Sit back and wait for the RSVPs to flood in while feeling smug again.
Gain a few hangers on in the form of grown up friends who just want to bring their own teddies to a party and eat cake.
Realise that far more people have been invited than can possibly fit in the house. Figure that on such short notice not everyone will be able to make it, so it’s probably okay.
Realise that everyone has RSVPed yes. Try not to panic.
Take the daughter shopping. Foolishly let her choose her own decorations, plates and table settings, on the condition that she actually stay sitting in the trolley and not run around the shop grabbing things off the shelf.
Realise too late that every single item chosen for the party is pink, and that the majority of guests are little boys. And their dads.
Buy the pink stuff anyway, just to get out of the shop.
Realise the party date coincides with two deadlines for book edits. Start slashing the words ‘back’ and ‘that’ out of manuscripts with abandon.
Start baking cakes. Decide to only make the really easy ones that can’t possibly go wrong, even if everyone attending has had to eat them at every other party ever. Delegate biscuits to husband and daughter.
Realise that the air in the kitchen tastes of icing sugar, and the daughter has been eating cake mix for breakfast for three days.
Try to finish edits, but lose the power of language and grammar when asked if the British really use the plural rather than the singular to refer to groups, or if the sentence is just wrong. With no idea what the question means anymore, since it doesn’t involve butter and sugar, post highly unscientific poll on Facebook and go with whatever the consensus is amongst friends. Especially the ones who are teachers. Send file off to editor and hope.
During a panic ridden insomniacal night, realise that there is nothing for the kids to actually do at the party except eat cake. Wake husband up and demand he create a pass the parcel to solve this, so that other parents won’t leave filled with hate when their children won’t sleep for three days because of the sugar high.
On the day of the party, get up early and bake vanilla cupcakes. Let the bottle of red food colouring slip when making the buttercream frosting so that it turns a really lurid shade of pink. Hands that look like they’ve been butchering small animals are a bonus.
Shove all excess belongings in the spare room and lock the door.
Explain to the husband how pass the parcel actually works – a sweet in every level with a present at the centre, and each child has to open one layer before you reach the middle. Leave him to get on with making it.
Realise you can’t actually tell small children apart, so text child-loving friend to beg her to run it for you. Get laughed at. (This one might just be me.)
Set table, hang bunting, set out cakes. Start feeling smug again.
Set out all your mismatched tea cups and the never used teapot. Find a jug for milk and a sugar bowl.
Dust off coffee maker when husband points out that it’s wrong to actually force people to drink tea.
Realise small children don’t usually drink tea. Search cupboards in a panic for a jug to put squash in.
Display your hard work to the daughter. Get asked where the balloons are.
Send husband and daughter out for balloons. Have them return two minutes before guests are due.
Wrestle daughter into party dress. Leave husband blowing up balloons and complaining about his asthma.
Welcome guests. Make phenomenal amounts of tea and coffee. Strain to hear the daughter saying thank you before she rips the wrap off her presents. Force everyone to eat cake.
Feel less bad about the pink thing when one boy comes in a bee dress.
Realise people are actually eating the cake.
Also realise that more adults have brought teddies than children.
Light candles, sing happy birthday, blow out candles and make everyone eat more cake.
Realise that you haven’t done the pass the parcel, because the kids have been playing with the daughter’s toys and hitting each other with balloons, and the adults have been enjoying the Disney colouring in books.
Smile gratefully as people start to leave. Force them to take cake with them.
Look at the carnage of your house. Think of a way to blackmail the husband into clearing up.
Realise daughter has another, family birthday party in Wales next weekend.
Pour wine and collapse on sofa with a slice of chocolate cake.