It was good to get some likes for my last post (Stress and change), even though nobody shared a stress-busting tip. Something I was very worried about was my toddler’s birthday party, which I knew she’d love but I was terrified.
I’m sure fellow Aspies will share my horror contemplating a room full of excited small children and adults – all relying on you to have a great time. That is why I thought it would be nice to share my party tactics!
1. Delegate the most frightening task(s)
For me, this was always going to be ‘managing’ the children. I struggle to understand what they say. I don’t know how I should interact with them – especially when their parents are watching. What do they do? What should they be doing? Are they allowed peanut butter? Why are they shouting and jumping? How can they be corralled and directed to play the party games?
Find a friend or relative with more confidence than you and delegate! I’m lucky enough to be on good terms with a school teacher and I put her in charge of party games and general child management.
But perhaps you’re more frightened of all the adults coming to your child’s party? That leads me to tactic 2!
2. Allow yourself a glass of wine or beer during the party
Do not get drunk. Do not get to the stage where you can no longer cut the cake or follow the noisy buzz of conversations. Just one glass, to take the edge off.
3. Be prepared
Apart from the party actually happening, I was very worried before the party that we might run out of games / prizes / snacks / beverages. Nobody likes a bored or hungry toddler. And nobody needs a living room full of bored and / or hungry children!
We started planning a few weeks in advance and there was a lot of shopping and baking to do. If you have a friend or relative coming who offers to bring food or help with a prize or game, they are now your BEST friend or FAVOURITE relative.
In the end, we had about 50% too many sandwiches and slightly more leftover cakes. We also had some leftover chocolates and boxes of raisins that weren’t needed for prizes or party bags. We had a couple of extra games and activities planned that we didn’t need to use.
I think it’s much better to have done too much, than have to think on your feet or run out to the shop again mid-party, just as you’d started to enjoy your wine.
Anyway, I think that’s all there is to it. The rest is endurance!