prepping the garden for his party

Why you shouldn’t involve your 4 year old in party invitations

Children’s parties are a nightmare.  I’m not sure that anyone would say they’re without hassle.

I am being fairly relaxed about N’s ‘non-birthday’ party (apart from potentially having to do a few sun dances to pray that it’ll be dry weather for at least a couple of days before and on the day) and am treating it a bit like a mass play date.  Which really is what it is because his birthday’s earlier in the year and parties don’t really happen then due to booked up diaries and potential poor weather.  So a summer ‘party’ does the job.

prepping the garden for his party
It’s an important job…prepping the garden for a party

I mentioned in my party planning post before that working out the invites was ‘interesting’.  Well, writing them was the easy part.  The hard part has been since then and keeping N under control.

My tip ⇒ ask your child who they play with, who are their friends and who they like.  Invite those, and then don’t tell your child.  Send the invites surreptitiously via nursery staff and don’t let your child post or hand out the invites themselves.

In reality I asked N who he wanted to invite.  Most seemed sensible although there was one on the list that I’ve never taken to (although nursery staff assure me he’s ok) and another who I’ve rarely heard about (and then I hear horror stories about…nooooo!)

Then we went to his 2 nurseries to put the party invitations in people’s drawers.  All well and good because it was quiet and no one else was around.  But then I hear from one nursery that N’s been telling a girl that she’s coming to his party…and she wasn’t on his invite list.  Quick check that evening as to whether he really wanted her to come.  Yes, so another invite duly written and delivered the next day.  I’m sure no one noticed!

At the other nursery, N decided to take some stickers in.  And promptly went round sticking stars on people who he told were invited to his party.  Let’s hope they thought he was role playing and that it wasn’t real!

Another day he told me he’d invited all the nursery staff.  And the next I heard he’d been telling the staff that they were invited so they could bring the ‘pretty girls’ to the party (I blame his dad for putting ideas like that into his head!)

Of course doing the invites isn’t as bad as awaiting the replies.  For our NCT friends and non-nursery, I’d done a Facebook invite so they had a heads up about dates before the invites were sent out.  But the others because of the long lead time we’re still waiting on quite a few.  It makes me impatient.  Then when I’m giving an update to N about who’s coming along, he wants to know all the others and then why isn’t xy&z coming.  He doesn’t grasp that people need to plan and work out diaries, and that not everyone will be able to come.

It has made me laugh though because when I’ve said that so and so is coming, he’s been a bit distracted and not been that concerned about it.  But if someone can’t come….he’s not been happy.

According to N, anyone who says they can’t go should be cancelling their other plans.  He’s decided that his uncle and dad will go and collect children because then they’ll be able to come.  He doesn’t seem to listen when I tell him that people often have other plans that mean his party isn’t the be all and end all.

Hopefully by the time the party comes around he won’t go asking why people have turned up.

Have you had any awkward moments around party invites involving your children?

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  1. Thankfully (?) it was the norm at the boys nursery to invite the whole class from age 3 onwards, so that made it easy, no wondering who to invite. It’s been the same here, or at least until they hit 2nd Grade (Primary 3) and then it drops to close friends only which is again nice and easy! I just go with the flow, so while we’ve had a few expensive parties, we haven’t accidentally invited/not invited someone 🙂

    1. I hate the invite the whole class idea. I think at our school it seems to be the year group, plus close friends from the other year in their mixed year class. That would be 15 though, and that’s before any other friends – so NCT (that’s 6) and 4 others, plus cousin and any other school/swimming friends. That’s way too many people to have, so it’s a hard one.

      Can’t wait til it’s ‘events’, trips and so only a few friends.

  2. My son and a classmate almost has the same birthday. My son is on the 19th and that classmate is on the 20th. So at the back of my mind I want a party but who would attend. So we didnt do party. We did by some goodie bag toys that we will give away on his birthday. Just so he will feel like we had a party (my son really wanted one!). #pocolo

    1. We have the same problem in January, with all our NCT friends having birthdays in January – you run out of weekends to hold a party.

  3. Lol – we had a 7 year old party last month, we have a 2 year old one this weekend and then still have 9 year old in August and 1 year old in September – after that I am going into hibernation! #PoCoLo

    1. It is a minefield. I kind of wish I’d just asked nursery who he plays with and invited those! guess at school it’ll just be the whole class invited for a couple of years.

    1. I can look at it and find it funny now, but I do worry about what he gets up to at nursery! Can’t take him anywhere in case he invites all and sundry round.

  4. he he … This is something T is doing too, and even more so given that every one is having their birthday or has had it. “When am I five?” Is a question I get almost daily. “Is it soon?” “How many sleeps?” …

    1. He must get really anxious, as well as wishing his birthday was in school termtime. Once they get something in their head, they just can’t forget. N was going on the other day about who in the family had birthday before his. He’s pretty good at it, but I can see he’ll get annoying about it nearer the time.

  5. Hehe this is so something z would do. I’ve heard him and his friend “organise” parties many a time at nursery and am a bit terrified that one day some kids are going to turn up at our door. Hope you have a great one and you don’t have some additional random party guests suddenly show up 🙂

    1. Yep, bet that’s N too. Glad it’s the norm for 4 year olds. It did make me chuckle at the thought of random party guests turning up. Horrific thought though. N seems to also think that his whole family is coming (the 6yo will be invited, but the 8-16 year olds won’t be – unless I need to pay the older ones to supervise or do quad bike circuits for them)

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