I Put The Hard Work In Party Hard

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You know why kid’s birthday parties are so draining? Because being happy all the time and not swearing is exhausting. So is the party preparation.

Rather than blow up balloons and keep a nose out for Miss1 I’d decided to move some mushroom compost for our new tomato garden. I wasn’t supposed to do this until tomorrow, but I figured everything was going so well this morning I’d be fine. Miss1 was in her cot for a nap, so what could go wrong.

Well, Miss1 had decided to show me.

“What’s that smell?” I heard from the backyard as Tracey disappeared into the house. She’d been out shopping while I got things ‘sorted’ at home.

It turns out the smell was Miss1. She hadn’t managed the sleep I’d planned for her, but rather had gone all Pro Hart in her cot with some bum paint.

Plans for Miss10’s birthday party have been going on for weeks. How many kids can she invite? Should we allow a slumber party? What will the theme be? All these important details have to be nutted out and negotiated. 

Naturally, with the party due to start at 1pm, this morning has been a frenzy of activity.

“Hey! We don’t have frosted glass!” I announced to Tracey as she hit the sliding door with the Spray & Wipe. “Who knew?”

Then there was a fresh vacuum for our recently commercially cleaned carpets, a tidy up of the entrance and she had to find somewhere to hide the kids’ floordrobes.

My first job of the day had been to mow the grass trees.

Yessiree, if there was one thing the parents of these invited girls weren’t going to see it was our house in all its gory.

Finally, less than two hours before the party was to begin, it was time for the last little details to be taken care of.

“I’m off to the shop to buy the snacks, food, drink and prizes,” announced Tracey.

“No worries,” I told her. “I got this.”

The house was beautiful, but we didn’t have any decorations up, the washing wasn’t hung and no-one was in costume. I could have started with any of them.

Instead, I moved compost. In my defense, my plan was to simply cover the cardboard I’d been laying on the garden bed (Tracey’s taken to calling it my box garden) to stop weeds from growing through so it  would look nicer – I just got carried away and decided to finish the job.

Which was why Tracey arrived home to the shit-storm in Miss1’s room.

Suddenly it was all busy, busy, busy again.

In a final frenzy of activity we managed to reclean the carpet, strip the cot, wash down the walls, bath the baby, sort out costumes and get the decorations up. I say we: I had a shower. Then I rushed the kids up to the local IGA which very conveniently had a face painter at their re-opening today. 

Finally, everything was done. We walked out of the house and gave our almost unrecognizably clean home a final looking over.

“What’s that smell?” Tracey asked as she reached the side of the balcony.

It was the mushroom compost – directly under where the party table was set up.

Judging by the look on Tracey’s face, the next time the kids have a party I suspect I won’t be invited.

Ten Things To Remember With Slumber Parties

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When not over here, Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page. Come join us 🙂

 ”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


  • Hahaha I can relate all too much. We just had a family birthday party for the Little Mister yesterday and the prep for it was exhausting!!! And then it was all over in 2 hours (3 if you count my father in law trying to implant himself permanently into our couch while all of us – including my mother in law – tried to extract him)!
    However, I do find a good gathering or expectation of visitors is great motivation to do those jobs you put off all year haha.

  • Haha I remember the last Halloween party we had where Tracey put hand prints and wrote “Bloody Mary” all over the bathroom in red paint 🙂

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