Old School Parent throwing parties at “home”….yes…HOME

Today…I threw a party for 58 kids.

FIFTY EIGHT KIDS.

IN MY HOME.

Not at a VENUE.

AT HOME.

OLD SCHOOL. A PARTY “AT HOME?!!”

Most parents commented…

”WOW…YOURE BRAVE!”.  I’m “brave”?

Why?

Im “brave” because I’m at home? In my own house?

Because I’m doing what our parents did for years while we grew up?  Its not about saving money, when you throw a party at home. It costs MORE to do it. It’s more work. It’s harder. It’s a huge HUGE responsibility. All those kids in my care.

It’s about personal preference, tradition, involvement, seeing who’s going to stick around (adults that is) and who disappears, always collecting their child an hour later than they should have. It’s about old school parenting and union. I actually enjoy this part of all my kids parties. I get to know a lot of the parents well during this process. Those who stick around, simply to “help out”?  They have generally been the parents I’ve remained friends with for years at my childrens school. Good people. Sympathetic. Helpful. We all laugh together, help each other, and we all get it. I recently held a 2 week old baby and fed her, winded her and then changed her nappy, at a kids birthday party….while her  mother ran around (I know that feeling well) sorting and managing the celebrations. When she came back to check baby was ok and also to apologise (a few times, bless), I saw her relief. She had her back covered. She had extra hands there, and I’m a Mum.  You help each other. It comes so naturally to those who do this hourly. It’s like oxygen.

We all come together at parties thrown “at home”.

When you hire a room somewhere, or venue in a “play zone”? It’s not the same. You’re constantly managing children running in numerous directions in a space you don’t trust. If other strangers are also having parties in the same space ie. soft play centres or paint balling? Well…..that creates more due diligence, but also, less personal interaction for the kids. They simply RUN/fight/scream….

Home parties?

This will involve us, the parents, helping each other with anything from the joyous toilet duties, to serving the sandwiches, managing the children being bullied or left out, even the entertainment. It’s OLD SCHOOL. I love it. It’s personal.

The mess/aftermath from a child’s party at home is normally carnage. All  of the balloons, random clothes left behind, cake stuck on walls, fingerprints on the walls, extra clothing that’s somehow been removed…including socks, kids who have managed to wee on my cloakroom floor? No. Not so fun when you have to clean up after. The cleaning up process is never great. Child or adult party is not that different in levels of mess.

But …… those adults (the insane parents), who join me, in helping out at these things (we had 12 adults hang around, to help oversee over 55 kids)…. are legends.  Proper old school parents.

The last party was exhausting. Hard. We actually had a “Parents Survivors after party photo” to prove us parents had survived the 3 hour hellish process. If you saw how exhausted we looked, you’d know, I didnt decide to throw a party at home to save “money”, or for “ease”.

We  had entertainment, balloons, tattoos, dancing, more food, toilet trips (& accidents involving the “toilet”), food, the whole shebang……

WE, the crew, the old school of 1980’s (now) grown parents (who appear terrified of their children’s expectations and guilt trips), who grew up in an era where our parents didn’t have to do ANY OF THIS “MINDFUL PARENTING” crap…. we all clubbed together….and naturally got stuck in.

We “parented”.  Properly.  The kids all behaved too (to an extent). The “mean, bully type” kids didn’t mess around as much either  (hey…my Mum was there ffs….. if they got past me…they had her to deal with).

We all kinda “owed” our adulthood.  There’s never any pretence at my kids parties simply because, those parents who chose to stay? They’ve got to get involved, engage with the kids, and also relax. We do not work for these mini people we created. They don’t work for us either.  But …. I hate the whole competitive “yes Dave’s in maths Monday, chess Tuesday, football, Wednesday, swimming Thursday and Friday he has Spanish and French private tuition after his piano lesson before dinner…”. Yep…. Dave’s a bloke who sounds like a winner at work. What days are his therapy sessions fitted in this rigid joyous childhood of a timetable?

In 1984, I was aged 8 years old. Parties were thrown by my school friends parents at HOME. Parties were thrown by MY Parents, AT HOME.

Words like “play dates” didn’t exist, parents left us to “play” without constant “do ou want to paint, make a pizza, build a puppet, Learn Japanese, do pottery, go online and bully a fellow student…”. Parents basically didn’t get into our “world”. Hence, we grew up. This era of “over child management” is destroying our kids. Too many after school activity clubs , too much psychoanalysis, micro management, creating problems in a child’s life when none existed before, hours of over consumption by parents being guilted into indulging in some form of parental competition which is generally about “how many classes their child takes a week, how many play dates they have, if they eat a kale/avocado /broccoli/quinoa….is it organic. Does it have naturaL sugars? Is it all vegan, organic, blessed by a rainbow in Cambodia before consumption ?”  Really?

The shocking parental dialogue, that is a normal daily conversation for some parents is almost amusing, if it wasn’t taken soo literally. And you know the ones (parents) I mean.

They normally talk very loudly when chatting at school drop off/collections.  They show off. Normally about “Henry’s chess classes on Thursday,, yoga on Friday…..”, over indulging their child and talking about it to make other parents feel guilty for not doing the same crap. These parents can NOT be genuinely themselves.  There are many parents actually, like this. But they pretend and follow the herd, to avoid being ostracised. They think this is good. Maybe I’m wrong.  Yet too much of anything is never good practice.

Parents, like those who raised us, didn’t do all this stuff. Ever. Your claiming your parents back in the day, did ALL this crap? You’re lying if you do.

My ex told me stories where he saw his dad at the weekend and used to run around a restaurant aquarium looking at the fish while his Dad (rightly so), ate his lunch.

In this day? A child would call the local Council and be taken away for lack of “mental stimulation “.  It’s bad parenting if we are not engaging or indulging our kids CONSTANTLY.

EUW.

THAT, for me….is bad parenting.

Since when, did we have to answer to our kids for not stopping at a “playzone” en route home, from school, or a birthday party, so they could have a logged additional “activity”  before agreeing we CAN go home? Im also being dictated to at the moment about what they have for dinner? They’re being brainwashed externally to dictate to me, their MOTHER, as to what I must give them. I’m a single mum of three. I like ok after my kids, alone, 24/7. When my child TELLS ME I “HAVE TO” do something? Hmmmm….errrr….NO.

NO. IM

Mans “NO”…..Not to “save money”. I am “old school”…I remember the days of shared parties with siblings, parents actually having to “get involved” instead of standing around with glasses of “wine” (vodka, I bet), while they grimace at their Nannies lack of party etiquette.

I have never thrown a party (even when “Nannies were enforced” in SE Asia), unless “I” manage the hell/stress/jubilation…that is a given.

i HATE NANNIES. Sorry. But I do.

they cut a stay at home Mums “eggs” off the minute they take over your normal role as a parent. Yep. I said it. Nannies, Au pairs, helpers, a “girl that helps me on Thursday”?…..I HATE this random help. Call family. Call friends. Even call Mums you know if your genuinely stuck in traffic and can’t get to school on time to collect those ungrateful, wonderful, heartbreaking, children. But call a person you pay ie. the Nanny? You’re giving yourself an open floor for arguments with your partner, free judgement to those in your environment ie. “oh, Petranakiv collected the children from football today because you were caught in traffic and couldn’t park the Range Tover?”

If this “Mummy job”….is going to be one we all defend (and it’s the most shocking role ever…”)….surely you need to own it? I work from 5am until 11-30pm, 12.30am and if one of my three children are ill? Then I’m working from 5am until approx 4am, on and off. Will holding hair, administering Calpol, opening bedroom windows, closing bedroom windows, then having to call the EX (& explain to him, “yep she’s been sick. Temperature? Approx 38.9/39…” what’s she wearing? Cotton and yes window open”…drop be the other two children to school while she vomits in a carrier bag? Sure.” But apparently my role should be handed to a Nanny. That would really help our children who are trying to cope with the divorce.

 

ir as my daughter told me….

”So Daddy left and now you are too? A nanny will be here to look after us every day?”

 

 

 

i tried to make it more “personal”. Stupidly I forgot…HELL would still greet us. A melting pot of “happy, crazy, freewilled, no consequence liberated unknowing mini people!” Fuck it. If I was in their bodies I’d be robbing banks and crapping everywhere. Then crying and shouting “wipe my ass!! I’m only 3! Get me chocolate beeeyatch!!!” Sound familiar?

Yep I also just described a male banker.

The photos above?

They literally terrify me. And most parents. I just voice this. Others prefer to pretend this scenario with balloons and a guzillion children is “great”. Freaks. And MASSIVE LIARS. MASSIVE.

 

Whi the fuck enjoys headaches screaming toilet runs when you are about to eat or general HELL? NO ONE.

But you all pretend. I don’t. I like children. But like grown men let loose in Vegas or a Strip Club…? They can’t control themselves in an environment with soft play and fellow nutters their age.

FIFTY EIGHT human children under 7 years old. Some adults came along too….because they clearly LOVE torture/pain/had a fight at home/had no idea what they were walking into?

FIFTY EIGHT KIDS…just in case you didn’t read that the first one, or two times.

A few things were brought to light within 15/20 minutes among the dozen parents who stayed.

(1) We had 2 kids among our MASSIVE group who were VILE.

(2) we also had a FIT STUNNING EDUCUCATED WITTY DAD (GEORGE CLOONEY/BRAD PITT/Thomas Hardy (hes my kinda fella) to flirt with…. we all got slightly confused as he was also super “vanilla” but HANDSOME. Us starved of Male normality…Mums/Women…?

We were thrown by this GEM of a man…he  was involved, handsome, explaining why HE was there instead of his lovely wife (also stunning)….I said handsome right?….it was simply MEAN!! Cruel.

Showing us all that men like this EXIST. Men who do this. Who are cool. Don’t punish us with their “moods” because they did something they consider our “job”. He wasn’t grumpy. He was involved, polite, nice. His wife collected them that afternoon and he SMILED AT HER when she arrived in their car to collect their two children. I couldn’t believe the shit I witnessed. She didn’t arrive looking worried or stressed in case he was about to argue with her….for doing “her job”.

He simply cracked on.

He is one of those urban myths….

Men who take their daughters to a birthday party surrounded by Mums, gets involved, acts “fake awkward” but is generally OK (he knows he’s handsome)….

And…. my WORD…..attractive is an understatement. He was the epitome of “dream man”. On the surface.

HE WAS/IS….FIT. We all watched him eat a ham sandwich in slow motion. He helped our children put party hats on. He chatted away to everyone. He asked me if i was “OK”.

59DDB380-863C-4BD7-A238-6A510F41F512.jpegHe ran into the “soft play zone” to grab kids when it was lunchtime. We replayed the party video over and over….just to see his face ….OK…Grandma did….we couldn’t argue with dementia…or her clear good taste.

And YES, in video…this stunning man, helped kids, fed the poor and healed the wounded. After a bottle of vino (fuck the cake!) we were ruined….we just wanted to  experience a “NORMAL MAN”. Who and where is he from?!

A guy who didn’t/doesn’t undermine you because HE attended your child’s birthday party. A handsome bastard who didn’t tear his Wife/Partner apart (or her character) should you win a “Coin toss” and it’s was his “turn” that weekend to “do the kids  parties”. This handsome bugger told me, he and stunning his wife, flipped a “coin” every Saturday morning and whoever landed “tails did a party”.

No judgement or Power struggle- his words were (this felt like a knife to my soul)….he “worked all week, but so does she with the children. It’s only fair”.

He didn’t have a go about how many hours he spent in the office, he didn’t rip apart her role as a mother who also had a NANNY…

He said the party alone was “hardcore”.

Yep…try this ALONE AS A SINGLE MUM WITH THREE children MATE!

So stay at home Mums “work” in his eyes?

He was literally one of 4 men at the party, and all the women reacted to this stunner in ways I’ve not witnessed since I was 15.

Screw the kids….WHO IS THIS MAN?! This new age, cool guy, not slagging his wife off for making him come to this kids party?! In fact, chatting normally, He wasn’t some “grumpy, I can’t be fkd face” wanker his wife had to tiptoe around once he was home, this bastard was genuinely handsome/nice/not a control freak. He was asking if I needed “help”, apologising for not bringing a gift, being all ”helpful”…mesmerising, confusing as hell when you’ve only know. “I WILL CONTROL YOUR MOOD BECAUSE YOU ARE AT FAULT FOR EVERYTHING WOMAN”… I’ve not seen this nice guy shit since the 1980’s films…..yep…..FITTT. I opened a shirt button. I’m not going to lie. I opened 8 by the time he left. He was all…weird!!!!  Loyal. Nice. Sweet. Helpful. It caused confusion.

We all loved him.

Even the Grandma who spent the weekend in London to babysit her Grandkids and was roped into coming to the party with her Grandchild?! Even she, at 78 yrs old…!!! Even GRANDMA SAID “Oh…he’s easy on the eye…”….even SHE COMMENTED ON THIS handsome fellows face. FIT. WE DIDNT CARE ABOUT THE ENTERTAINMENT. We wanted to absorb and understand HOW we too, can find this man type?!

Us? We didn’t care about anything. He entertained us mums. Handsome. Preppy/sexy/I’m filthy/handsome/tanned/6ft 3inch….friendly, acts awkward “Hello I’m here this time. Where do I put Penelope’s shoes? Can I help you with anything?” All of us turned when he arrived, starved of handsome interaction from years of dealing with “Absolute wanker syndrome/aren’t you lucky I married you?” Men folk, that this GEM strolled in, handsome, new age, moisturised, loving to his wife (yep that lucky beautiful girl dat on his LAP at the school play while they watch their daughter dance on stage), and our mouths gaped with wonder….WHERE ARE THE “OTHERS”????’  There MUST BE OTHERS LIKE HIM!!!?

Even my 66 year old Mum didn’t know whether to scream at the horrifying 7yr old boys, terrorising everyone (the Entertainer, to be fair, had a go at these 2 hooligans, when they attempted to steal his balloons), OR, just stop…and flirt with this bloody lovely man…a lot… THE MOST HANDSOME BRAD PIT KINDA GUY any of us has ever physically met (alive and NOT on a TV screen). Plus friendly, slightly awkward as in “hi, I’m fucking handsome but pretending I’m not, where do I put this gift and yep this is soo not fun ladies!!”. We all “swooned”. I’ve never ever used that word.”Swoon”. He made us “swoon”.

I saw woman at this party, giggle, run, jump, tip toe, attempt to brush their hair and apply make-up, once they saw this vision. Lipstick was applied. Mothers acted more friendly to their annoying kids. This BEAUT was with his two kids…wandering around, aimlessly throwing his handsomness at everyone….and BELIEVE ME….EVERY single person was sucked in. We all stared at this man like an alien had walked in, and yet, he doesn’t seem to realise (or is bloody good at pretending), that he is STUNNING. Every time we see this man.

I didn’t get any warning this was happening the first time. In my own home. Ie.”hey!!! Pls note someone is arriving on a George Clooney/Brad Pitt/geek attempt/seriously handsome bloke”.

I was busy dealing with Hell on Earth Day AKA “my 3 kids birthday party”. Good times.

4D41B8BB-7F15-46FF-8B2E-B7704674D012.jpeg

Anyhow…what I have noticed, in these horrific party/contained/adult versions of “Hell”, is why the fuck am I in this situation?” moments, are that men and women….well, they kinda morph into one for me. I’m still numb from a divorce.  Nothing touches the sides yet. Mad.considering.

I stopped noticing men when I met my ex husband. I’m awake now…but it took a while. Not because he was some Adonis. But because, I am a believer in loyalty. I never noticed anything or anyone, but him. When DECREE NISI was official? Screw it. I’ve got not argument nor shame in saying, I was loyal. And I’ve got morals.

However…It does seem, that since that period in my life ended, I’ve seen, and rejected, “Male madness.”

This era, with Men, who feel entitled and free to undermine women? These guys don’t work for me. I grew up in a house with three sexist brothers and a VERY Old School Dad. Women cooked, washed clothes, ironed. Suffice it to say….the boys, my father and I? We argued forever. Yet these BOYS (Dad included) stood and shouted and screamed when I walked across a stage to get my Law Degree at  University. They said “stuff”….but f a man said that crap to me?! He’s be buried somewhere in Walthamstow under a Kebab shop. I understand the old school generation. But I HATE THE NEW MAN, pretending to be “old school”. Old school Men? They are nourished differently. Men today? All about themselves. All about them.

AND YET…this WONDERFUL LOVELY MAN? I was handed this mans number as he left my childrens party. He handed ME his number. He’s married.

MARRIED.

Euwwwwwwwww

The bellend who almost set my shirt on fire when “helping” light the candles on my kids birthday cake? The guy we all “oooh’ed and ahhhhhed!!” at?! Yep. Bellend. Like the rest.

Handsome Dad came back to my front door approximately 7 minutes after leaving the party I threw, for my kids, where I felt shattered, vulnerable, awful, hair tied up, sweating like a bastad….and he said “Can I take you out for dinner? If youre free?!” Genuinely.

Gob smacked.

My response? “ Eh?! Is the class having another thing?!” I assumed he was talking about the WhatsApp group “dinners” everyone wasted energy on by message….and also assumed he meant with his Mrs too.

But NO.

it would seem “Wanker syndrome” has spread to all parts of NW London.

Gutted.

Gebuinely. I thought I’d missed some fountain of “nice blokes who are fit”…but NO.

Men?

I grew up around 4 very old school men. NEVER HAD AN ISSUE. But this generation? Euwwwww.

So euwww and self important, it’s embarrassing. Obsessed with themselves. Women are considered “lucky” to be entertained.* If you read the dating apps…you’ll see all the men’s comments/photos are bizarrely juvenile.

If it’s me and my own thought process?! Then fine. But I’m out of this game right now…. until the Gentleman return, I’m out.

 

 

 

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About Sharzad Hime

A food loving, punk (and chef) wannabe, divorced, single parent champion of 3 young children. An ex(ex) pat, ex-wife & ex lawyer. SW15 Londoner, born and raised.

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