You learn a lot of strange things about parents when you plan birthday parties for a living. Of course, mine are a lot more elaborate than ‘cake and party bags’. Parents hire me because I can give their kids a real experience, like ropes courses and extreme dodgeball. But then you get the weird requests, have to deal with 400 types of allergies and then sometimes the parents who ask you to do something fun and then freak out when you do something fun.
Like…okay, example: I know all of the birthday party venue hire places in Melbourne like the back of my hand. It’s my business, so you’d hope I’d know them pretty well, what each of them are for, how they’d suit clients, all of that. But then I get the set of parents that are absolutely adamant that the party take place in this one specific place. Okay, fine, I guess it’s owned by a relative or something so they get a good deal. But it’s a room. Like, the size of an average living room. They want 40 kids at this party, and a bouncy castle. Just put the bouncy castle up outside somewhere! Uh, you haven’t hired that space. You can’t just go putting up massive inflatable castles anywhere you like. And besides, I’m stuck trying to make this event fun for forty kids in a shoebox. Sleeping lions, anyone?
Somehow, it gets worse, like when a Dad really wanted their party to include and egg and spoon race. Bit old-fashioned, but okay. Then we get to the place, it’s been raining and bogged down like nothing else. The Dad wants it to go forward, so passionately you’d think seeing his daughter in an egg and spoon race was his life’s ambition. Half the kids are refusing to race, the Mum and Dad are in a screeching row and I’m left to make that fun. Yippee.
It’s not all bad, though. At least when I have kids, I know all the best function rooms. Around Melbourne, there are a few that keep themselves hidden…but in my business, I know all the best ones. Comes in handy for family gatherings.