Can’t Seem To Get It Right: Birthday Parties at Home or at Venue?

See this little face. Innocent. Most assuredly. Agreeable. Most of the time. Opinionated. Yes, Yes, 100 percent Yes.

My son turns 6 on Friday. He’s been in planning mode for his birthday party for at least 2 months. Plotting. Discussing. Reworking. Talking to experts — his sisters. One has had 13 birthday parties and the other 10 parties. Experts, indeed. He has — to be put it mildly — very strong opinions about his party. But, he’s 6 so I plan the parties. Right? Right?

For the last 2 years I’ve wanted to hold his party at our health club. Large gym. Good supervision. No cleanup. Well, Adventure Boy-almost-turning-6 had other ideas. He wanted a

Party, because he is Darth Vader,

at home.

I’ve done my fair share of parties for young children and quite honestly don’t want to clean/tidy my house or manage the crush of the under 7 crowd. So, for my son’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd birthday parties we had a family and friend only gathering. I did not invite his home friends since we had quite a large crowd of family and friends coming. Adventure Boy was none the wiser — all he cared about was seeing grandparents and getting presents!

When it came time for this 4th and 5th parties I tried unsuccessfully to book the health club, no joy. So, I settled on a couple of gymnastic places. We invited preschool and home friends. He had a great time. I loved the whole “take party stuff to the venue and leave without cleaning up” thing — AWE-SOME.

This year Adventure Boy and I have been sparring, battling, negotiating over his party. To give you an example, he threw a fit at the health club 2 months ago when I booked the party. I had to book in advance since the health club is a popular place to hold a party. I tried to tell him that I make the decisions on where the party is held. I’m the adult, right??

Our house is just too small for a kids party plus any parents who want to stay since the children are only 5 or 6. Now here’s the thing I could “make” it work as I have done parties at home for my daughters. But, invariably something got broken or someone got hurt or I went insane with the pressure of “Quick let’s clean the table for cake! — Where’s the glue stick? — No, don’t run in the house with the balloons near the diningroom chandelier!” I could hold it outside, but the weather has been so variable that I wouldn’t know whether to tell the children to come in swimsuits or snowsuits. So, an indoor party at the health club is the plan. (We’re having a small family party since family will be travelling on his birthday party day at the health club.) Right?

His party is this weekend, I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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