Today was the third birthday party for The Child Previously Known As Toddler, who shall now be referred to as Boo. This is because
a) The Child Previously Known As Toddler is far too long a name, and
b) We've been calling her Boo since she was born anyway.
The party went extremely well, apart from several hundred hitches.
The first guests to arrive were my parents, bearing the birthday cake (as I don't bake), the adults' cake (as I don't bake) and the cupcakes (as I don't bake, and my mum bought them from the supermarket anyway).
Except that my parents weren't bearing all these things at all; they were bearing the two baked cakes, but had left the cupcakes at home. Which was a problem, as all the kids' sweets had been carefully tucked inside the pinata for later, leaving a pathetic looking spread of chips and fruit. (And we all know kids have no interest in fruit. You just put it there to look like you care about nutrition.)
So my father was dispatched to fetch the cupcakes, and I apologetically explained to the looking parents that more food was coming later. They looked sceptical. I didn't blame them.
Boo was thrilled at the arrival of her friends, a delight she expressed rather touchingly by grabbing each gift and running to place it in a corner. As you do.
Once the children were gathered, it was time for Pass The Parcel. Being a veteran mother (using 'veteran' in the sense of 'elderly') I opted for two parcels to go around the circle at once, to move the game along a little faster. It was a wise decision, as one parcel was permanently halted in the lap of little Daniel, who refused to relinquish possession of said parcel after the fourth layer was unwrapped.
Thankfully, by the time the Pass The Parcel was over, the cupcakes had arrived, and it was time for a Snack Break. Even more thankfully, every child had taken a cupcake by the time my son knocked the plate onto the floor, smashing it into a million tiny pieces. And if anyone cut their feet on the shards of crockery, thankfully they didn't start bleeding until they left my house.
Next up was the Pinata. I gathered the children around whilst my big kids took the opportunity to throw chocolate coins all over the garden for the upcoming Treasure Hunt. Unfortunately, several children noticed them tossing the chocolate coins, leading to a mad stampede of three year olds before the Pinata could even be unveiled. This sudden change of plans didn't turn out to be a problem at all, except for the one well behaved child who had obediently lined up for the scheduled game, and ended up with no chocolate coins at all. Luckily Boo could be coerced into sharing a couple of hers, but as she had collected about 37(given her home field advantage and all) this didn't exactly reflect a deep generosity of spirit.
The Pinata was a wild success (using 'wild' in the sense of 'mild'). Each of the kids had several turns, mainly because the Pinata turned out to be indestructible, seeimingly built to withstand not just parties of three year olds, but tsunamis, hurricanes, and possibly even nuclear war. In the end my son and his friend tore the bloody thing down, stomped on it, stabbed it with bamboo sticks, and ripped it apart with their hands. Lollies did not as much 'rain down' as promised as be 'tipped out' onto the floor. But the three year olds didn't care. They had lost interest by this stage anyway.
So then nothing was left but to eat the birthday cake (which was fabulous, thanks to Nana's baking and a Spongebob transfer) and open the gate to let the guests out. Presents were opened, Hubby went to work with a broom, Boo was dispatched to bed, and I scrubbed the chocolate stains on the carpet.
Using 'scrubbed the chocolate stains' in the sense of 'fell asleep'.
Boo's party was lovely. But next time, I'm hiring a fairy.