January 31, 2020
One of the great joys of parenting is getting to determine your child’s reality. If they detest mushrooms and you tell them grownup chocolate tastes like mushrooms, the results can make you feel a little like a king – a petty king, yes – but one with a still-intact secret stash of Dairy Milk. 
My 5-Year-Old Son Organises Better Birthday Parties Than I Do
I think all parents must do this, on some level. Mine made sure to mention how “the night air makes you so sleepy”, so I never saw the point of asking to stay up past bedtime. And, instead of a no screen time rule at the end of the day, I tell my kids all their favourite characters go to bed two hours before they do. 
A major perk of all this is that you can do anything and call it a birthday party. This has served me very well since I am not the world’s most organised mum, partly thanks to ADHD; partly plain laziness. I’d rather eat my own arm than handwrite a series of party invitations, or oversee a themed toddler disco. 
But having little kids means you can get away with minimal effort – invite Granddad round; bust open a Colin the Caterpillar cake; go to the pub; anything – and your children won’t know it’s not a birthday party. How would they? They’re just little kids. They’ll believe anything you tell them. 
Up to, of course, a point – the point at which they realise other families may do things differently.Since my older son started school in September, the invitations to classmates’ parties have been coming thick and fast: pizza-making parties at Pizza Express; a “unicorn disco” in a village hall; my son’s best friend had his birthday at the local trampoline park, and asked all the guests to dress in their favourite animal onesie.
“It was great, great, great!” my son shouted, when I asked if he’d enjoyed it. “And, Mummy, I’d like to *celebrate* you to my birthday party, which is also going to be at Euro Bouncy House!” Then he ran around the room, cheering, in his fox onesie.Related... 'Fiver Parties' Are Now A Thing – So Would You Send Your Child To One? Of course, I had to nip that one in the bud. My son’s fifth birthday was on a school night, so we figured we’d do cake after dinner – with Granddad – and do something bigger at the weekend. However, every day this week – inspired by his classmates’ weekend reports – my son has come home informing me of an addition to our birthday plans. “Mummy, it’s going to be in a giant castle, and it will have a bouncy castle!” “The real Power Rangers are coming!” “THREE DIFFERENT MAGICIANS!” and so on.
Most recently, my son informed me that his birthday party would take place in “the blue and orange shop” (his name for a large discount homeware store), to which I chuckled, before several mums at the school gates came over to ask for the address of this shop, and whether they should bring anything.
Which is how I ended up swapping a day of work this week for a mad dash round the shops for bunting, balloons, and party food – because somehow my son is better at organising birthday parties than I am – and on his birthday we wound up with about 10 kids running around our house, hopped up on homemade birthday cake and entirely failing to pin the tail on the donkey.
It was all very enjoyable, but it’s been two days and I still haven’t recovered my strength, and I’m a bit concerned that my five-year-old son is such a hit on the party circuit that he might be the next Paris Hilton. 
Still, he’s still just a kid after all that. I might tell him that he’s not having a birthday next year.More from Robyn Wilder What Parenting Is Like When You're The One With ADHD No, I Don't Have A Favourite Child. But I Do Have A 'Primary' One My Husband Said He’d Get A Vasectomy But Hasn’t. I’m Okay With That
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