10 Things That Happen At Every Toddler Birthday Party

10 Things That Happen At Every Toddler Birthday Party

Dealing with toddler birthday parties is just one of those things that all parents have to endure.

Nobody enjoys them, except the toddlers of course. It’s a rite of passage.

You’ve done the sleepless nights, the scooping baby poo out of the bath, and the proud Facebook statuses about first steps.

Now it’s time for things to get real. You’re the parent of a toddler now, so welcome to the hell that is the toddler birthday party.

What Will Happen At A Toddler Birthday Party

Here are 10 things that will absolutely definitely happen at every toddler birthday party:

#1: No-one Will Be Able To Let It Go

Unless the music set up is kept firmly out of reach, and the DJ is fully trained in completely ignoring requests, the party soundtrack will be Frozen.

In particular, it will be Let it go and Do you want to build a snowman?

They will be on repeat for the entire duration of the party. The kids will love it.

You won’t.

You won’t love it at all, which brings us nicely to the next point…

#2: There Won’t Be Enough Wine

‘Oh’, the host thought, ‘let’s get some wine for the party – a couple of bottles will do’. Wrong. It is actually very difficult to guess correctly the amount of alcohol you’ll need for any party.

For a toddler birthday party, you need to take the number of children invited, and multiply it by the number of times Let it go will be played.

Then you need to multiply that by the number of tantrums that will occur during the party…. and add 10. Then you’ll know how many bottles of wine to buy. And, in fact, it probably still won’t be enough.

#3: There Will Be Fights

Obviously there will be parents fighting over who gets to down that last bottle of wine, but there will also be toddlers everywhere, fighting over everything. Seriously, everything.

They’ll fight over who gets to keep the present (the birthday boy, obviously, but the toddlers might not agree on this), who gets to go in the ball pool, and who gets to eat the last breadstick.

Sometimes, they won’t even have a reason, but a huge brawl will break out anyway, and at least three parents will be needed to break it up.

#4: Someone Will Ruin The Cake

Toddlers love ruining birthday cakes. As soon as they spot the magnificent home made birthday cake on display, they will run over and jab a finger in it. They can’t help themselves.

They know how tasty the buttercream on Peppa Pig’s dress will be and they simply can’t wait to try it.

They don’t care about the hours of Pinterest research and baking that went into that cake.

They just want sugar. All the sugar. And if the cake is left unattended, it will be entirely demolished in a matter of minutes.

#5:There Will Be The Smell Of Poop

Why is there always one parent who can’t seem to detect the pungent smell of poop in the air?

Nobody knows, but it’s very likely you’ll be sitting next to her at the party.

Each time her heavy-nappied toddler waddles over, surrounded by the stench of sewage, your eyes will water. But the parent won’t be able to smell a thing.

After holding your breath for 15 minutes, you will be forced to make a very public display of checking your own toddler’s nappy for the offending stench.

Of course, your toddler is actually potty trained, and hasn’t worn a nappy for months, but nobody else needs to know that. Eventually, if you’re loud enough and dramatic enough, the offending parent will catch on and go and change her kid’s bum.

#6: No Savoury Food Will Be Consumed

The food table will feature an impressive mix of deliciously healthy snacks and brightly coloured biscuits. When you walk into the party, you’ll see sandwiches, sushi, falafels, breadsticks, hummus and vegetable crudites. All of this stuff will still be there when you walk out, because toddlers only eat junk.

All of the biscuits will disappear within five minutes (and this will cause a lot of tears), the crisps will go, and the jelly will go. Basically, anything that is at least 80% sugar will be eaten immediately, and everything else will be eaten by the party hosts after everyone has gone home.

#7: Mania Will Ensue

After each toddler has consumed five biscuits, two packets of crisps, three handfuls of fizzy sweets, eight gallons of cordial, and a fistful of birthday cake, all hell will break loose.

The toddlers will be high on sugar, pumped full of e-numbers and experiencing the world’s largest sugar rush.

Oh, and there are 20 of them all in this state, at the same time. In a small room. So expect plenty of bouncing off walls, a lot of irrational crying, and a few fights. And the toddlers might play up too, hoho!

#8: The World’s Slowest Candle Blow Out

You know what? I’m just going to say it. I know we’re all thinking it, so I’ll just be the one who’s brave enough to say it. Toddlers are rubbish at blowing out candles. Blowing out candles on a birthday cake is a great tradition, but it’s really not one for toddlers to get involved in. Even with just two flimsy candles they can’t seem to manage it.

It will take no fewer than 100 blows to put those candles out. And even then, it will only happen if somebody else delivers a sneaky puff at the opportune moment. The only risk is, if the toddler works out what has happened, the whole charade will have to start all over again.

#9: Home Time Will Be Painful

‘Oh, look at the time’, say the exhausted looking party hosts, carefully ushering everyone to the door and trying not to cry about how there’s no damn wine left. One of them will make a very public display of tidying up (like you with the fake nappy check earlier, only way more desperate) while the other stands at the door distributing party bags stuffed with landfill.

If there are 20 toddler guests at the party, that means there are 20 meltdowns waiting to happen before this party is finished. Nobody wants to leave the party. Apart from the parents, of course, who desperately wanted everyone to leave as soon as they walked in (about 60 Let it go’s ago).

#10: Everyone Will Get PTBPSD

Post Toddler Birthday Party Stress Disorder. It’s a real thing. Ask your doctor about it.

The birthday boy will get it because his birthday is now officially over and that is terrible.

The guests will get it because they consumed too much sugar in a two hour period, and now their bodies have gone into shock.

The hosts will get it because they had to clean up random puddles of wee all afternoon, and have decided they will never, ever, ever throw another party. Until next year.

And you will get it because you spent two hours trapped in a torture chamber that could crack even the toughest spies.

But you should all feel proud because you lived to tell the tale. Though you shouldn’t, not without a trigger warning.



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Fiona Peacock is a writer, researcher and lover of all things to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood (apart from the lack of sleep). She is a home birth advocate, passionate about gentle parenting and is also really tired.

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