It was LB’s fourth birthday yesterday! How that went so fast, I don’t know. It honestly feels like just the other day that I was heavily pregnant in the UK and had to text my husband in Dubai at 5 in the afternoon to say:
“Can you get to London by 8am? Ghengis [yes, that was his working title!] needs to be born in the morning.”
Amazingly, DH made it! Just!
Last year, we had a very small party at home and, because BB’s birthday is the next month, we did a family day-out to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi.
The perfect birthday outing for car-mad small boys. Surely?
They STILL haven’t forgiven me!
What they really wanted was a big playarea party – each – with all their friends, presents, cake, games, entertainment, a party host bellowing into a microphone, balloons and chaos. The kind of event that causes mummy to lose sleep and requires daddy to sell a kidney to pay for it.
So this week I’ve been busy organising LB’s out-sourced party – it won’t be anything lavish, and certainly nowhere near the scale of a birthday his brother attended earlier this year at the Atlantis hotel, with valet parking, the aquarium and Apple Mac computer room at guests’ disposal.
But, even so, it seems the tab for throwing a children’s party these days is always going to be more than you bargained for.
– Use of playarea for 2 hours CHECK
– Party host CHECK
– Kid’s meal for 20-plus children CHECK
– Cake (with Titanic picture) CHECK
– Party bags CHECK
– Catering for adult guests (so they’re not sent home needing to lie down in a darkened room and/or apply wine) CHECK
– Balloons (blue and silver) CHECK
But, wait, there’s more. You can fork out extra for a theme, or a magician. Provide a helium balloon for each child to take home. Book a sideshow, such as face painting. Or pick a couple of games for the children to play, charged per head.
And, the trouble is – such is the money-grabbing nature of the party industry – you can never be quite sure what you’ll actually get for all this expense.
“Could we have musical chairs please,” I decided when going over the details this week.
“And what’s this?” I asked, pointing at the Wrap the Mummy option, there in black-and-white on the booking form.
“Wrap the Mummy? Hmmm. I don’t actually know – we got it off the Internet,” was the reply.
“But would you like a 250 dirham piñata?”