Birthday Parties, Cesspits and 37 Degrees
I am typing this the morning after the day before, my memory is a little hazy, my head a little fragile and my camera not quite as loaded as I would have hoped. I remember having fun, lots of fun, maybe even too much fun. I remember singing Happy Birthday, badly and a little louder than everyone else and I remember looking at the empty bottles that had mysteriously accumulated around my chair and thinking that I would pay and I am. My decision to over indulge in alcohol and under indulge in food was not a wise one. But I did so with some justification, everything that could have gone wrong in the build up to the party did go wrong.
The long distance weather forecast generously suggested Saturday would be sunny and 30 degrees and I was a happy Dad, the next day it had gone up to 32 degrees, okay a little warm but that is surely what paddling pools and ice cream is for, the next day it was 35 degrees and the day before the party the meteorologists finally settled for a sweaty 37 degrees! Two words that no parent wants to have to entertain on the day of a carefully choreographed party is “venue change”. The beautiful gardens we had booked were substituted for the relative comfort of our air conditioned home. Text messages were furiously sent, sent, sent as Phase 1 of Operation Venue Change got underway. The safari theme we had opted for was rapidly ditched for a chaos theme.
As we busied ourselves making jellies, icy poles and fruit salads I kept noticing a foul smell wafting its way in and around my nostrils, I presumed at first that Mrs Under might have accidently broken wind (because I know that women never intentionally do so) but it was worse than anything Mrs Under has previously managed. I followed my nose out of the door, through the garden and straight to the offending, blocked, overflowing, cesspit! The cesspit is the bane of our lives and prone to malfunction, but really did it have to choose today of all days, toddlers party, raw sewage and 37 degrees is about as bad a combination as you could possibly dream up.
A reassuringly sympathetic plumber set about doing the undignified deed, I was slightly surprised by his decision to do so without gloves but who am I to pooh pooh his work (sorry)? It was all too much for me I excused myself and went off in search of caffeine, one latte, became two, became, three, became four and I became a juddering wreck of a Dad. I power walked my way home, relieved to see a fully functional cesspit I chose to ignore the plumbers attempt to shake hands on a good job well done. Mrs Under turns up with a fistful of joss sticks and places them in and around the cesspit like some sort of bizarre offering to the cesspit Gods. I seek solace from the ice cold, refreshing, instantly calming Beer Gods.
I’m not sure exactly how many times I went to the supermarket that morning but I think I got into double figures. Things however seemed to be back on track and I manage to envisage the dream toddler party again, then I get a text, at this point I have subscribed to the no news is good news approach and I nervously read the text only to discover Max’s bestie, his brother from another mother, is sick and can’t make it! WTF! Why me, why today, why, why, whhhhhhhhhy! I might have said that bit out loud.
It’s now noon and kick off is at 3pm, Max seems to have picked up on the anxiety, the sweating, pale faced, shadow of a man that used to be his Dad is transmitting. A child known for his ability to sleep fast, hard and long, decides that today of all days he will instead sit in bed and go through his entire vocabulary one by one over and over “car, bus, bike, boat, digger, daddybeer (why can you not say yes, please or ta but you can say that?!?!) After 2 hours of begging and pleading Max complies, a power nap it is then.
Despite (insert preferred God) throwing all sorts of shit at us and to my amazement, at 2:59pm just as the first eager party goer rocks up I look around the house and we had pulled it off. Balloons were flapping in the wind, bunting was elegantly draped, the paddling pool was giving me come hither looks, tasty treats were lined up in position wearing a come and eat me expression and the house had been rid of fluff, dirt and grime by a Mum on a mission. It was looking like a text book toddler party all it needed was lots of over excited toddlers running around trying to work out why the gates to Sugarland have been flung open and why one child is having all manner of toys bestowed at his feet.
At this point my work was done, it was time to kick back and enjoy 2 years of parenting, a happy smiley boy, a fully functional marriage, lots of wonderful friends coming together – I surely deserve a beer? My sensible voice said to eat some food and drink plenty of water first, but my party voice told it to get stuffed. I drank and chatted with the other Dads and then I drank and chatted with the Mums and then I drank and chatted to the toddlers and then I drank and chatted to myself. I would like to thank whoever looked after my son all day keeping him fed and watered, I would also like to thank the water fairies that always seem to put a glass of water at the side of my bed for such occasional, occasions.
Today it’s been nice catching up with Max and seeing how his party went, as he lines up his new acquisitions in some sort of hierarchy, boats, cars, trucks, diggers, tools and denim – a total little man package. I am less than thrilled with the ambulance that comes with flashing lights and 5 sirens, all loud and all non-hangover friendly. I check the camera for photos and have pre carnage and post carnage with not much in between. After making the same mistake two years running I am thinking of having his next party at a monastery with a nun and priest theme? Today I raise a Barocca infused glass of water to you Max Ross, you are shaping up to be a wonderful little boy.
Sharing my blogging Tuesday with Jess over at essentiallyjess for #IBOT