Reflections on Boy #1's 8th Birthday Party...

>> Sunday, 11 September 2011

1. Always take your own advice on the subject of chocolate and go for quality over quantity. Otherwise you will find yourself at 10.00pm the night before the party (during your last-minute birthday cake-baking rush) looking sadly at what should be a 'glossily combined' bowl of chocolate, condensed milk, sugar and butter and decided that based on the greying glutinous gloop in the bowl in front of you, yes, it is necessary to go out to the 24 hr supermarket to buy the expensive chocolate you were too mean to buy just a few hours earlier...

2. Just because it didn't rain last year's birthday party treasure hunt, that doesn't mean it won't rain on this year's birthday party treasure hunt. Prepare for a soaking. Dig out the wellies. Abandon any hope of looking stylish. Take heart; the designer-clad Russian mummies probably won't hang around to get the heels of their stillettos caught in the mud during mad dashes across the grass to run relays or arm-wrestle security guards in any case, so frankly, what does it matter if your wellington boots are Homebase specials rather than Hunter trendies?

3. Remember; if the cleaner you paid to come in and help out at last year's party was a disaster then, needing constant supervision and showing no more initiative than a sulky 13 year old girl, the chances are that nothing will have changed over the last 12 months.

4. You can never have too much pizza for kid's birthday parties. Think of a number, and double it. Then add on 10.

5. Don't waste too much time peeling carrots and slicing peppers etc: vegetable sticks really are there just for decorative purposes and to save face in the Healthy Eating stakes. (FFS - it's a party. Do you really expect them to eat raw broccoli?)

6. Never - but NEVER - leave your 2 beautiful Smartie-decorated chocolate ganache-clad birthday cakes (you know; the ones you were up until midnight the night before making) out in the kitchen with your cleaner there unsupervised. Otherwise, when you ask her to turn on the oven and put the pizza in you will only have yourself to blame when you just happen to go into the kitchen 5 minutes later to find she has put the fully-iced cakes in the oven instead of the pizza.

7. Should the unthinkable (as detailed above) happen, however, hold your nerve. Once you have whipped the cakes out of the oven, stuck them in the fridge to re-set the ganache, and have recovered from the shock with a medicinal glass of white wine or two, you may just find that slightly molten smarties actually taste quite nice on top of warm chocolate cake. And of course this is the perfect moment to thank your lucky stars that the birthday candles weren't already in place.

And finally...

8. There will always be one child who, on seeing the Ben 10 jigsaw and Milky Way bar you have prepared as a going home present, will say "I don't need the jigsaw, thanks. I'll just take the chocolate."


Nora 12 September 2011 at 00:29  

Happy Birthday to Boy #1.

Your post is hilarious, especially that part about the cakes in the oven. I would have been dumbstruck and hit the girl in a silent gesture of disbelieve.

I hope all else went well. You certainly tried hard enough. You deserve a star on your chart.

MsCaroline 12 September 2011 at 01:25  

In the oven? Really?

I don't know how to break the news to you, but I think you've gotten a dud for a cleaner. I know there are cultural and language issues going on, but surely the Russians don't put iced cakes in the oven?

As far as the rest of the party goes: well done, you, against all odds. I'm so very glad those days are behind me!

Iota 12 September 2011 at 02:38  

Cakes in the oven? No....

Potty Mummy 12 September 2011 at 08:03  

Nora, it was a close thing on the physical violence. I mean, it was a ganache, for goodness' sake! But we had guests, so...

MsC, actually, she isn't Russian. usually, that's a good thing (better attitude), but not yesterday.

Iota, cakes in the oven? Yes...

Laura Chora 12 September 2011 at 09:22  

Happy birthday Number 1

Did you remember to drink gin?

I love broccoli and tried it raw last week. Never again!

Expat mum 12 September 2011 at 15:24  

It always surprises me how downright rude some/most children are when it comes to the goody bag. I dread to think what my 8 year old does at the end of parties, but at our party in June, almost every single child started asking for the goody bag (without saying "please") before the party had even ended.
In my day.....

Knackered Mother 12 September 2011 at 22:38  

I really loved number 5. We only do it for the benefit of other parents, tbh. Happy Birthday Boy#1!

Potty Mummy 13 September 2011 at 18:10  

Laura, vodka is the name of the game here (but am afraid I was a lightweight and stuck to white wine...)

EPM, exactly. Think of the starving children in Africa and all that...

KM, thankyou and you're so right. Must have those 3 colours (red pepper, carrots and cucumber) on the tale as an alternative to the pizza, eh?

Footballers Knees 13 September 2011 at 21:44  

PM - I know what you mean - my cleaner came home today and said he was too tired to cook, so we had to get a take away curry! Honestly.
Hope the party went well. We're supposed to be hosting a pizza night in a couple of weeks for Son's birthday but the whole thing has become a minefield. He wanted to invite just 4 people but has ended up inviting 14 so that he doesn't offend anyone for various interconnecting cliques. I haven't told the Cleaner about it yet.

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