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I just finished hosting my 9th birthday party for my kids.
Not 9th birthday party (as in age).
Not child #9’s party. (Ha!)

Ninth, as in total parties.
Which, in my opinion, pretty much makes me an expert at them. ;)

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • First, my kids always start their special days off with a special attitude.  As in, MEAN, with a side of selfish.  That always makes me want to do something nice for them.  Just swell.
  • Next, kids REALLY appreciate the countless man-hours (or rather, woman-hours) that I’ve put into all the fancies for their party….for about two minutes.  So, let’s be real.  All that cute stuff is just to make me happy.
  • Whenever a kid picks a theme, and then changes their mind, just go with option #1.  Do not, I repeat, do NOT, start making/buying stuff for theme #2 (especially if the kid is Miss-Change-Her-Mind-A-Million-Times-Madeline), because then you’ll be looking a huge, tearful eyes while you explain that, “no, you changed your mind about the Angry Bird party, so we’re doing owls.”  Just save yourself the trouble, and tune out anything they say after they voice option 1.
  • Every kid, no matter how shy, wants their glory day in the hot sun.  If you don’t speak Nacho Libre (shame on you!) that means they want to blow their own candles out and have everyone stare at them while they do it.  Applause is accepted, as well.
  • Maybe this will change as my kids get older, but don’t worry about planning activities and games.  Free play seems to work better.  No Pin the Tail on the Donkey for us.
  • If you’re having 12 people over, there’s no need to make an owl cake AND 24 cupcakes.  This will just ensure that you’ll have an owl cake, minus one leg, and 22 cupcakes left over.  Oh darn.
  • Yes, the kids will love all the adorable homemade owl cutesie stuff you put in the homemade owl goody bags.  They’ll just like kicking a bunch of cans around even more.
  • After all the presents have been opened and ooohed and aaahed over, the birthday kid will always pick the balloons as the gift of choice to haul around for the next twenty hours.  Every time!
  • If your kids normally eat 3 pieces of pizza, and you calculate how much you’ll need based on that number, your kids (and all the guests) will be guaranteed to eat three bites each, leaving you with a mountain of leftover pizza.  Oh darn.
  • At the end of the day, you will feel like a truck has run over you.  And then backed up to finish the job.

But hey, when your sweet little girl squeezes your neck and says “oh THANK you for the boooootiful owl party!” I won’t blame you if you immediately start planning for next year.