Not many people know this but I organised our wedding. My bride, Sandra, wanted to elope because it was all too much hassle but I wanted a celebration of the moment with friends and family.
She declared that if I wanted it then I could organise it. So I did. Everything except the bridal dress. And while it wasn’t perfect and I certainly made some errors, the night was wonderful.
I’m proud that I managed to scale the Mount Everest of planning and survived. Why then is planning a birthday party for kids so stressful? When the girls were younger birthdays weren’t a huge thing but now they have the date marked on their calendar (literally) and on any given day can tell you how many sleeps until their special day.
They have constantly changing ideas about the cakes they want, what sort of theme it will be, what they’ll wear, what lollies they’ll eat. Just about everything is on the Power Toddler’s birthday agenda.
Except presents, oddly. I don’t know if this is normal or not but my girls don’t talk about what presents they want. They’ve hardly asked for anything, ever.
But colours of ribbons and streamers? Rhapsody and Gypsy are a walking colour chart of opinions and ideas. They’re like party planners themselves at times. Little dictators planning the perfect event.
I’m exaggerating of course but that’s just because they can’t quite read and this might be my last chance to mock them without retribution.
Even though my battles with wedding people were legendary (I didn’t bother telling half of them it was for a wedding so I got normal prices which they later tried to inflate when they discovered what it was for), it pales into comparison with turbo toddlers.
Disagreeing with the caterer that snail would be great and should be complimented with a lemon vinegar is nothing on Rhapsody’s demands of “all food must be green and sweet”. And let me tell you, they have vastly different ideas on bubbly drinks.
The florist tried to push orchids that looked like man-eating triffids on me but that was better than Gypsy’s ever-changing decoration palette which went from “fifty million rainbow streamers” to “Make it like Frozen! Let’s get real snow Daddy!”
Wedding seating plans can be a juggle but factoring in siblings and parents who may or may not stay and who may or may not have screaming babies adds a whole other level of logistic hell. And will it be one parent or two? Do we need beer for the dads?
Even if Sandra had been a controlling Bridezilla I would only have one cake to worry about. But I have twins who each want a different cake of their own. And I’m refusing to talk about party bags other than to acknowledge they’re a pain in the banquet.
In fact, looking back the wedding was a walk in the park (or in our case a dance on the island) compared to the trials and tribulations of the toddler birthday hordes. If the girls had their way it would be a riot of colour and a kaleidoscope of constant activity. Budget and my sanity be damned.
You know what? I think next year we’ll just renew our vows instead.