It’s nearly time for Little Person’s birthday. Last year we had three little friends from nursery at our house, with pass the parcel, and various other games, and lots of food. I overstretched myself and found it all… overwhelming. This year, I planned to go to one of those softplay places, where you can get somebody else to do all the hard work for you. Then there was the conversation.
“Who do you want at your birthday party?” happy face, notepad handy. hoping the list was not going to be too long.
Head tilted to one side, “My friends come to my house?”
“We’re going to go where you friend Fred went for his party. And you can climb all over everything and go down the slides and have fun.”
“Fred come to my house? We got a slide.”
She had me there. And so, we are having a little gang of 8 this year. But I’m not making the cake.
When all of this happened, Writer-Me thought it would be a brilliant blog. All written from Little Person’s perspective, and how she has chosen a party the way her parents do parties, rather than the way her friends do parties. Then Academic-Me nudged in.
Evidence doesn’t support that. It could be she wants to recreate last year’s party because she knows she enjoyed that. She doesn’t know about having her own softplay party.
It’s just a bit of fun, taking the possibilities out for a spin. Imagine. “My mummy says I can have a party. She said I should have a party like Fred, but where’s the fun in that? No music, no prizes, no jokes with the grown-ups. I like the parties my mummy and daddy do. With lots of food, and people running round and having fun. And chocolate and cake and ice-cream and presents.”
It’s true, we do like to have people round, with food, and laughter, and occasionally presents.
But every time Writer-Me started getting to the really fun part of the blog, Academic-ME just jumped in and, well not exactly ruined the fun, but at least tried to turn it into a social experiment. Because while it is evident that Little Person has chosen to have an at home party despite having attended softplay parties in the past, there is no way of knowing whether it’s because of her own party experience from last year, or more because it’s what her parents do. Academic-Me likes the question, because it refers to learnt behaviour, and parent-child relationships. So I want to know why she has this preference.
But it’s not Academic-Me, or Writer-Me that has the last word.
Part Planner says it’s irrelevant. It’s all about the party after all.
[A thoughtful ppostscript: No, I do not have Dissociative Identity Disorder. And the party will be fine.)