Follow The Trashy’s top tips and keep the little suckers at arms-length during one of the most horrifying events in any parent’s calendar
- Aggressively invite, reinvite and triple check attendance
Ram that date in people’s diaries at least eight months in advance, leaving them no reasonable excuse to be unavailable. Begin with an initial ‘Who’s free on 8 August?’ What’s App message (sent in January) to your favourite friends, followed by a jauntily annoying ‘Save the date!’ email to a marginally broader group and then an additional email to those who, if you’re completely honest you couldn’t give a flying fuck whether they lived or died but it would be politically expedient to invite.
- Remember to ask the child who they want at their party
Ask your child who they would like to come to their party, praying it matches the list of children you’ve already invited. It won’t. Do this far enough in advance that you are in with a chance of convincing them the children who turn up are the ones they requested. You could try to explain how it’s imperative that you avoid the social beartrap you’d have to endure if you didn’t invite your drinking buddies’ kids – even though the children actively detest each other – but in truth you can’t even explain it to yourself.
- Ask the child what kind of party they would like, then remortgage
Ask what your child what kind of party they would like. Explain how long it takes you to earn that kind of money and ask again. Explain how long it takes you to earn that kind of money and ask again, shouting this time. Look on in revulsion as your sweet child froths, wails and convulses because you refuse to hire thirty white ponies to take them to the trampoline park, followed by swimming, laser quest and a mass sleepover. Tweak the invitation list to remove a few of the least socially valuable guests and save some cash.
- Continue to aggressively invite, reinvite and triple check attendance
You’d think three emails would be enough, but no. You have to send another to make sure they haven’t forgotten, another to check you’re not going poison them with eggs/nuts/air and a final ‘Daisy’s looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!’ email which can be loosely translated as: ‘Don’t you even think of not showing up, fucker.’
Oh and don’t forget the hard copy invitation. It won’t contain any additional information and will sit, ignored, on noticeboards for seven months until it’s binned. Good parents send saccharine personalised invitations with photos of their children on. Those old Teletubbies ones that have been gathering the dust at the back of the kitchen cupboard will do for you.
- Sort the entertainment early
Unless you’re a half-wit you’ll want someone other than yourself to entertain the children. Book early and pay the extra fiver to avoid a child-hating crack addict with a violent temper, a serious case of the shakes and a broken kazoo turning up at your door. If hiring a mobile disco, vet the playlist first, there’s something disquieting about watching five-year olds play pass-the-parcel to Smack My Bitch Up.
If you’re not hiring an entertainer, simply set a fancy dress theme and let that be the atmosphere. For your entertainment, choose something really tricky to get the other parents sweating. Try the industrial revolution, Minecraft or steampunk for extra difficulty. Something that requires hard engineering is best.
Never attempt an educational party or your children will never forgive you and they will lose a great deal of social capital. A piñata can be fun, especially if you take time to reinforce it with steel – it can keep the children occupied for hours if you do it right. Be warned though, there is alway one child that takes it too far and beats the cheerful donkey’s sugary brains out, screaming at the top of their lungs, while the rest of the party look on, astonished.
Tell parents that are not in your circle of trust that it is a drop-off party, unless you want them to nose around your house and judge your appalling hosting skills.
- Grin and bear it
While the party’s in full flow hide in the kitchen with your favourite parents drinking as much lady petrol as you can get away with while in care of 30 infants. For a quick and guilt-free high, buy cheap balloons that require the lungs of Brian Blessed to achieve even the tiniest amount of inflation, the rigorous puffing will spin out even the most hardened blowers.
- Feed and run
Feed them plain cheese or ham sandwiches (no crusts) which will be fingered, squeezed and dumped. Put out some julienne carrots and cucumber (so the parents can see you’re not a monster), some not-quite-fun-enough crisps such as Pom Bears or Hula Hoops and some Cadbury’s fingers which will be hoovered up before the piss-weak squash is poured.
For the cake, buy three Colin Caterpillars, mash them into a pulp with your fists, mould into a cone and add eyes to create the unappetising but unfathomably popular turd emoji. Cover the giant shit in candles and present to the child, singing tunelessly all the while. This part should be plain sailing as long as the girl dressed as Stephenson’s Rocket doesn’t ignite and go off like one.
- Fill horrible bags with the worst tat you can find
Despite your child’s pleas to include Faberge eggs and Nintendo DSs in the one-membrane-thin, piece-of-shit party bag, you’ve opted for the standard issue sweets, a pencil and a straight-to-landfill plastic moulded thing with a rubber band whose purpose no one can determine.
- Count them out
Then, blissfully, the children start to leave. You don’t remember which child belongs to which adult and you have never even seen some of the collecting grown-ups before, so you put the safety and wellbeing of the children in the lap of the gods. If you’re honest you had no idea who the children were and spent the whole party referring to them in generic terms of endearment.
- Be grateful and gracious
It’s nearly over, all that is left it to watch your turd-fuelled child open their presents in a deathless frenzy. Half an hour in, you realise they are opening the presents out of synch with the cards so you have no idea which gifts are from whom and therefore what to thank people for.
You worry for a nanosecond before sending a half-arsed message to the whole ‘Can’t believe she’s 5!’ What’s App group. “Daisy says thanks for the git, she loathes it Xxxx” before passing out face-first into the tsunami of wrapping paper.