Seeing Stars at my 2nd Birthday Party
Dear mummy, phew! It’s taken us nearly a week to recover from my birthday shenanigans. The cards are still up on the mantelpiece – a fine balancing act as there are so many of them. They are like dominos, if you go to move one they all fall down.
We still have star helium balloons floating around in our front room, eerily quiet. There’s been many a time when mummy has entered the room in the dark not realising they are still there in the corner and scared her half to death.
Our house now resembles a branch of Toys’R’Us with all adult space taken up with dolls, blankets, books and crafting toys. It’s great for me though…I love it. My mummy rotates them like clockwork so I can play with them all, my attention span is short…well I am a toddler! Large items like a rocking horse, play tent, ride-on motorcycle and a dressing table juggle for positioning priority over the sofa and TV. Time to invest in another shed my daddy thinks!
Last Sunday we had a big party at Hatch Warren Community Centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
My mummy and daddy had hired their youth wing called The Warren. It’s a fab little place with bright coloured walls, pool table, air hockey, sofas, a fitted kitchen and oodles of space for kids. It’s like a comfy living room just with more room.
Because the weather is always dire in February, with cold sleet and rain we were very limited with what we could do for my birthday (a garden tea-party at home was out of the question!!) so we were thankful we found this venue at the last-minute who could accommodate us.
The Warren is hired out by the hour and is roughly between £13-16ph which is great value for money. The kitchen has a microwave and an oven so we could cook pizzas and sausage rolls. It also had loads of worktop space to lay out all the food. It has it’s own separate toilets and outdoor patio with picnic benches which we could use too, but it was too cold to go outside.
We didn’t want to cart all my toys to the venue, so my mummy organised soft play hire for The Warren from Little Softies which is a national company with local franchises. We were told about them through our local NCT branch newsletter and via Twitter.
Our local agent was from Basingstoke, so we booked them via email. They have 3 levels of hire, home package, venue package and the super package. The nice thing about Little Softies is that they turned up 30 minutes before the party to set up and returned once the party had finished to pack away. We had a ballpit, rockers, soft play building blocks, tents & teepee all with soft matting which is a great idea for parties. We didn’t have to worry about this feature of the party which is great relief for mummy when she is setting up the rest of the venue with friends.
We had a lot of help setting up my party and we are truly thankful for that. We hung some star decorations which my mummy made, paper chains, set out all the party food and moved around the furniture.
My mummy laid out the party bags for the children which contained small knick-knacks like bubbles and stickers. She also created a playlist for her iPod which included tracks from Despicable Me and (of course) Frozen!
The theme for my party was ‘Stars’, as they are all I seem to talk about at present. Stars in the sky, stars on the ceiling of my room, stars in ‘Room on a Broom’ on my DVD. Stars in books we read and in stickers that I find. So it made sense that we had stars at my party and makes a welcomed change from Frozen themed parties.
Grandma made our Rice Krispie cakes and marshmallow treats 🙂 yummy. We picked up fabulous sandwich platters from Morrison’s as well 2 for a £10. Before we knew it my party guests had arrived and we started the festivities. Lots of parents congregated around their small children and sat of sofas. We played, ate, danced and chatted and all had a really good time.
Parties never last long enough though, as after the party cake was cut and the candles blown out it was time to pack up. We only had The Warren for a short period of time and the caretaker from the community centre came to lock up.
Luckily we just about managed to tidy up in time. Hatch Warren Community centre have high standards of cleanliness as the venue is used by everyone in the community. I helped sweep the floors, all the bins were emptied and everything returned to its original place. But it was a bit of a rush to get the venue back in order…..adults can be sooooo messy 😉 We actually left it in a better state then when we found it!!
I know a lot has been discussed in the media recently about parents going ‘over the top’ at kid’s birthday parties by spending too much money and planning extravagant activities and my mummy and daddy are probably guilty of this, but I know they do it with the best intentions, an opportunity to see family and friends and because they love me….you’re only 2 years old once eh..?
Thanks daddy and mummy – we’ll look back on photos and it will remind us of this special time
…until next year’s party 😉