Party Planning step one ….. decide on a party theme …..

I know that “rite of passage” to mommy-hood is being able to pinterest the crap out of your child’s upcoming/planned/anticipated birthday party.

I think I have commented before that I am a bit less excited about my own children’s birthday parties, because they overwhelm me so much.

I get stressed right at the planning stage.  By the time we move to the RSVP’s and the parents who do not respond by the indicated date, I am about ready to throw back 10 Zolofts and wonder about the sanity of it all!!

Birthday parties are not happy occasions for me.  They are stressful and I usually just want to count 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, 3-Mississipp until it is all over.

I have no idea how moms who throw parties manage to look so composed and that they are enjoying it all.  Eleven years in, and countless parties, and I still find a pap smear more enjoyable.

Connor has his birthday in December, so he is almost guaranteed hot and sunny weather.  Except on the dates where we plan an outdoor party that is weather dependent  then sure as nuts are sweaty, it will rain or be windy, as it has for the last three years – except the movie party, because on that day it was sunny and 36 degrees.

I have passed the torch of  “Connor’s birthday parties” to Kennith and he has been organising these for the last three years.  Though granted he forgot to get a cake last year, but let’s not hold that against him.

June is the birthday month for the girls. Sadly Isabelle has never actually had a birthday party – she is overshadowed totally by her sister every year without fail.  This year will be no exception.

I was planning on using an indoor venue for Georgia’s party this year, but she is turning 8, and she is at that age where indoor venues are a bit young for her.

I then thought I would look at a Pamper Party for her, but nothing I have seen fills me with much hope.  To be honest two of the potential party places never got back to me, so I am not exactly filled with hope and exaltation when we can barely get out of the starting gates.

Third plan was to have her birthday party at the Aquarium, and do a mermaid party.  But if you have 15 kids, it might just be cheaper to buy a live shark and put him in your pool and then the kids can throw fish at him.

Right now we are back at the idea of having a home party.

Georgia is at the age where the kids are drop off and go.   It is great on so many levels.  I do not have to cater for the parents, and  to this also means a reduction in awkward small talk. Right now I just need to prepare to say “hi there, lovely, wonderful, see you at about 16h00 okay?”

The rest of the time at least the only social awkwardness is me and a room full of eight year olds.  But if it is a late afternoon party, then at least I can drink wine, and that sometimes helps.

I had to first explain to Georgia that we were no longer doing the mermaid party.  I had hyped it up a bit to sell her on the idea. That was a bit of a challenge and an exercise in disappointing a seven-year old, but now she seems to be on board with my new idea.  More or less.

My new party plan (for this week, check in at the end of March for a revised new plan) is that we will throw a “Born to be an Artist” party.

Kids will do canvases and painting and stuff ….. I have no idea yet, but that is the rough overall picture at the moment, and that is pretty much all I have got.

I am thinking of painting a portion of the floor in the garage with chalk paint and the kids can draw on it.  I am thinking we can “frame” one wall in the garage and the kids can paint that too.  The options are endless, as long as it stays in the garage!

I am off to pinterest as soon as I finish this post.

Party 911!!

It’s under a month until Isabelle (10 June) and Georgia’s birthday (20 June) and I have done nothing in preparation.

I have drawn up lists and fretted, and phone a few places, but following that, nada.

The result is no birthday party at this stage, or plans or lists I can tick off.

Birthday parties make me all kind of stressed, and the last kid’s one we did was Connor’s.  Kennith agreed to do the organising of the party as I really did not think I could handle another birthday party.

The result was a fishing party that did not occur due to rain and wind, and the final result was 8 boys trapped inside our house.  But Kennith bravely took this lot on and turned it into a Wii competition and various other things, and kept the boys entertained.  At the first glimpse of sun, he had them outside and the boys swam.

Kennith did make a party 101 error and planned the party from about 09h00 through to about 15h00 which is about 5 hours too long for any party, but we survived.  I fled to my room several times as I thought I was going to go a bit off my rocker, but Kennith held the ropes and the party worked.  And I was so thankful he did all the party organising and co-ordination, as it took a huge load off me.

But that was in December.  It is now end of May.

So back to my problem, I have no party, and no plans.  I really need to get my shit together and do something.

Like today, or the girls will not be having a party, and then they will use this a reason to make psychiatrist appointment and moan about their Mommy!!

An additional problem is that June is generally rainy so it has to be inside.  Inside+screaming kids=not a good time.

I was also a bit crushed to find out that Crazy Chameleon no longer operates in Cape Town.  So that got crossed off my list of people to use.  As we speak I am going over Child Magazine, their party edition with a fine tooth combed, and hoping that something jumps out at me!!!  Soon.

Anyone got any party suggestions – that is geared for a 3 year old and a 7 year old and includes Smurfs??

Dude, seriously who stole my car keys?

I am starting to wonder/believe that maybe we create our own karma.

I refused to read The Secrets and now instead of opening myself up and attracting all the positive energy in the universe, I appear to be attracting goats and trolls.

We can philosophise another day how we create our own fate and if you send out negative thoughts, negative things will happen to you.

Listen Karma – I am depressed, I only have negative thoughts!  If you can get the fkn happy fairies to come over and sprinkle happy dust on me, I will take a bit of that.

I will even snort it or put it in a vein or consider a suppository if you think that will work better and faster.

Today was yet another classic day in “the fk up that is my week.”

Busy day.  I had to get two kids to a party – separate parties, in different places at the same time.  I had a shoot to do this afternoon, and I really was not feeling the happiness and the enthusiasm one needs to be able to carry this off.

It also meant I had to interact with people and there would be a house full of people I do not know. Loud kids screaming and me feeling anxious and panicky.  Can anyway say trigger?

I was not going to cancel, but felt quite reluctant to face it this afternoon.

I woke up – and tackled the day, because I am a bloody trooper – and because my kids wake up at 6am on a Saturday, no matter what time you put them to sleep.

I started to sense the day might not go to plan when Connor started using the blanket I was trying to cover myself with, as I sipped my first cup of tea, as a fishing net.

He took it off me and was trying to throw it across the bed to mimic the action of a fisherman casting a net. (This is while Isabelle and Georgia were fighting over a Winnie the Pooh book that neither of them have shown an interest in since ….. birth!)

I suggest to Connor that really, mommy has not had her Xanax and Zoloft yet, so maybe take this “fishing net” malarky somewhere else. (I can totally get on board with play acting fishing nets. I am such a cool mom I can roll with almost anything.  But the blanket was meant to be covering me and keeping me warm.  Instead I am getting gusts of ice cold air everytime the “net was cast” and the corner either flicked me in the eye or knocked my tea mug.  Just not Ayoba no matter how you look at it.)

He nods at me in understanding and does it next to my bed (instead of over the bed).  Throwing the blanket that WAS covering me as a fishing net to show he can “cast a net!”

I am wondering why I do not walk around with an intravenous drip of Chenin Planc.  I really do not know.  My own will power astounds me most days.

I swear to the universe, I am in a series of Fawlty Towers and I am officially the Spanish waiter Manuel standing around going: “Iz thiz yur bal, keh?”

Anyway.

Got Connor off to the party he was going to.

Got Georgia to her one. Granted Georgia wanted to dress in her ballet outfit.  It was like minus 10.  I eventually gave up and let her wear what ever the hell she wanted – I did insist she wore her pink flower gumboots, as I thought it made the outfit totally rock!!

I really am past fighting with Georgia.  Really!  Right now I am doing the “path of least resistance…”

I drop Georgia off at her party – which is such a fabulous little party.  Her BFF Cara was turning 6.  Her mom had invited 6 kids (or there abouts) and instead catered for the mommies and the almost single dad.

10am and I was served champagne and little eats.  I was not going to stay, really I was going to drop and run.

Then I met Dorothy and Andrew and I probably had the most interesting conversation that I have ever had a kid’s birthday party. It felt like a cool adult party with interesting people. I could have laid down on the couch and totally abused Cara’s mom’s hospitality all day.

But I needed to run.

I had arranged to fetch them at about 13h30 as I knew I was going to be running late.

I do what I need to do at home – then I think okay, I have 20 minutes to drink some tea and I will read a chapter of my book and fly out again.

I do that.

But I fall asleep – like coma asleep.

I get woken by the father who is hosting the party Connor is at saying: “erm, when will you be fetching your kid EXACTLY!” (when he actually means “why the fk have you not fetched your child, we are sick to death of kids, and the fact that yours has hung around for an hour longer than the invite stipulated is actually rude and really annoying, but thanks for the great book you bought my son, it was fabulous and beautifully wrapped!)

I rush out like a lunatic.

I forget all Georgia’s sleep over stuff at home.

Fetch Connor, realise sh*t I have to go back home to fetch all Georgia’s stuff.

Fetch Georgia’s stuff, grab Georgia, throw them in the car to high tail it to my sister-in-law as I need to get to the shoot by 15h00 and it is already 14h30.  Georgia is sleeping over there and Connor is going to “visit” (read lie on the couch and play his Nintendo game) until I have finished at the shoot.

Connor drops the birthday cake that he was given on the car floor.  Georgia is talking about …. gawd I do not know.  Connor is screaming for a tissue and acting like the “cake on the floor” is attacking his foot.

It is cake, guy, seriously calm the hang down already!

I am desperately in a rush – and keep looking at the “please fill me up with petrol light” which has stopped flashing and now just sits there wanly in red.

I am driving – but still trying to maintain the speed limit.  I am highly stressed (you think?)

Drop Connor and Georgia off at SIL – Georgia is going to sleep over. I will fetch Connor after the shoot and him and I can go and have a quick dinner and do valuable mom-and-son bonding time.

(Isabelle by the way is asleep and Fortunate is babysitting, in the event you were wondering where child number 3 was in this plot.)

Throw kids out of car at SIL.  Drive like a maniac to shoot address.

Realise I have forgotten my diary at home!  Fkn hell – I recall the address but not the house number.  I drive with growing anxiety still staring at the “little red light of petrol” and I get a small dose of good karma as birthday party people have put balloons outside their house.

Fan.frnk.tastic.  Found house. Whoop-whoop things are finally going my way.

I throw myself out of the car and run in to the house looking like a rabid dog who desperately needs a vet visit, and a shot of what ever puts a family dog to sleep humanely.

It was truly a lovely party.  It was a boy’s first birthday and I have never ever seen a party with this much effort put in to it.

The family was there and I think there were 60 – 80 adults.  The nicest people I have probably ever met.  I had so much fun, and their happiness actually rubbed off on me.  Really really lovely people.

Anyway, shoot-shoot-shoot, good day, okay 17h30 I need to go.

I start to look for my car keys.

I start to frantically scratch for my car keys.

I start to throw the contents of my bag out on the lounge floor while astonished guests look on.

Party comes to a stop while everyone helps me look for my car keys.

I cannot find car keys.  No idea, they could be stolen …. I could have sold them for CRACK I don’t know …. I just do not have keys for my car.  Car outside their house.  Connor in Durbanville.  My house somewhere else.

Please mommy can I go home now.  (that is what the voices are saying in my head at this point)

Total Fail.

Eventually the only option is that one of them give me a lift home.

I am slightly/very embarrassed as instead of slipping out quietly like a professional service provider, the last hour was all about me and everyone finding my keys.  They were even lifting up the jumping castle as options.

I get dropped off at home.

I have now spent 2 – 3 hours searching for my spare set.

I either do not have a spare set OR I was not listening when Kennith told me where they are OR I have no idea where they are OR They are in the safe, which Kennith has a key to.

Have I mentioned Kennith is in Utah?

I find out that VW will charge me R3000.00 for one key – but I need to get the car to them.  Which is tricky considering it is in Kraaifontein and my keys are on planet fuck-knows-where!

I could not get Connor home so he has had to sleep over.  He has no sleep over stuff, and I was really looking forward to an hour of just him and I time.

I have torn this house apart looking for my spare key.  Without success.  I did however find an unopened box of Nuzak (which I accussed the pharmacist of not giving me … whoops my bad, and some Cataflam, and a flash drive I thought I had lost.

But zip on the car key front.  My car is still in Kraaifontein.  I have I mentioned Kennith is away and he wrote his car off on Monday?

Public Service Announcement:  Go and find your spare car keys NOW.  Put them in your underwear drawer at the back – now you will know where they are, no matter what happens.  Tell your partner/husband/wife/neighbour/sane person that is where you keep your spare set of car keys in the event you have an epic day and can’t find them.  I already checked my underwear drawer twice, it is not there.

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