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by Tanya Kovarsky, the editor of Living & Loving magazine, mom to Max, and a fan of running, baking, reading and iPads. Find her on Twitter (@TanyaKovarsky) or her blog.

My son Max recently started playschool, and the other day the best thing happened. He got his first invite ever to a birthday party. I don’t even know the mom or the child who’s birthday it is, and I assume every kid in the class was invited, but boy was I proud. My son made the cut! Which means I made the cut too, since I’m assuming I’m invited because I can’t exactly drop Max off and leave him. Or can I? What are the rules? And can I even go if I haven’t met the parents? And what present do I get – how much should one spend for these things? What happens if I have an awkward high-school moment and am left out of conversation, or no one likes me? And worse – what if my son is “that” child – the clingy/destructive/icing-licker-before- the-cake-is-cut dude?

We’ve been to parties before – friends and family, but this is the first real school event, and despite the nerves, I’m hoping that it will be like riding a bike – the first time might be a little tricky and there might be some hurts, but that afterwards it will be all fun, balloons and party packs.

credit:google.co.za

credit:google.co.za

But with motherhood   one anxiety always leads to another, and with Max’s impending second birthday in September, I’m loosely thinking about what to do. Do I have the whole she bang with venue, entertainment and catering, or do I keep it simple because let’s face it, Max isn’t really going to know, and will probably still be more fascinated with the Flings and wrapping paper and boxes than clowns, ponies or themed decor?

But parties are often for the parents, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re proud, we’re celebrating the growth of our little ones, and we love putting in effort. Which is why I think I might veer to the latter. I want to make invites, I want to shop for party packs, and I want to buy Chardonnay for when my nerves set in (on that note, is Chardonnay acceptable for the adults at parties?) Plus I want to order a kick-ass cake, show it off, and eat gum sweets at the kiddies’ table. And take pics and post them on Instagram (an awesome iPhone photo-sharing app). It’s all about the pictures, and party packs, and precious moments. I’m off to plan, and pick out an outfit for our first school party next week…=

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