despite all the parenting fails today, you loved every second of it.
Gatecrashing parties: do do it. (I said dodo…crap poo joke…okay, I’ll stop now.)