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Why Kids’ Parties Are Like A Bad Acid Trip And Other Musings

FROM HER: Edgar will be a full twelve months old tomorrow.

That’s 52 weeks since he first arrived, limp and world-weary, having already spent the best part of three days trying to push his way past a massive pile of poo that had taken up residence in my rectum.

It is a wonderful metaphor for life, and one I will be sure to remind him of as soon as he is able to understand the words ‘constipated’, ‘episiotomy’ and ‘tattered vagina’.

In the last 365 days, our lives have changed in ways I could never have imagined possible. From the joy of seeing his stupid face every morning, to the agony of stepping on an upturned plastic plug cover every.bloody.night.

(The KGB should seriously consider this as a training technique. If you can tread on a plug in bare feet on a cold night without squealing like a pig because you don’t want to wake your baby, you can withstand any form of torture).

In the 8,760 hours I have known him (about 1,760 of which I have calculated he has spent defecating) I have come to love Edgar more than I imagined possible. I would do anything for him. Take a bullet. Jump in front of a speeding train. Watch an entire episode of Doctors.

But what I won’t be doing is having a first birthday party for him.

I’ve been to a kid’s birthday party. It was like being spiked with acid.

It starts off nicely enough – lots of bright colours and friendly banter.

But before long the walls start closing in on you. The contorted faces of screaming kids bear down. After an hour, you’re ready to fling yourself from an upstairs window, regardless of whether you believe you can fly.

And after all that, instead of coming away with the meaning of life the universe and everything, you come away with a shit party bag containing cake, a cheap purse and a pencil sharpener.

And what’s with us adopting the American term  of ‘party favours’ for those crappy bits of overpriced tat that lovely mums get guilted into providing? In my day, a party favour was letting the ugly kid touch your training bra in exchange for a bottle of 20:20 and all the bubble gum you could eat.

No, sorry Edgar. Kids’ birthday parties are like a pack of gorillas. Okay to observe for a couple of hours, but you wouldn’t want to have one in your own front room.

Although at least gorillas would have the decency to tear your face off so you wouldn’t have to actually watch your home being systematically destroyed from within.

That’s not to say we won’t be doing anything. Keeping a child alive (and a marriage, when you now have a fanny the size of a wind-sock) for a year is definitely a cause for celebration.

But we’re just not the type to be ordering bunting from Etsy – not least because it sounds like a nasty scalp condition.

We’re not the type to buy commemorative coins to mark an occasion, although if anyone else can explain the logic in turning actual money you can spend into money you can’t actually spend, do let me know.

We’re not the type to get moulds done of his feet – we have a permanent reminder in the stubborn combination of curdled milk and crisps he puked up and trod into his new bedroom carpet.

But we are the type who count every single one of the 525,600 minutes that Edgar has been part of our family as the most precious of gifts, and (unless you count the half bottle of cherry brandy under the influence of which he was conceived) he didn’t cost us a penny.

Happy birthday son. We frigging love you x


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