So far, given he’s only 2, we’ve not got into the perpetual cycle of birthday party after birthday party. Apart from informal ones which are just piling into soft play or general play sessions, he’s been to his 4 year old cousin’s, and someone else’s by default as he was a tag along to his cousin’s invite.
But this weekend he went to his first proper birthday party for someone who he doesn’t really know that well. She goes to his nursery but has just moved up from his room to pre-school, and although she is our nearest neighbour we don’t really see much of them unless there’s a big family party or wedding. So I wasn’t sure how he’d take it – a party of lots of 3 year olds, who because they’re that little bit older do tend to actually play together.
I needn’t have worried. We walked to theirs, and thanks to the lovely weather they’d been able to set up all the ourdoor toys in their huge back garden. While the birthday girl was a little hesitant until her best friend turned up, N quite happily found a car he wanted to play with and off he went. He let the mum say hello even though he probably didn’t recognise her, and wasn’t worried when all the other children and parents turned up.
He’s happy playing on his own and choosing his own toys to play with or on, will approach other children if they’re in the playhouse and he wants to see what they’re up to, and when they all went off to search for dinosaur eggs in the other part of the garden, he was well away clambering through the grass and up the rocks to reach them. He obviously thinks dinosaurs have a much louder roar than lions as his dinosaur noise is so much more enthusiastic.
After the requisite photo of all the children lined up on a log (N as per usual quite happy perched between 2 girls, although I’m not sure what he did to one of them as she really didn’t like sitting still for long and ended up in tears – classic group photo of younger children always have to have one child in tears…at least), it was the party tea.
N’s not usually one to turn down food, but I don’t think he’s yet convinced by party teas. He loves grapes and sandwiches which are always there, and is getting a taste for all manner of crisps. But pizza, sausage rolls, even cake, he wasn’t fussed about. A bit of ice cream got wolfed down, and some olives (so middle class having olives at a 2 and 3 year olds party, and they go before the sausage rolls!), but he didn’t really eat much. I think he was holding out for Granny’s roast which was on the table when we got home! He managed a bigger portion that I thought he would have done given he’d already had a bit of food beforehand.
I was really proud of him after tea when the other children were running a bit wild. The house is a barn/farm conversion so the ‘garden/terrace’ area is still a bit of work in progress, but there’s fairly high stone walls. Of course the children wanted to walk all over the walls, but N went to put a foot on, looked my way to check, and when I said no then didn’t try again. The others tended to do totally the opposite of what their parents were saying. There were also a couple of children throwing compost around – parent nearby totally missing the fact – and making a total mess.
So a successful party, N enjoyed It lots and I think he liked playing with some older children. It was great to see him not worried at how well some of them seemed to know each other. He does seem a bit oblivious to other children who go to nursery (admittedly most have now moved up a room) when they’re out of context seemingly having no recognition that he may have met them before.
Not sure he was that impressed with the cake – green dinosaur with a LOT of icing. Even too much for me.