The Wondertwins went to their first birthday party a couple of days ago. They had been to a couple of parties before, but I'm not convinced that they really understood that they were there to celebrate someone else's special day and not just there to stuff their faces full of cake and lollies and run around mental like a granny on Bath Salts. Funny to watch but still a train wreck in the making. They were acutely aware, this time, that you buy a present to give to the birthday kid who was being 'promoted' from 3 to 4. In return, you get food that Mum doesn't feed you every day and a lolly bag if you say, "Thank you for inviting me" when it's time to go.
This party was for their turning-four-year-old friend from childcare. This party had been the behaviour carrot for me for more than a week. I'm a big fan of behaviour carrots. Dangling a behaviour carrot in front of my little asses works a treat. And for more than a week, my little asses asked several times daily if the party was 'today'.
Getting two 3 year old girls ready for a birthday party is just as exciting as being at the party itself. Both of them wanted to wear fairy dresses. I can't remember how many times I said "No." I also can't remember how many times they changed their clothes.
Finally we were ready. Heading out to the car, Scarlett released an all-too-familiar smell that sent us all back inside to change her nappy.
Me: Right. Are we ready? Anyone else need to go to the toilet? No? You sure? OK. In the car.
Get in the car. Seltbelts on. Start engine.
Lily: I need to go toilet.
Me: Are you serious?
Grace: I need to go toilet, too.
Back into the car, seltbelts on, engine started. Let's go. I look back at Lily. Something's different. Something's missing.
Me: Lily, have you got shoes on?
Me: Where are they?
Lily: In the kitchen.
Me: Why are they in the kitchen?
Lily: Because I needed to go toilet.
Back home. Get shoes. Back into the car, seat belts on, engine started. Again. Let's go. I look at my bag. Where do we have to go? Where's the fucking invitation?
We arrived at the party twenty minutes late, and just as the 'Fairy' was getting out of her car. She saw us and ducked quickly back into her seat. Professional. I like that in a fairy.
As we walked into the birthday girl's house, we were greeted by pirates and fairies waving swords and wands and staring at these sad kids of mine who were neither pirates or fairies. If looks could kill, Lily would not have just taken me out but every single fairy at that party.
Their underdressedness was quickly forgotten as the fairy worked her magic with her...well, magic... and Pass The Parcel, Musical Statues, Face painting and Pin the Tail on the Dragon. This must have been the first time most of those kids had been introduced to the concept of Pass The Parcel. As painful as pulling teeth, the children slowly passed the prized parcel to the next child on their left. No, your other left. Slowly. Slowly. The music...may stop...for...meeeeee...noooooowww. The surrounding mums (me included) called for our children to keep the parcel going. We sounded like mums at a rugby match.
"That's it! THAT'S IT! Pass it to Lily! PASS IT TO LILY! Don't hold it! Pass it along! PASS IT ALOOOONNNGGG!!!"
This party was beautiful. From the fairy, the decorative bunting and the beautifully set table with delicious party foods, cup cakes and treats, to the actual birthday cake, complete with fairy decoration and edible glitter, it was an At Home Party Triumph. And tough competition for the next party mum.
As we left, Lily and Grace told me they couldn't WAIT for their fairies to come to their party.
Yeah...about that, girls...