Monday, January 28, 2013

Birthday Party Planning Hell

Every year, I put myself through it. Every year I swear I won’t do it again then sometime around October O starts using it as leverage or I bring it up as bribery and I’m back in Birthday Party Planning Hell.
Me whenever I realise it's time for party planning.
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This year, O’s realisation that she was due a birthday party came tandem to the start of wedding planning back in September. She heard the word ‘January’ and something in her mind went ‘wait a sec, that sounds familiar...why do I know that word? Wait – BIRTHDAY’ and out of her mouth came ‘Mummy I’m having a birthday party this year.’ No please can I, no I would really like. O tells me what things she will be involved in, because asking leaves room for Mummy to say no. She’s a tiny evil genius.
Don't let the face fool you. She's a tiny dictator.

Though her birthday actually falls on the 20th, this was 1 week and 1 day after the wedding, so knowing not much recuperation time would present itself, I arranged family celebrations for the actual day, and her party with kinder friends and mothers who are not family and therefore free to judge me and my house of bedlam until the following Sunday, the 27th. Knowing that this was the day after Australia Day, and the day before the public holiday Monday, I felt OK knowing people would be coming on a Sunday afternoon, and I’d have B to myself all day Saturday to help with cleaning and setup. Genius, Tara. (note: this did not happen. Nor did help with post party cleanup Monday. We watched Fast & Furious movies ALL DAY)
So much better than post-party cleanup.

Of course, as we all know, the bedrest mandate came, and so I haven’t been in any position to do the things one would expect during party prep. Clean, shop, devise games, give a crap. I managed a trip to the discount store Wednesday before to get plates, cups, banners (which weren’t used) and party-bag fixings. I hate putting lollies in a goodie bag, so I bought badges, swirly straws, fairy wands, glittery tattoos and other treats, then tossed in a Chupa Chup each, because I had them anyway (yes, I’m a sugar fiend. Judge not!)

Then I crashed. I spent the next two days lying on the couch, aware that cleaning and planning needed to happen, but secure in the knowledge that our inflatable pool and extensive Disney movie collection would provide the entertainment, so all I needed was a clean house and snacks. Genius moment number two came weeks earlier, when I sent out invitations to a 3.30pm birthday party, ensuring I would need to produce snacks ONLY, not a main meal.

By 2pm Saturday, very little cleaning had happened, and the only prep was a mental list of party snack small kids like (which I could be bothered preparing). Despite O requesting various cakes for the past 4 months – Peppa Pig, Minnie Mouse, Barbie, Tinkerbell and Lightning McQueen, nothing to do with flavours – I knew we didn’t have the funds and I didn’t have the energy to make an epic character cake (storebought or homemade) happen this year. I wanted to, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t an option. Despite my tears over this realisation, B took it in his stride and discussed with O how much she’d love a rainbow swirly cake instead. Yes, she agreed, she would like that (score one for parental coercion!) And so we planned a vanilla cake with swirled colours. Despite B’s assertion that he would make the cake, Mummy sensibility realised this was a pipe dream, and added it to my mental list of ‘Shit to do on Party Day’.
Epic cakemix of epicness. Pre-baking.

Surprisingly, I woke up reasonably energised and managed to do everything that had to be done, including creating an EPIC BIRTHDAY CAKE! 2-layer rainbow marble cake with blue semisweet whipped cream in the centre and pink and neon green frosting on the top. A freaking mummy masterpiece never to be surpassed. Not even ashamed to admit that I used the 73c Woolworths Vanilla Cake mixes.
A slice of awesomeness. My amazing cake skillz.
Excuse the crap photo. My exhaustion had kicked in and I was a little shaky with a cameraphone.

The party itself was lovely. 2 of the 6 kinder friends invited came, a decent turnout considering the long weekend. O’s bestest out-of-kindy friend A came also. This was kind of a given, considering her mummy is my best mummy friend, S. I only ended up putting out half the snacks because MummyBrain consumed all my memories of other food, and there were a few small jealousy incidents among girls not used to sharing O (one from kinder, the other not), but it was a great party and O had a blast. 

Now that it’s done, there shall be no more event planning for Mummy for awhile. I’m planning to ignore my own birthday on Friday and see if B manages to make something special of it so I don’t feel hurt at being forgotten. Apart from that, you’ll find me sleeping.

 PLEASE NOTE: Despite not doing a proper cleanup, my house doesn't look like a dump. I just haven't done a few small dishes. I'm not a pig, just tired. And B will do them. Just not right this second. 

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