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to not have lots of food at ds 2nd 'birthday party'?

34 replies

OFSTEDoutstanding · 13/09/2007 23:02

My ds is 2 on Tuesday and so we are having a family get together on Sunday afternoon. The 'party' is from 2.30-5 and I have only asked both sets of grandparents, uncle and godparents, there are no children coming as we are only having the get together for family members.
I am a childminder so will actually have a house full of children on his birthday and we are going out for the day to soft play as his birthday treat.
I am wondering whether I am being unreasonable putting out just a few bowls of crisps and nibbles instead of loads of party food. My ds will have had lunch before they come and will have tea when they leave and am assuming that they will do the same. We will of course have a birthday cake during the afternoon so that they can see him blow out his candles.
MIL reaction was well its not a real party if there is no party food, imo ds doesn't even know what a birthday is really, we are actually having this get together as MIL doesn't respect my job and often thinks she can turn up during work hours to see ds as I am at home I am not really working!! Obviously I don't want her turning up next week when I have mindees from 8-6 and ds goes to bed at 7.
Is it being unreasonable to not have loads of food and is it being unreasonable to wish my MIL will be able to keep her opinions to herself for 2 1/2 hours!

OP posts:

MamaG · 13/09/2007 23:07



PeachesMcLean · 13/09/2007 23:10

No of course you don't need to have food. DS won't expect it, and it's his party.
Yes, MIL should keep her opinions to herself and should certainly respect your job.
However, just out of interest, tell me what the problem is with her coming round during the day. I'm not a childminder and I don't know how many kids you have to look after, but I quite like the fact that our previous CM had people coming and going during the day - made it a lively home atmosphere. Does it cause you problems?


Sazisi · 13/09/2007 23:12

Not at all; presumably everyone ill have lunch before coing and dinner afterwards so..


tutu100 · 13/09/2007 23:15

No I think just nibbles and cake would be fine for that length of time. I would expect grown up's to eat after 5 which would be when they get home. I hope your ds has a really good birthday.


ruddynorah · 13/09/2007 23:16

why is it not ok for MIL to come round while you're 'working' but it's ok for you to have guests round and have your ds's birthday party going on while you're 'working.' i don't get it. and tbh, i would expect tea if the party's between 2.30 and 5. i'd expect to eat about 4pm. but of course you don't have to do it that way, but i'd think it odd.


OFSTEDoutstanding · 13/09/2007 23:17

Hi Peaches It causes me problems in that I have 3 under 2 that I look after including ds, but she doesn't class me as working as I am at home! She will come round and expect waiting on hand and foot while I make her cups of tea etc. All family members were asked when I started minding to respect that Monday-Friday 8-6 I am at work and if they want to call round for any reason to please call first as we do go out alot, however MIL has the annoying habit of turning up at school run time when I am trying to load 3 into the car to collect another 3 and then she gets annoyed because I can't drop everything for her to see ds. We do have a very lively house and there are people coming and going and we go out somewhere every day, however when she callsround it creates me double the work load which is why we are just having everyone on Sunday.

OP posts:

MrsScavoEatsJelly · 13/09/2007 23:18

I would have only do cake - no crisps, but I wuld have special paper plates and napkins, and possibly a treat drink like Appletise for the children.


OFSTEDoutstanding · 13/09/2007 23:21

ruddynorah thanks for your thought the house full of children that I mentioned is my mindees that I will have on that day it just so happens they will come early enough to go out to soft play before doing the school run, The 'birthday party' on his actual birthday is only him and my other 2 mindees but I have classed it as a birthday party as they are closer to his age. For the record I am not charging the parents to get them into soft play or for lunch as I have said I will pay for all 3 as a treat

OP posts:

PeachesMcLean · 13/09/2007 23:22

Yup, fair play, that would be annoying.

And how's she got to that age without knowing how to work a kettle?


OFSTEDoutstanding · 13/09/2007 23:22

Yes MrsS I have the Thomas Tank plates ready and waiting

OP posts:

OFSTEDoutstanding · 13/09/2007 23:23

She never knows how to work a kettle even when I came home from hospital after having ds she walked in and said 'out the kettle on!'

OP posts:

OFSTEDoutstanding · 13/09/2007 23:24

sorry PUT the kettle on

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madamez · 13/09/2007 23:25

Are any of your invited guests the type who regularly eat an afternoon tea at 4-ish? Because I suppose it can be a bit distressing to people to miss out on a meal at a time they are accustomed to one - but otherwise, between 2 and 5 30 isn't a time when most people would expect to eat a meal as opposed to nibble the odd peanut. I know toddlers often have an afternoon snack but the cake will surely cover that.
SOunds like your MIL is just one of life's moaners, really.


OFSTEDoutstanding · 13/09/2007 23:28

No none of them eat in te afternoon thats why I thought I wouldn't do food they are all (and there are only 8 of them) having either big lunch or big tea on a Sunday so I know most of them will not expect anything, in fact most have said a cup of tea and slice of cake is all we need but MIL got me thinking.

OP posts:

kickassangel · 13/09/2007 23:29

i once went to a 1 year old party which was just grown ups - family members & they kind of did the whole childrens party thing (no hats, thankfully) and there was just a very surreal moment when all the grown ups seemed to try to entertain the birthday girl by doing baby talk & eating childrens party food. i found it very odd & hid in the kitchen, making tea.
it's really a chance for family to turn up & see the birthday boy - if i had several adults coming round at that time of day i would do a light bite, not proper food. cake will be fun, but that's all you really need. as you say, he doesn't really get it & will like the attention moe than anything


goldenoldie · 14/09/2007 08:22

sorry, I would expect food at an afternoon children's party, I know my kids would too.
tbh how hard is it to do a few sarnies, bit of cold meat, cheeseboard, bread and pickles. That would keep most people happy and would take about 10 mins to put together


Alambil · 14/09/2007 09:27

you could do a fast platter - french stick, cut up, couple tubes of pringles, butter, meat and crisps then with the cake that will placate any stroppy adults that there isn't any food, but be cheap and fast for you to not cause stress n hassle


maisym · 14/09/2007 09:28

Just some cake would be fine - small kids aren't there to eat but to play.


Hulababy · 14/09/2007 09:30

Nibbles and cake seems perfectly acceptable for the time of day your "party" is.


Hulababy · 14/09/2007 09:31

If there were children coming then I think it would probably be a bit different.


SSSandy2 · 14/09/2007 09:40

This is just a get-together with around 10 adults and the birthday boy she said. The kiddies party will be on another day.

I would have thought cake and some nibbles would be fine but maybe you could have a big pot of something ready and people can just help themselves. Something they might eat, don't know them but say soup and baguette, or a big pot of pasta or chili or something.

Or as someone else said make some nice sandwiches, a plate of cold meat and some nice cheeses if someone needs something more substantial or doesn't like cake, then you've covered everything.


bubblagirl · 14/09/2007 09:49

you could just get a few bits of food if they are there for few hours

i done for my sons 2nd birthday a few sandwiches, quiche, crisps ,scotch eggs and nibbles all went down well and my son enjoyed sitting on floor with party hat on and party plates nibbling on it but you do what you feel is best i wanted it to be more party feeling as he was more aware of it being something special but i thin k regardless he'll have good day

maybe you can tell your guests aboput food situation as from experience if you know your going to a party you dont have much lunch as there is normally food at a party so you dont want everyone skipping lunch for crisps


ChasingSquirrels · 14/09/2007 10:03

There are no otehr kids there, it is family coming to see 2yo because of birthday, there won't be time for food they will all be fussing over him - birthday cake and drinks will be fine.
Your MIL sounds like a PITA.


alicet · 14/09/2007 11:05

I think what you have planned is fine. I certainly wouldn't expect more than this (although I am sure I would eat it if it was there! )

If MIL has a problem with this why not suggest to her that she brings some food with her to contribute - as you work full time as a childminder you won't have time to do this and it would be a really big help! That will either shut her up or she will bring loads of food - win win as far as I can see!!!


babyblueiloveyou · 14/09/2007 12:58

What alicet said! I'm usually the 'hostess with the mostest' - any excuse for food (& lots of it) but I think what you have planned is reasonable. Tea/Coffee and Cake is completely appropriate for the time and type of get together, especially when it's all 'grown-ups'. In a few years you won't be able to get away with doing this kind of party - there will have to be entertainers, party bags and of course most importantly generaous helpings of stress for you! (My ds1 is 5 shortly ) Enjoy it while you can!

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