Friday, September 4, 2015

How to Survive Your Child’s Birthday Party


Our first guest post is by Sherry Ellis. I've known Sherry for a few years now - she even came to my first book release party just before moving from Ohio to Atlanta! She's awesome! And her Mama Diaries posts are adorable and relate-able, so she was a natural for us to have over here with the Housewives. Take a listen...


After fourteen years of planning birthday parties, I’d like to think I know what I’m doing. The reality is that no matter how much planning you do, there are always surprises.

Like when you send out fifteen invitations and thirty kids show up at your house. How does this happen? I asked my fourteen-year-old daughter about this phenomenon after it happened at her thirteenth birthday party. “It’s easy,” she said. “Friends tell friends, and they all show up.”

Right. Easy. Just be sure to order ten boxes of pizza and have a cake that feeds fifty in case this happens to you.

And then there are the unplanned activities. Like when fifteen girls are standing on each other’s shoulders, making a cheerleading pyramid in the middle of your family room. These sorts of things can give you a heart attack. I’d advise having parents complete a health waiver before they drop off their kids. You’ll feel a lot better about the pyramid thing if you do.

Did I mention the messes? You’d probably expect them at the end of the party. But did you know you could have some major ones before it even starts? Like exploding soda bottles. This happened to me on two occasions. One Sprite bottle fell out of the refrigerator on my daughter’s tenth birthday, spraying soda all over the ceiling, walls, and floor – fifteen minutes before the guests were about to arrive. And recently, before my son’s eleventh birthday party, he opened a bottle of Strawberry Fanta, and the darn thing exploded all over him. It got the paper plates, paper napkins, and floor, too. If this happens, arm yourself with a bucket of water, a wash cloth, and a good sense of humor. If anyone comments on the sticky floor or the pink spots on your ceiling, just say it’s part of the festive ambience.

Yes, birthday parties can be a lot of fun. You just have to expect the unexpected. When you’re done cleaning up the remnants of pizza, cake, drinks, wrapping paper, crepe paper, balloons, Legos, and Nerf bullets, sit down, put your legs up, and take a deep breath. You survived. (A box of chocolates wouldn’t hurt, either!)


Sherry Ellis is a freelance writer and award-winning children’s author. Her books include, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN, That Mama is a Grouch, and Ten Zany Birds. She's also a professional musician who plays and teaches violin, viola, and piano. Sherry lives with her husband and two children in Atlanta, Georgia. You can learn more about Sherry Ellis on her website, You can also follow her on Facebook or Twitter

21 comments:

  1. Nope, a box of chocolates wouldn't hurt after that at all! Wonderfully fun post. I still have some years of birthday parties ahead of me, but thankfully so far, none of them have been in our house. I always plan them elsewhere!

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    1. I've planned parties elsewhere, too, and they've had their own sets of challenges! Always an adventure when it comes to kids' birthday parties!

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  2. Hi, Tara, Elizabeth, Beth and Sherry! (Did I leave anybody out? :)

    All my life I have enjoyed hosting parties and this guest post of Sherry's resonates. It's true. If you invite 15 kids you need to remember all those plus-ones and buy enough food and drink for at least 30. Cheer up. It's better to have double the number of invited guests show up than it is to throw a party and nobody comes, right? I have also experienced similar disasters minutes (or seconds) before "show time." On one occasion the electric range broke down and I couldn't finish making the treats that I had been baking. Can you say 7-Eleven? Another time my garbage disposer broke and my kitchen sink was filled with yucky water. On another occasion the pizzas that I ordered were delivered to the wrong address!

    Thank you for having Sherry as a guest and thank you, Sherry, for another very entertaining post!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Shady! You can always count on something unexpected to happen when you're having a party.

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  3. Exploding soda! I've had that happen. I've also shaken a bottle of ketchup not realizing the lid wasn't on tight. You can imagine the mess.
    Pizza is always a hit.

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    1. Pizza is really the perfect birthday party food!

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  4. I would have liked to see the pink spots on the ceiling (pink is my favourite colour) ;) Chocolates never hurt, infact they are a perfect cure for bad moods.

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    1. It took a while to get those pink spots off! Chocolate is good for any occasion! ;0)

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  5. You are amazing. If any of the above had to happen to me, I would just cry. Yep, I'm a crier. More people showing up than you invited happens at grown up parties too. When we invite the family, everyone brings their friends along. Give yourself a pat on the shoulder, Sherry. You are Superwoman.

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    1. Haha! Well, I don't know about Superwoman, but not too many things ruffle my feathers. :0)

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  7. well Sherry I'm having trouble with my phone and pasted that into the wrong post thanks for coming over and sharing your fun crazy party experiences with us!!

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  8. Fun post! I think my mom lucked out when it came to birthday parties for me. I only had a couple growing up, and only two people would come over at most. No unexpected thirty kids on the doorstop here! (I had no idea that kind of thing even happened. Crazy!)

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    1. My kids love parties, so every year we have to have them. It can get really crazy!

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  9. I've never organized a birthday party, but I can imagine friends inviting friends and doing the unexpected. Great guest post.

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    1. Thanks, Medeia! I was shocked at all the uninvited attendees that showed up. Fortunately, we had enough food to accommodate everyone.

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  10. I guess I'm in for a learning curve one day, because I was born on 28 December and therefore no one was ever there for my birthday. (December is when we have our summer vacation.)

    My brother got birthday parties as a kid (partially because he'd invite people and then tell my mom he did so about a week ahead of time, leaving her to figure out the arrangements), but he's three years younger than me, so I usually hung out with my friends on the party day.

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    1. You'll figure it all out when the day comes for your kids' parties. We all have a learning curve, even if we had parties when we were young. Your brother sounds a lot like my Bubba. :)

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  11. Sherry's the perfect first guest to kick off your new venture! She's in the housewife trenches and balancing her writing, music, kids (who say the best things ever) and her housewifely chores.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yes, life keeps me very busy!

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Thanks for stopping by the House!

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