independent

Saturday 17 August 2019

Justine O'Mahony

Birthday parties for little girls and boys are very different affairs

ALL I can say is the house will never be the same again! Little girls may look like angelic, peachy skinned princesses, but underneath that heavenly exterior lurks a propensity for destruction.

The Smallest celebrated her sixth birthday last weekend and to mark the occasion, I, in my wisdom decided to hold a bit of a bash in the house for her. What I failed to realise beforehand is that, girls birthday parties are a world apart from boys and require the kind of planning and security that are normally reserved for a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

First there was the entertainment which took weeks to be decided upon. Finally she agreed on a face painter and pottery maker, eschewing the bouncy castle because bouncy castles are so last year duh!

With boys it's just a case of throwing them into the garden with a football and they'll make their own entertainment. They might puck the heads off each other but my rule is: if there's no blood then they're grand!

Then there was the invitations which the Birthday Girl was very specific about and insisted on writing herself. This process took about four hours because she kept adding names to the list. And by god was there lists: Hello Kitty invites, ditto party bags, balloons, serviettes, plates, cups and bunting. Princess pencils, notebooks and erasers (they don't call them rubbers anymore apparently) for the party bags, pink and lemon cupcakes, chocolate muffins, jellies and a selection of crisps made up the ' buffet' and finally the piece de resistence - a Pinata.

Now maybe I had a very underprivileged upbringing but I'd never heard of a Pinata before A Pinata, for those of you as underprivileged as me, is a cardboard animal stuffed full of sweets that you hang from a hook and let the partygoers beat the living daylights out of until it bursts and the sweets spill out. I'm not sure how politically correct it is to be encouraging little girls to pulverise animals, even if they are cardboard but what do I know? I was under the impression kids still played pass the parcel at parties!

So 16 beautifully turned out little girls descended upon us promptly at 3 pm last Saturday. The face painter/potter was in situe and God help the poor girl. She tried her best but only managed to keep them entertained and under control for all of,…. em 20 minutes.

"What will we do now?" demanded one little madam with her hands on her hips. "I looked blankly at Himself who looked blankly back. "I know! Musical Statues" I announced before throwing on a Mamma Mia cd and herding them into the living room.

Some drifted off to demolish the playroom, two sneaked down to the bedrooms where they wiped their clay covered hands all over my cream duvet cover and one got lost on me temporarily, having climbed into the dog's run for a sulk because someone wouldn't play with her.

When food time arrived, I knew I was dealing with a different species. Boys will eat and drink anything. Girls on the other hand are far more disciplined when it comes to healthy eating, hence the six large bottles of coke on the table which remained untouched. 'Can I have a drink of water?' one little girl asked. "Would you not rather have a glass of coke?" I asked eagerly. "I'm not allowed," she said. Oh how I was tempted to reply, "your mammy won't know!"

Two hours later (was it really only 2 hours?), the piñata was massacred on the kitchen floor, the guests had departed with their goody bags and the house was totally demolished.

Two words : NEVER AGAIN!

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