KELLY BROWN Mum’s the word...The challenge of arranging a birthday party

What do you get if you cross jelly and ice cream with copious amounts of crisps and exhausted children? A birthday party!

My son had the pleasure on Sunday of the first of his friends’ third birthday parties.

As you would expect, it involved 20 little ones running around like mini lunatics, recharging with all the sugary food you normally ban from your cupboards and then running around again, before heading home and flopping out at bedtime.

But unlike all the children’s parties I used to have, there was no sign of pass the parcel or musical statues anywhere.

These days it seems children’s parties have to have a venue a little more exciting than a back garden, such as a play centre, the beach or the woods.

This particular one was at a gymnastics centre and all the children loved the freedom to run around on the springy mats.

There were also two huge trampolines which the youngsters loved bouncing on together and running across it to get to the next exciting thing – a massive pit of sponge cubes!

Of course, to you and me, the big sponge pit is there for the gymnasts to fall into while practising on the bars, but to the small children it was the world’s biggest ball pit!

I had to admire their lack of fear after little one after little one threw themselves in from various heights.

Then of course a small group of them thought it would be brilliant to assist my little man in playing hide and seek in there by piling more cubes on top of him.

This was followed five minutes later by a pathetic plea from my munchkin that he was stuck and could mummy please rescue him.

Of course after all the excitement there was the tradition of the birthday party spread where healthy sandwiches and fruit sit side-by side-on a giant table next to Jammy Dodgers and pink finger biscuits.

And while parents arranged a mixture of the good and the bad on their child’s plate, most either managed to sneak an extra cake or selectively eat the treats! (Mummy won’t tell me off at a party for not eating properly!)

And then there is the cake, which now seems to not only be good but amazing to pass the birthday party test.

Of course all of this puts pressure on the host of the next party.

Why do we do this to ourselves? And which parent will be brave enough to break the cycle – hopefully before it gets to me please!?

Now a footie widow

Sorry, you are a football widow for the next few weeks, my husband informed me before embarking on a television marathon.

It seems he would like to watch every match he can from Euro 2012 and not just the England games.

Thank goodness we have a TV in our bedroom – for him!