This week I entered a brand new social environment…that of the toddler birthday party!

Previously, I’d been totally naive to children’s parties. Sure, I’d been required to go to the odd school disco in a supervisory capacity, but this was the first time I’d been an actual guest.

Feels like a seminal moment!

My wife has a lovely group of mums who she hangs out with and does all things maternity (there’s an odd phrase) and, with their kids being that bit older than Sophie, it’s very much 1st birthday party season at the moment.

This party was held in the function room of a local sports club and was a wonderful array of lightning fast children, happy parents and awesome toys (for those from 1 through to 12!).

Sophie, being probably the 2nd or 3rd youngest in the room, didn’t quite understand what was going on. However, she did enjoy the Ella’s smoothie pouch. While older children politely sipped at theirs, Sophie guzzled frantically and looked positively distraught when it was done.

We were able to introduce our non-mobile baby to the ball pool. Although for “ball pool” read “death trap”, as it seemed to attract excitable infants who would launch themselves from a great height to land head first amongst the plastic spheres. On more than one occasion, we had to rescue our confused-looking daughter from the imminent threat of crushing!

There are 15 children buried under here.

There are 15 children buried under here.

It did remind me of the classic Simpsons moment; “Babies love the  ball pool.”

It was great to see what we had to look forward to but also to be extremely thankful that Sophie still sits exactly where you put her. While we have been desperate for her to crawl and hit that developmental milestone, the sheer acceleration of some of the older babies who can move was an awesome sight to behold.

No parental relaxation allowed!

All told, it was a very successful party. In saying that, I did feel slightly awkward helping myself to the Pringles table and having to push past a bunch of children to get there. Made me feel that the nibbles weren’t exactly aimed at people my age…!