The last Sunday of summer saw the Paper family at a joint birthday party for two lovely little sisters. They had turned one and three. We were invited to a play centre and farm for the festivities and as it turned out, a wonderful day.
Parties with smallies are chaotic. I find that no amount of preparation (though you must prepare as no preparation at all would mean disaster) makes it smooth sailing. They are always a giggling, falling down, tantruming, thrill seeking, over eating, arguing and all singing, all dancing three hours of borderline hysteria until you all go home.
Children get a lot to eat at a party, should they so wish. Parents eat around the excitement in quick gulps.
These celebrations get easier. Or maybe we get used to it. I am not sure.
I did spend the morning (pre-party) in a mild to medium temper as I worried about the day. Betsy is off form with teeth 5, 6, 7 and 8 whilst Gigi spent the last ten days being -dare I say it- a bossy boots. We aren’t allowed sing certain songs, eat at certain places or at times, move our arms in the car or sometimes wear certain socks without a telling off. We get called naughty. I have used the word ‘naughty’ to explain behaviour EG ‘Hitting is naughty. It hurts and makes people cry. Instead we smile or hug’.I have never used it to title someone EG ‘Naughty Mammy’ as I have been labelled occasionally for a minor offence against toddlers.
So we are working with this occasionally challenging behaviour at the moment and I was worried about how it might go down in public at a big social event for children under five.
Tearaways is a fantastic venue as it is not weather dependent. The large indoor play area keeps everyone entertained and there are many seats for the adults. The usual beverages and snacks are on offer with a menu for hot food. As we were at a planned party, we had sausages and chips or nuggets coming our way.
Betsy loved the under two area. Gigi did as well. Small slides, lots of toys-then Gigi did a little exploring. It wasn’t long before she tried the biggest slide. An enclosed chute with a bend in it. Oh Lord. My heart. She traveled every inch of the play area, climbing, sliding and occasionally crying for one of us. She had a ball. We were wrecked from the workout. Unfit, you see. Pleased to see Gigi’s bravery however at the top of a slide but cautious side when required. She also refused to go down the slide if anyone was at the bottom. Good for safety. She shouted, ‘Everybody get outta way!’ very authoritatively (bossily). They couldn’t hear her over the din. Kinda glad.
Brave Gigi was exciting to watch, nerve wracking to witness and exhausting to follow. As I watched the five month pregnant mother of the two birthday girls crawl through a tube with see-through plastic casing on the top most part of the activity centre, I realised that whether exercise or not is your thing, parenting requires that some must be done.
I followed Gigi through every inch. Took a break. Heard ‘Mammy I Duck‘ and straight in to follow again. Betsy ate. Myself and Mr Paper swopped duties. Ball pits. Slides. Rope walls. He climbed them all. The call to eat saved us. And breathe.
The party tables are labelled and signed from the moment you walk in. Four long tables had already been sidelined for upcoming parties on that day. Ours was first-small children I suppose. Food had been pre-booked. Juice drinks. Gigi ate and ate. Yes, we did have a sick child the next morning. Sign of an amazing party. Betsy had food that I prepared. Five babies lined up in high chairs was very cute at the head of table. Excellent organisation by the party planners here. Adult food arrived as children are fed with much needed hot beverage action.
Weather being glorious, we finally actually went outside to see the pets. Reports of a child having been bitten by the pig in the shed making us wary, I soon saw that the pig was carefully closed in and signs warned that animals can indeed bite.
As long as no one sticks their hands right in , Daddy pig
would be fine.
Pigs and rabbits, turkeys and llamas, the pet farm is suitably impressive pet wise. Gigi is at the right age to enjoy pets and is so thrilled by watching them that is adorable for us. Bringing the girls to something like this gives us a fresh joy in our local animals. Llamas too despite them being visitors !
Outdoors was a myriad of cleverly coloured and designed play areas, a pretty impressive sandpit and football field. Of course, the ever popular fairies were also represented.
I was a bit concerned about one fairy house entrance however…
Wrongly thinking energy was on a low ebb, wind two arrived and Gigi was away.
Another hour later and the promise of icecream bribed my girl away. Betsy is too much under my control as of yet but when she walks I foresee many problems when both little ladies ‘gang up’ on me at home time. Both little ladies were wiped out from fun overload.
Wrecked out, both slept on the first purr of the engine. Icecream forgotten.
Sign of a top party! The tearaways were all ‘torn’ out. Tearaways as a fun day out gets our vote and we will return. Until the next birthday party…