I think we’ve got it wrong.

This year H would have had five birthday parties – and you set precedents by what you do. She’s had loads of big presents, and I’m worried – are we spoiling her? Will she come to expect this? It’s great buying things for her, and I love doing it – but actually, do you try to better the previous year? What do people do?

Yesterday we had our altogether more sensible NCT 2nd Birthday party which involves us doing the incredibly simple buy one present for one child routine, and it keeps it to a nice low number of guests (ie, just us lot, nobody else).

I’ve already decided that I don’t want her to have more presents for Christmas unless there’s something she really needs – and that relatives sending money for classes (be it drama, dance, swimming or whatever) would be a better present – but does that set another precedent? I mean, she will have something to open, but just not as much as she’s had this birthday just gone. Then again, being able to swim and having confidence to do things is something you can’t put a price on – it’s skills and abilities she’ll have for life.

I set out thinking she’d get invites to parties from the other kids at nursery, and actually she’s only had two… we know she’s definitely missed two, and I was pre-empting her getting invites and making sure everyone was included – which didn’t happen. It’s not a problem, but I wonder if I’m overthinking it all – after all, she’s only two. She isn’t going to remember any of this! Ultimately in two years time she’ll be starting school – which is going to fly by – and she’s not going to know anyone she’s with, so she’ll have a whole new set of friends anyway. Add to that the first party I remember having is my ninth. So yes, I think we’ve got it wrong. I think next year I’ll relax about it more, and it’ll be simpler and no fuss. Even better, there’ll only be one or two, tops. (with the NCT one being separate!) It’s an expensive business, and it’s not going to get any cheaper…