My beautiful daughter turned 5 years old in June. She knew immediately that she wanted a unicorn themed party. As a ‘this girl can’ type of mum, I definitely assumed this would be a walk in the park. I was so confident.
It then dawned on me that I had never planned a kids party before… ever. Her friends would be there and their parents; to fail in front of my daughter and that audience, was not an option! My first of many mini meltdowns followed.
Finding unicorn bunting, balloons, cups and plates, was a job I outsourced to my mum. She loves online shopping so that was my gift to her. I was knee deep in unicorn themed crafts, activities and prizes and was grateful for the help. The crafts needed to be fun and age appropriate, much like the gifts. They all needed to be different, striking a balance between being affordable but not cheap and naff.
The party bags needed to be amazing so each child not only won a prize during the party but received a goody bag upon leaving. Gone are the days of a sweaty piece of cake wrapped in a plastic gift bag! This party bag situation is big business.
Each bag contained; crayons, a sketch pad, sweets, a cupcake in a box, a glider, self inking stamps, a puzzle, a bouncy ball, a pen and a make your own fridge magnet kit. All unicorn themed…I think I even put a magic wand in there too just because I was feeling fancy.
Many afternoons were spent preparing these bags. My first attempt was too flimsy and broke under the weight of all the goodies, my second attempt was too small and would not fit all the treats in and finally the third party bag was a winner.
The guest list was small, thanks to Covid and the venue would be our garden; also thanks to Covid. My baby girl had a small after school gathering, for just family on the day of her birthday; then a few friends over from school, for the main party the following Saturday.
I had planned for everything. Hot and cold snacks, a variety of cupcakes, unicorn themed games, prizes and craft activities. The sandpit was fresh and ready, the slide was decorated, craft tables were ready to go and balloons everywhere. The garden looked amazing. Then it rained. Normally I would be flapping in this situation but I even surprised myself at how calm I was at this point.
Not knowing where everyone would have to sit to avoid the rain, we decorated the garden, conservatory, kitchen and lounge. It was a full on unicorn extravaganza!
The guests arrived and all went well. The kids loved everything and were happy just exploring and playing. We played pass the parcel, ate cake and played in the garden. All too quickly the final piece of the party arrived. Elsa from Frozen paid my daughter and her friends a visit. My daughter was in heaven and her friends were mesmerized. I had a moment of panic when she unpacked audio equipment in my front garden. I had no idea she was going to sing! What if she was bad? What if this was an awful first round audition from X Factor? Everyone was out on the front step expectantly. The children were so excited to hear the music, the mums watched all smiles. I have to admit, I was hovering in the background praying she could hold a note.
I had nothing to worry about. Elsa sang beautifully on our front lawn. She was wonderful and all the children joined in with the song and even the neighbours came out to listen. It was quite a moment. Elsa very kindly stayed for photos with my daughter and her friends, then dashed back to Arendelle.
The whole event was a success and the children had a great time. I could finally breathe and have a celebratory gin.
I put so much pressure on myself to make every little thing perfect. I was so worried my daughter would be disappointed, the children would be bored or that the parents would be counting the minutes until they could escape. I was so relieved that this was not the case at all.
Would I do it again? Not in a hurry that’s for sure. I’m proud of myself and my support network for helping me put it all together. I’m glad I reached out for help and that everyone came through. I’m still looking at unicorn decorations, weeks afterwards but all that mattered on the day was the sound of my daughter and her friends laughing and playing together and celebrating her birthday.
It felt like the good ole days, pre Covid. A home and garden full of people laughing and having a good time. A slice of normal, sprinkled with glitter and many delicious cupcakes.
Happy Birthday my darling angel. Always be yourself. Unless you can be a Unicorn, then always be a Unicorn.