I've got five kids, aged 9 to 17. So I've thrown a lot kids birthday parties over the years!
For the very first birtday party I threw my eldest daughter, I plowed my way through two Harry Potters, to get the Harry Potter theme júst right! We changed our car into the Hogwarts Express, and put up a big sign at our front door declaring it Platform 9¾. And I didn't even particularly like Harry Potter. During the years I've thrown Dinosaur Parties with vulcanoes vomiting bright red lava thanks to a lot of baking soda, Spy Parties where the birthday guests got their very own homemade passports and I can't begin to count the number of scavenger hunts I set up.
'No easy birthday parties for me!' I stubbornly declared. 'I won't give in to this stupid commercial trend of going complete over the top.'
But as the years went by my principles got a bit frayed around the edges, and this year I found myself planning a birthday party for my 9 year old sun in one of those indoor playgrounds. I'm not happy about it, but there you go. I suppose I just got tired…
But when I go to bed at night I toss and turn, and wonder: 'Am I selling out, of just surrendering to the greater bad?'