Friday, 23 February 2007

A usual sort of day

Tomorrow's the birthday for Shark, Tiger and Squirrel, and for the last twelve hours I've been in maximum preparation mode. Late afternoon yesterday I dragged myself away from listening to early morning Perth radio and stood by while Shark beat a celebration carrot cake to an almost certain death.

Then it was Tiger's turn to make a rum plum cake without the rum. I would have put rum in it, but we didn't have any. The bottle's empty. There wasn't anything left in the brandy bottle either. There was a bit of vodka, but that didn't seem right for a children's birthday cake, although I considered it.

Thanks to the late night cooking, I was expecting a late morning, and a late arrival at the home educator's craft and get together at the local community hall, but everyone got up early. That threw me, because I had to nip to Tesco for the cream cheese for Shark's carrot cake, and a pack of fresh marzipan so everyone could make marzipan carrots for decoration. So if we were late, it was me, wondering whether I should make a fuss about the marzipan on sale at Tesco with a best before date of Jan 2007, or whether I should look the other way, pretend not to see it and buy it. I'll leave you guessing.

Then we set off, reasonably early for us. And as we arrive in Middling Town, Tiger suddenly calls out with a strangled cry, 'I need to stretch my legs!' I can feel a medical emergency here so tell her to unstrap herself. Next I've got a child standing behind me shouting 'I'm going to be sick!' This would be a fine morning for the local police, stopping a woman driver with an insurance claim already going through the books, doing 50mph over the speed bumps in Middling Town centre with a screaming child unsecured in the rear.

I do get Tiger to the hall in time and rush her headlong into the toilets, which she occupies for half an hour, leaning over the toilet bowl. This is supposed to be a birthday party for her and her sisters. I have balloons, a leaden carrot cake and ideas for silly games. Jol has brought games too, and everyone's waiting. By the time Tiger decides it's all over, there's only 15 minutes of the session left to go. The bounce has gone out of the balloon idea, so we just eat cake and everyone sings Happy Birthday.

In the afternoon we go to lunch with Jol and Am. This is the third time we've come for lunch and we start to take over the house. Shark stomps about and bullies her sisters; Squirrel makes rude comments; Tiger sits on the bed and howls; I come over all teachery and make self-important, hoity-toity comments about when it's time to leave. And as usual, Jol and Am's warmth and good nature lets us get away with it all. One day they'll have had enough of us and put extra locks on the doors.

We're back in good time for the second birthday party of the day, with The Hat, who's late. This is excellent, because it gives Tiger time to do her violin practice and time for me to dredge icing sugar over the rum plum cake without any rum.

By 9.30, The Hat disappears. The night's still young for her, and she has another social appointment to make. Behind her are three pre-birthday ladies, one weeping, one howling, and one hanging over the toilet bowl.

All in all, a perfectly normal day.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

You don't really imagine it'll be any different when it's their 17th birthday do you?