I am seriously considering undertaking a stealth mission to Melbourne to kidnap a woman I don’t know.
We are heading into the absolutely manic part of the year for us – four birthdays, Christmas, holidays, then the start of the new school year. Of this the children’s birthday parties are the most difficult.
Cooking dinner for 30 adults – no worries – you can always fall back on plying them with loads of grog if the food’s a bit dodgy – a birthday party for 16 kids – with alcohol not an option – scares the hell out me.
Our first difficulty, my youngest daughter’s birthday falls right in the middle of the January school holidays, let me tell you counting forward before doing the deed would have been a good idea in hindsight.
Everybody is away just when you want to hold the party, it’s right after Christmas when everyone is partied out. So her birthday ends up dragging on for months, there’s a family gathering on the day, then a party when school goes back. This year we didn’t actually get the party organised until March!
It’s either that or we hold it in the last couple of weeks of school, when everyone who has a January birthday is vying for the few remaining weekends that aren’t designated for Christmas parties (or for the children who were ACTUALLY born in December).
This year we did a Glitzy Girls Glamour party where I simply took youngest daughter and seven friends to a venue where they whacked on a bit of nail polish, a dab of make-up, did a lot of dancing, singing, hula hooping and ate fairy floss and cupcakes.
Two hours, done, dusted and worth every penny. Now for the 12th birthday she wants a sleep-over. God help me.
The eldest child this year had a tie-dye party.
I really did try to be more organised, I sorted out the theme months in advance, got the decorations early then came to a grinding halt.
So there I was just days before trying to source dye and 16 white shirts. (Kind of integral to a tie-dye party).
By some miracle I managed to get the special dye that you simply paint on and dry in the sun from a company in Byron, called Tie Dye Fun and it arrived in the nick of time on the Friday. Saturday morning I managed to get the last of the white shirts in the variety of necessary sizes (I brought out supplies in Spotlight and almost cleaned out Rivers as well). Eldest daughter had arranged for my Aunt Dorothy to make the cake (she’s not stupid, Aunt Dorothy is much more reliable than Mum).
The usual cleaning frenzy finished minutes before the first guest walked through the door. But we did the tie-dye, they juiced fruit for drinks, listened to music and, due to the fact we have no floorboards down (do you know how much bamboo flooring costs!), they were allowed to go ballistic with artistic chalk drawings on the floor. At the end one young guest commented “I love your parties, they are always so simple but so much fun”. SIMPLE. I’ve been to hell and back organising this event!
But here we are again planning the next lot, as I said a sleep-over for one, and, for the eldest, a Mad Hatter’s tea-party where the girls decorate hats in a wild and crazy fashion.
But back to my stealth mission to Melbourne, Di from Paper and Style is a boutique event stylist (you should see the amazing ice-cream party she did for her daughter’s 9th birthday), and I just need to kidnap her for two months. Just two little parties – organised, coordinated, delivered on time (without tears and tantrums – and I’m not referring to the children there).
I told my husband of the kidnapping dream he doubled over laughing, “what’s she going to style, the clothes on the dining room table that we haven’t got folded and put away, the pile of newspapers that were supposed to be taken out to the recycling last week, the magazines that are overflowing from the bookcases?”
I really do need to get my head out of the “big picture” and start taking more notice of the “details”. Although when I did I discovered my husband had assembled his new lawnmower in the living room – seriously I have a lawnmower in the living room – can I incorporate that into a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party?