What’s the point of them you may ask, a one year old doesn’t have the mental faculties to understand what is going on, remember anything about it in later life, or appreciate the social nuances that such an occasion presents, so why do we make such a big deal about a first birthday!?
My theory is this…The birthday party is for parents to showcase to the world, that not only has our child survived under our care, but is thriving – “Look how grown up he looks”….Did he just say cake!?….oh he is such a confident walker…etc. The occasion is all about what great parents we are, and look, we’ve only been doing it for a year so imagine how good we’re going to get!
Whatever the reason for making a fuss about “number one” having just had my son Jack’s first birthday let me pass on some tips:
- Lots of champagne: At this stage, the children don’t really count in determining a successful party, you need to focus on the adults and French bubbles is an easy way to do this.
- Simple food: My husband and I know our limitations and cooking for 50 guests would be one of them – instead we pre-ordered from the Burke St Bakery, mini croissants, mini sliders, sausage rolls, quiches and muffins and for the children, lunch boxes with an assortment of delicious treats.
- A baby minder: As mentioned, this gig is really for you, so make sure you enjoy it. Have someone minding your child, giving you the freedom to move around your guests and receive complements about your parenting skills. I was lucky to have my Mum on Jack duty!
- After party: Make sure that once the kids have gone down for their sleeps, you have a second venue to take your unencumbered (children-free) friends. Not only does this provide us the opportunity to drink with wild abandon (and regret it in the morning), but it also allows a healthy reminder to a time before we were such great parents!
Whatever your reasons are for throwing a first birthday party for your toddler, enjoy it! This may be the only year you can control the guest list!!