We had a teenage party

I’m not sure why my son wanted a party for his 17th birthday. Neither of my boys have been interested in doing much for their birthdays for a few years now. Maybe it’s because he’s so much happier and more settled at his new school. Or maybe it’s because he’s seen others have them. But, either way, my son was determined to have a teenage party in the garden.

And I was not keen.

As he was away on Explorer camps the weekend before and the weekend after his birthday, I thought maybe he would forget about it. But he didn’t. He would have his party a few weeks after his birthday, just before the end of term.

Before you think I’m brave etc, I’m really not. I can’t tell you how much I didn’t want that party and how many times I said I didn’t want him to have it. But my husband was very supportive of the idea. The party was going to happen.

I have two big problems with a teenage party. I am teetotal and have a phobia of vomiting (emetophobia) – not just me vomiting, but anyone else. I didn’t know what the situation with alcohol is at a 17 year old’s party. As far as I’m concerned, they’re under 18, they’re still children and they shouldn’t be drinking. But I do know that as a teetotaller my opinions are slightly different from other people’s. I don’t know what the kids’ parents would think about us allowing them to drink in our garden. The whole thing was stressing me out.

Whenever we asked my son what was going to happen at this party, he didn’t really say. His only involvement in organising it was inviting people. Did he went any food? What drink did he want? He wasn’t very forthcoming. So the whole party was basically organised on the morning.

My husband and son went out to buy drinks, pizza and crisps. My son had said his friends like cider with fruit flavours, so my husband bought some of that and some Carlsberg, plus Coke and Sprite. He bought enough for two alcoholic drinks per guest.

Alcohol, Crisps, Party, Teenage party, We had a teenage party

The guests were nearly all girls, as he is at a girls’ school and spends most of his time with girls. He’d asked a handful of boys, but only two could go – one from school and one who didn’t know any of the others. The guests all started arriving and, within seconds, I saw a girl drinking a nasty blue liquid from a glass bottle. So they were definitely going to be drinking then…

In the end, there were about 25 teenagers in our garden. And, the noise! (Don’t worry, we’d let the neighbours know in advance and they’d been fine about it.) The younger two kids were out earlier in the evening and my husband and I made ourselves scarce for a while, but we were all home from about 9.30.

And I hated it. I felt like I was in a goldfish bowl. I didn’t know where to go and the noise was horrendous. We ended up hanging out in my daughter’s bedroom and the spare room.

There was a constant stream of teenagers in and out for the toilet. They were very good at just using the downstairs toilet, although being the worrier I am, I worried that if they were having to queue and someone felt sick that it could have ended in disaster. Luckily it didn’t.

I worried a lot about disaster. I worried about teenagers collapsing and ambulances coming. I worried about being unable to sleep too, because sleep is always an issue for me.

At 10pm, the noise suddenly stopped. My son actually texted me (this never happens) to inform me that he’d taken them all to the park to calm down. Luckily there are no houses too close to the park!

They were gone about 45 minutes, and it was lovely, but then the noise was back. We told them to turn the music down at 11pm, which they did.

I then gave up and went to bed – in the spare room, which was more removed from the noise. I got to sleep OK, but was woken at 3 by endless kids going to the toilet. I started worrying again about kids being sick and kids collapsing, but I eventually got back to sleep.

When I got up at 6, I found one teenager asleep on the settee and one sat wide awake on the settee. A few had gone home between 11.30 and 12, but most of them were camped in the garden. The garden was littered with empty bottles, including a vodka bottle (everyone I’d talked to about teenage parties had advised me to make sure they didn’t have spirits). There were also magpies and seagulls feasting on the leftover pizza and crisps.

I went running before most of them were up and got back to find girls tidying the garden, wiping the kitchen down and putting their make-up on. You would never have guessed any of them had been up late drinking. I was just so glad it was all over. Apparently someone was sick, but not until the morning when I was out running, and in the toilet, thank goodness!

It was far from the best experience of my life. There were times when I really hated it, but it could have been a lot worse. We survived our first teenage party! I would be very happy if it was our last…

Teenage party, We had a teenage party, Alcohol, Bottles

Author: Sarah Mummy

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18 Comments

  1. Eek! I dread to think about teenage parties. It sounds like all the guests were pretty sensible and well done those girls for tidying up. I have a thing about vomit. I don’t have a phobia I just have a weak stomach. If anyone vomits near me I do too. It’s fun times if the kids are ever sick. lol

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    • Your vomit problem would literally be my worst nightmare!
      The party could have been a lot worse, but I’m in no hurry to do it again.

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  2. Hats off to you for agreeing for him to have a party, and I don’t know whether I would be that accommodating. Thankfully we have a small garden, so there is no way 25 teenagers would actually fit in it. Sounds as if they were pretty sensible, turning the music off and heading to the park for a little while. Fingers crossed that’s it for you x

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    • Thanks very much! I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I agreed to it! They could have been a lot worse, but I still don’t really want to go through it again. I fear he’ll want an 18th party now – and the other two will think they have to have parties because he’s had them!

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  3. You are a good mum for letting him have one! I went to some horrendous house parties at that age, that I don’t think any of the parents knew were taking place! 😀

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    • Oh dear! That made me laugh. I bet the parents knew afterwards though. Teenagers aren’t renowned for their cleaning skills!
      Now I’m worrying that I’ve set a precedent and he’s going to want an 18th party and my other two kids are going to think they need a 17th party too.

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  4. Honestly, I can’t decide if I admire you or think you’re crazy! I can tell you went into it not really sure what to expect but I have been warned to NEVER allow a part at home! Thankfully my middle one (who is most likely to attend parties) doesn’t really like alcohol but does take a vodka and coke just to ‘fit in’ but drinks hardly any. From what I can tell, they are drinking at parties from 14/15. Seems ridiculous but that’s the way of things now. Well done for letting it happen. My neighbours would have gone absolutely mad and called the police, I’m sure. So well done to your neighbours too!

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    • The neighbours were all absolutely fine about it (and our garden backs onto five different gardens!). I think I’m crazy, because I really didn’t want to do it and was pressured into it. Drinking from 14/15?! I’m only just dealing with the fact that they’re drinking at 17, I can’t face the thought of my younger son drinking too.

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  5. Ooh I think you got away lightly to be honest! My sister had a party when she was 16 and the mess was so bad my dad ended up having to pay for a professional cleaner. I’m pretty sure most of the local town turned up uninvited. Amazing that the girls were cleaning up afterwards, it sounds like your son’s friends are a great bunch.
    Nat.x

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    • We definitely did get away lightly! He’s found a very nice group of friends and was given strict instructions that nobody was to turn up uninvited. There really wasn’t any mess at all! I still don’t want to do it again though.

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  6. Oh the joys….my middle daughter had one for her 16th and I agreed an older “chaperone” being there instead of us, a friend my daughter babysat for who was in her 30’s but much more acceptable than a mother. . There were about 15 kids and like you I am tee total but provided some drink and food.
    Never did find out what happened to the fish in my aquarium or why they dismantled son’s car track that had taken me hours to assemble a few weeks before.
    But all in all was not to bad, we lived opposite a pub so people were use to the noise and the flat down the stairs was empty so no real harm was done apart from the above.
    I did not mind parties up to about 13 but hated the older ones as like you never really know what rules and guidelines to lay down.

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    • What a good idea to have a chaperone, although how brave of the friend to volunteer! Glad it didn’t go too badly, but it must have been annoying about the fish and the car track. We didn’t have a single thing broken and no mess apart from the bottles in the garden, which they cleared up in the morning.

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  7. I feel for you! Does your husband regret supporting this idea? Sounds like you coped admirably but I think I’d pay good money to do this anywhere but my house!

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    • He doesn’t regret it! To be honest, it could have been a lot worse! Nothing got damaged or broken and nobody collapsed. It was just very noisy and I couldn’t help worrying! I fear we may now have set a precedent for the future.

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  8. We have yet to experience the joys of a teenage party. My eldest son went to a few but the closest we had was a sleepover with a few mates and there was pizza but no alcohol. I’m glad that you survived the whole experience although it doesn’t sound like you will want to repeat it any time soon. It sounds like they were pretty well behaved though, thank goodness.

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    • I really can’t complain about their behaviour, but I still don’t want to do it again in a hurry! But no doubt we’ve set a precedent now and he’ll want one for his 18th and the others will think they have to have them too 🙁

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  9. I’m not tee total, but I agree with you in regards to under 18’s and alcohol, I would not allow it, although it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t stop them bringing it with them, I’m not naive, sounds like you and your husband handled it well though and thankfully nothing went wrong

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    • Thanks very much! It could have been a lot worse than it was. I presume the parents buy the kids the alcohol that they brought along, because they wouldn’t have had any otherwise. I’m in no hurry to do it all again though!

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