After a TikTok video detailing the world’s most honest children’s party invite went viral, the internet has lit up with tales of kids’ party horrors. But, rather than fear the inevitable cavernous soft-play, screaming infants and smeary jam sandwich fingers that come with the usual birthday events, our children’s party checklist for survival will help you plan ahead to limit the ill effects.
But first, that video:
Viral children’s party video
TikTokker not.just.nat released this video recently, recounting the brilliantly honest party invitation her child brought home from school:
@not.just.nat #greenscreen These are my people. #birthdayparty #partyinvitations #parenting #funny #hilarious #adultjuice ♬ Comedy Music – Nissa
The invitation read:
“You are invited to Elle and Edie’s 5th birthday party. This event is brought to you by Pinterest fails and the Dollar Store so please set your expectations appropriately. As requested the theme will be ‘unicorns but with rainbows and maybe bats but there should be princesses and also Minnie and we need dancing lights’ so… dress accordingly…
Please pack a bathing suit, sunscreen, puddle jumpers etc in case your sweet baby angels decide our original plan sucks and the pool would be a better time.
If you would like to drop off and run, we support that entirely. If you would like to stay, we will provide ‘adult juice’ and deny any offers of help to be polite but deep down want the support. You do you.”
This sounds like the kind of full disclosure that we all need when someone invites our child to a party. You have to appreciate the honesty. However, when you fish that invite out of the school bag, you don’t always know what to expect. Your kids might be excited, but you may well be dreading it. This means you need a strategy for survival. Well, you are in luck.
Children’s party checklist for survival
Check your obligations
Generally, parents have to stay for young children’s parties and can dump their offspring at the venue when they get older to enjoy a couple of hours’ peace. But no one really knows when that cut off is. You don’t want to still be there after half an hour with the other adults being the birthday boy or girl’s parents and you now obliged to blow up balloons for two hours that the attendees purposefully pop within seconds of you tying them up.
So, when you’re texting the RSVP, make sure you ask whether you need to stick around. You never know, you could get some sweet, sweet free time and not have to wreck your ears listening to a bunch of 7-year-olds screeching along to George Ezra.
Eat before you go (but not too much)
Next on the children’s party checklist for parental survival – food. Most kids’ parties are organised around meal times and the meal is a larger part of the proceedings. With so much party food on display, you don’t want a rumbling stomach to drown out the dinner table chatter. If you go whilst hungry, you will struggle to watch the kids tucking in with abandon.
But, do save a little room for when they host parents take the shunned manky, droopy egg and cress sarnies around after the kids have jumped down and started rioting again. It’s rude not to help them clear the platters because we all know the pain of having four-day-old decaying leftovers filling up their fridge.
Plan your exit excuse
Often the invitation will state an end time for the party, but that isn’t set in concrete. Many soft plays allow party guests to stay afterwards and, if the party is at someone’s house, then all bets are off. Timings go out the window and a two-hour party can turn into a sugar-fuelled all-dayer.
To prevent you having to stay out of politeness, plan a reason why you have to leave at a certain time and make sure the hosts know that. Then you can skip out of the door without appearing rude and without going completely out of your mind.
Look out for each other
It is easy to lose the will to live whilst standing around watching a bunch of children batter each other with inflatables or whatever they get up to at the party. So support your fellow parents. Keeping an eye out for a despairing dad needs to go on your children’s party checklist for survival. Approach them, introduce yourself and offer to buy them a coffee.
This act of kindness shows them that they are not the only ones in that situation and, of course, hopefully. they will repay the favour at a future event.