Girl Lacer had a lovely birthday party yesterday. It did my tiny shoe box flat proud, ten adults / children fitted in just fine. It was just a small party, more lunch and playing really but for Girl Lacer’s first ever party it was a success. We had pass the parcel and we made party masks. Food was sandwiches cut into the shape of stars and hearts (easier with marmite than ham), Organix crisps, salad, cocktail sausages and number 4 cut out biscuits and buttermilk birthday cake from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. The cake was in the shape of a castle. Next year I think we’ll have a bigger party in one of the local halls but it will still be fairly, I think the term these days is, ‘retro’, i.e pass the parcel, pin the tail, musical statues, things like that.
We live in quite an affluent area and I remember when Girl Lacer was smaller sitting in the toddler group listening to other mummies talking about what they did for birthday parties, the entertainers hired etc and I thought what have I let myself in for? I like Anonymom‘s take on birthday parties, which can be found here and here, although from the sound of it birthday parties in the States are a little different from the ones over here, from the parties Anonymom describes the unifying theme seems to be food and they seem to be held at restaurants. Now I do remember McDonalds birthday parties when I was a kid but do they even do those anymore? Around here it’d be social suicide to invite someone elses child to a fast food restaurant, even though we all probably take our own kids to McDs, it’s officially a thing to do ‘when you’re just to tired / rushed to cook’, certainly not a place to have a party! You generally have to be so careful with the minefield that is ‘food and other people’s kids’; food intolerances / allergies, parental fears on food colourings, general fussiness. At Girl Lacer’s party, most of the food was casein (cow dairy protein) free – the ‘buttermilk’ cake and biscuits were made with soya spread, goats yoghurt and goats milk, this was for Boy Lacer, I made sure there were gluten free options for one of my mummy friends, the crisps were low salt and there were no food colourings except for a few cake decorations. But after all that, you know what the kids would have been just happy with, the low salt crisps and the cocktail sausages; they ate those like a hoard of hungry locusts but other than those, they were just happy playing, so food at least here, is not the key to children’s parties. Anyway, here’s to retro at home / your local community hall if your house isn’t big enough to hold parties!
Of course though when the kids are older, then I think meals out on your own with your friends in Italian restaurants come into their own (got fond memories of those).