Sometimes as a parent you set up an event or party and think nothing of it. You assume it’ll be easy. And then afterwards you realise there’s a reason why you only have 1 child. Kudos to all parents (especially single parents) with 4 kids of similar ages. I don’t know how you do it.
For N’s birthday this year he wanted to just go to the pub with all the family. Given that’s 17 people, it would probably have worked out more expensively than having a big party. And he still wanted to do something with his friends. The big swimming party was out (even though 2 lifeguards are included in the price, and all the children can swim, I would still have needed 2+ adults in the pool with them – not going to happen). So I suggested taking a few friends out bowling and then for food afterwards.
3 friends (1 his cousin) and N couldn’t be hard, could it?
They loved the bowling, although N did say next time he only wanted 1 game instead of 2, or 1.5 games. He does get a bit bored halfway through. They were really good about cheering each other on, helping each other out, and even though at least half are competitive children, there weren’t any arguments or nastiness about winning or losing which was nice.
Having 4 children doing active games where they can all get involved even with the waiting for their turn, was fine. They just get on with the bowling fine. But with the bowling taking longer than planned, it meant a much later lunch and they were all angsty at then having to wait for food. There’s only so long 4 boys will colour in hats and stick stickers all over their faces for!
N’s usually pretty good in restaurants. He knows he shouldn’t be getting up and down, going back and forth to the toilet and should generally just sit and chat. But boys together, with a bit of excitement. It was a lot more lively than I anticipated. I really felt for the adult group sitting next to us although they did seem to block our table out quite well.
I felt like I was permanently telling them to sit down. Thankfully when the food arrived they all ate nicely off their own plates. It was funny that not one of the 4 would eat the tomatoes that came with their starters. I was a little tomato’d out by the end they’d all donated theirs as my starter, but there was no food waste.
They all chose their meals easily and without fussing and everyone ate them. I told them no cola, but they were happy with something else to drink. And puddings went down well. They might have been lively, but actually looking back now, it probably wasn’t as bad as I’d thought in the restaurant..
There wasn’t food all over the table or floor. They’d not broken or thrown around pencils or paper. I managed to just about keep them out of the party bags. And they all sang happy birthday to N nicely when the waitress bought out his Paddington Bear cake (yes, I didn’t make a cake, but I don’t really do icing, and N really wanted a Paddington cake. Numbers and letter cakes I can deal with, but that’s it).
It was funny that we bumped into one of my friend’s there out with her husband and 6 year old daughter. She came over and professed surprise that I’d come out alone with 4 boys. I’m pretty impressed I made it through unscathed. And none of them were hurt or got sick from eating too much sugar or fizzy drinks.
Apart from being nearly an hour late dropping everyone off at home afterwards because of the delay, it all went well, and N enjoyed it. Hopefully they all did too.
Birthday over for another year, and it’ll be interesting to see what the next year brings.
How anyone copes with always having 4 children or more at a similar age…I’ve no idea. I’m glad we stuck to one.
Why not take a look at these similar posts.