I’ve said it before. I was married into what my in-laws refer to as Geary’s luck. Things shifted in the universe (just a tad) the day i said i do and as life has evolved it would seem my chirdrn have inherited it too. For those that know me you will know i really dont believe in any of that nonsense but something has to be said for the fact that every year on my sons birthday we have had the worst weather ever to hit Cape Town. In MARCH. SUMMER!!
On his second birthday there was a major wind storm which threw my plans entirely. We planned a Barney party (as per his request) in the park at Deer Park Cafe. On a beautiful day, this is one of the most perfect venues you will ever find for a kids birthday party. Throw in a few tornadoes and and 1000 knot winds and you have the perfect recipe for the worst party in history. Our gorgeous barney cupcakes were destroyed, as was every other carefully constructed cake and sweet treat we had prepared. And being 20 weeks pregnant and fighting a cold didn’t help matters. I cried form the beginning to end, which is why having a cold helped. At least i could tell everyone my eyes were watering…. I WAS NOT CRYING!!
Fast forward 365 days to his third birthday. Having moved into a new place with a big garden we had decided a soccer party would be ideal. We invited 20 friends (because lets face it, the more the merrier right???) and had a day of amazing OUTDOOR activities planned. I had surrended the idea of a ‘ picture perfect’ party in favor of a proper old school party with loads of games. You know, the kind of party we had in the 80’s… pass the parcel, three legged races, egg and spoon race and the perfect game of soccer stars. In hind sight, the nagging feeling in the pit of stomach started long before i looked at the weekly weather forecast. I have since learnt its better to accept the inevitable.
Let me get to the point. Having had the hottest week prior to his party on saturday, we woke up to cloudy skies, a sure sign of the rain that was about to be unleashed. We all prayed for it to hold out, but instead the weather gods gave me the finger and as our luck would have it, as the first door bell rang the heavens opened up. Not with light showers. OH no…. with torrential rain! The kind where walking from your car to the front door has you drenched, the kind where mud and water are smeared into your white carpets no measures you take. No umbrellas, towels or door mats could prevent the water being brought in.
Needless to say it was the most chaotic three hours of our lives. We had 49 people crammed into our flat, kids in every room of the house and enough chaos to put me in a mental home for the weekend. At one point my husband saw a kid smearing cake into the carpet while staring into his eyes with a smirk on her face. The only thing that got me through that day was drinking neat whiskey out of a paper cup. And no i wasn’t even trying to hide it. To paint a picture : we had a game of soccer stars going in the entrance hall, a game of pass the parcel in the lounge made even more hectic by the fact that the music they were playing to was techno, we had two kids eating their party packs in the shower and children running in and out of every room in the house.
It’s no surprise that when is started to put my thinking cap on for his 4th birthday party a few weeks ago i started having mild heart palpitations. And then it hit me…. its like a light when on and the heavens declared “Aaagh dear one, yes, now thats more like it!” I decided right then, this year would be simple. I would not make a cake or set up a table of any kind. There would be no home made bunting or fancy decorations. We would not have a single child set foot in our home. I WOULD not have a house to tidy/reconstruct. I was about to cheat in every aspect of the perfect children’s party. (And nows the part where i tell all you perfect little pinterest moms you can kindly piss right off and kiss my lazy behind….) And so i did what i never dreamed i would do before. I called the spur. (*GASP)
Ok truth is, we still had a theme. I told Noah he could invite 7 of his closest friends that he wanted to share his special day with. This year we decided to go the more intimate route and invite those friends he sees on a weekly basis. So Noah and seven of his little buddies all jumped aboard the Jolly Roger pirate ship at the V&A for a Pirate party!! It was an hour of whale spotting, party pack munching and pirate entertainment. After that we went straight up to Spur, which as chaotic as it was, would never even come close to the previous year where we were rained out. They sang, they ate, they played in that tiny little play room like it was a theme park and then we went home. To a clean and tidy home might i add.
Now let me point out that as hard as it is to leave some friends out, I felt ok with this decision. And heres why. I think at 4 they are at the age where they have established their own friendships. Before that, they are friends with anyone mom choses for them. We pretty much decide it for them. I don’t think people should feel obligated to invite every single child they know when they are at an age where they know who their special and close friends are. They also need to eventually learn that they wont be included in every little thing in life. Noah has had to learn that too. We had already had a little party at school and the 2 friends we invited from school were approached personally, so no children were feeling hurt or left out. Truth is, i didn’t have the energy to go the whole damn hog all over again. So please friends, don’t hold it against me.
I would probably also have to admit that although we arrived home to house that was still standing and no cake in our rugs, the adults did a sterling job of trashing the house ourselves. You know, nothing screams “successful party!” like having a few mates over to drink wine with. And thats the SIMPLE truth.