It’s been a weekend of parties. Unfortunately not parties of the adult variety but 5-year-old birthday parties. A strange phenomenon of my eldest’s nursery is that all the kids seem to have birthdays from May to July. Must be something in the water in the autumn here. Anyway every week I duly head off to the toy store and buy the most appropriate non-bank loan inducing present or 3 and every weekend my son comes home high on sugar and over excitement clutching a plastic toy which invariably is broken by the end of the evening. I am currently taking notes as in a month’s time I will be the hostess to 35 five-year-olds.
Luckily his best friend shares the same birthday week so the 2 families are combining to provide a party in the local park complete with entertainment, balloons and due to the extreme heat no jelly and ice cream. When investigating the party entertainer I discovered a few facts I, as a new children’s party organizer, had previously not contemplated. Firstly, I am in the wrong business. For an hour and half or two Coco the Clown and the like earn an inordinate amount of dosh. One entertainer quoted 2,200 shekels ($600 or £400), obviously we didn’t hire him. There are circus acts complete with acrobats hanging from sheets, magicians and my personal favourite, Roy Boy (yes really) who dresses like Tarzan and does the most incredible one-man theatre show complete with live animals – I didn’t call him, I figured the cost may outweigh the occasion. We decided on a pirate party entertainer who does magic, I have absolutely no idea what he will be like but pirates and magic seems like a winning combination for two small boys.
Then my thoughts turned to food. Children like to eat rubbish, period. By rubbish I mean anything that is brightly coloured and/or loaded with sugar, salt or monosodium glutamate and although I have been known to let my children indulge on occasion I do feel a real sense of guilt (or is it fear of the highs) at providing 35 kids with a sugar fest. So for the past few weekends I have been eyeing up the party food on other’s tables and surreptitiously watching what the kids eat and I have discovered to my joy that if you provide vegetables (the Israeli child population is brought up on cucumber and tomatoes), watermelon and the ever plentiful at this time of year, grapes then the kids eat them. So not to be seen as the crazy Yma (mummy) I will of course bring some kind of crisps or pretzel type snacks and as I noticed at the last party the genius idea of popcorn (cheap and tasty) will also be making an appearance. Having seen full pizzas being tossed at the end of the party I think going back to old skool and providing a Israel-style sandwiches ie. Pitta and hummus could be the way forward for something more substantial.
Daddy is a baker so no.1 son’s cake will be taken care of by someone other than myself. He has requested a spider web with a spider and spider man. I may try to encourage a pirate ship, want to keep the occasion themed right?!
Last thing on the list then is the goody bags. So far we have received whistles and water pistols, beach balls and swimming goggles that I can remember so when browsing the local dollar store I had a peak for inspiration. I’m thinking eye patches or is that just too weird? It is a pirate party after all, parrots are out and cutlasses and a bottle of rum not really age appropriate (good perhaps for the parents). Maybe I should stick with bubbles.
I must admit I am really looking forward to it – I don’t get out, ever – just to see the excitement and un-paralleled joy on his face when he realizes it is his party and he and his best friend are the magicians assistants. Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum.