Kids' Birthday Parties

Kids’ Birthday Parties

The eldest of the young Murfs celebrated his third birthday recently and I don’t know if we did it properly. Kids’ Birthday Parties, a minefield.

There are few things in life as joyful as seeing the smile on your boy’s face as he unwraps his birthday presents and blows out the candles on his cake. The dawning realisation that today is the day that you mean everything to your parents hits the kid right between the eyes and they’ll filled with an unconscious pride that all is well and it’s because of them.

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What a feeling eh? To be honest I’d always felt that people were full of it when they said giving gifts was better than receiving. Like, really? Would you prefer to give a 2018 BMW sports car or get one? Would you prefer to get an iPad or give one, or would you prefer to give a Sexbot 6900, or get one? Maybe don’t answer the last one. Mankind is just about to face a Russian-roulette minefield of secondhand sexbots that it really isn’t prepared for.

Badly Behaved KidsI can’t shake the feeling though that because I’m a bit weird and so too is my beautiful wife, I better put in beautiful there to cover over calling her weird otherwise she’ll…actually she won’t do anything, my wife’s incredibly supportive and has a sense of humour so she won’t mind. Don’t make a crap joke. Anyway, myself and herself, well, we’re a bit different. Not antisocial, more asocial and it’s kind of got me worried that we might not be doing the best by the young lad.

Kids’ Birthday Parties

Normally over here parents do this horrific thing of inviting all the other kids in the class or neighbourhood to some shindig in one of those god-awful places where fun is organised. Honestly I don’t even know what they’re called, let’s call them Fun Houses or House of Fun or Timesinks Where You Question all the Choices that Lead to this Moment in Life.

Kids' Birthday Parties, fun houses
Welcome to Hell!

I’m taking for granted that you all know the places. Booming, loud pop music playing Kelly Clarkson, or Post Malone or Nathan Carter or whoever is poptastic fodder this month. Loud colours like in McDonalds, did you know they chose those colours because at first they are warm and welcoming but after a while they make you want to leave? It’s true. There’s some cake, fizzy drinks and sweets for the young lads and you have to have lame conversations with other parents who also don’t really want to be there about some school in the area or a recent school trip. Just once I want to speak about the affair that the principle had with the new French-exchange teacher and how her husband found out. You strike it rich when you find a guy who is a fellow football fan. Alas all you can talk about though is the crappy 3G reception in this cold warehouse you’re in, even though it’s 30C outside, and you can’t get the latest scores on your phones but you sure both hope Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United are losing.

Leaving these places is near impossible. The kid is wired to the moon on sugar,

Kids' Birthday Parties, Ritalin
…tempting

he’s a walking advert for the ADHD (no such thing) drugs Ritalin, Adderall all hepped up on goofballs and at the mere suggestion that he has to leave throws a Mariah Carey-style diva strop that would have her giving the full 10 points were this some bizarre episode of Europe’s Got Diva Meltdowns in which she was a judge. He’s a great kid, and roughly 85% of the time he doesn’t act like a muppet on a weekend-long cocaine binge, but kids are kids and they get carried away and they have meltdowns. In fairness it’s allowed, they have to have meltdowns to learn that they not supposed to. It’s like shagging a mate’s partner. Seems like a good idea at the time. Awkwardness, shame and victim blaming will ensue. Everyone is a victim though.

Kids’ Birthday Parties

Here’s the Catholic guilt coming…he’s having a great time, I’m putting myself before him simply because I don’t like these places and I don’t like hanging out in places with other parents and other children. I loved kids until I had my own, now I detest the snog gobblers and will actively avoid them. I never used to. Honestly, at parties where the hosts had children I’d always play with the young lads because of two reasons. Parties are boring for the first two hours until the drinks kick in and I knew I could have the craic with the young lads and once shit went down I could bail back to the parents.

Our weekends usually look like us finding a river or a lake and feeding some ducks (with oats and fruit obviously because we’re not morons who give bread to ducks, duh) finding some nice pedestrian pathway for him to belt around on his wee scooter or, this is the weirdest I’ll admit, going to either a busy train station or quarry and looking at either the trains or the machinery. He has a thing for machinery, it’s boring but he’s happy and that’s what counts.

Kids' Birthday Parties, Czech Trains
To Prague!

Is he happier feeding ducks, scooting on his scooter or shouting at the top of his lung in English ‘Wow, train! Big train! Choo choo! Choo Choo! Wow, big train going to Prague’ much to the bemusement of the Czech and Polish people on the platforms than he would be being with kids his own age, socialising at one of those fun houses? I don’t know, we’ve asked him and he says he’d rather be outside doing these things with us but y’know he might be lying to not hurt our feelings, maybe he knows we’re not into people so much and he wants to be nice, or else he’s learning our asocial ways and we’re turning him against his peers or, maybe, hopefully, he’s telling the truth and prefers being outside to being inside those  ADHD warehouses of scheduled fun.

I don’t know. I really hope we’re doing the right thing.

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Kids’ Birthday Parties