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??

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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.

RSVP’ing … what the fk is up with that?

I am trying to plan a birthday party for Georgia and Isabelle.

Georgia turns 6 on the 20 June and Isabelle turns 2 on the 10 June, so this year I thought it might be easier (for me) to just lump their parties together on the same day and we will have a party on the 11 June.

I am not going to be able to get away with this for very long, so I plan to take the gap whilst I can and it might be nice for the girls to share a birthday together, and I have got them skirts that match.  So as naff as that is, that is what is going to be happening here.

Parties are very stressful endeavours for me.

Planning them, attending them, just about everything party = stress for me.

(everything party = total oblivious Kennith)

I know this should be a happy time.  I should be basking in the joy and celebration of my daughters.  Planning a party (whether in my home or at a party venue is very stressful and make me anxious) gets a bit overwhelming for me.

Why?  Because it does become all about me at a certain point.

I want it to be a great party for my kids. I want in those two hours them to feel like the most important people in the entire universe.  I want them to remember the party and remember it fondly as a day where they were the most important thing in the world.

Kennith says I am throwing the party for the parties I did not have as a child.

He is not totally incorrect.

This party is like all the other parties I have thrown for my kids.

I am stressed, and anxious about the party. I worry that no one will come.  I worry that my kids will
not feel loved and have a good time.  I worry that I will be more socially awkward than I already am.

I worry there will not be enough food.  I worry there will be too much food.

But today I am pissed off that parents cannot follow a FUCKING RSVP.

I am starting to think/reason that maybe people (parents) do not understand what an RSVP is.

In my map of the world RSVP means – please tell me if you are coming or not, so that I can plan to make  enough food, buy enough wine, make sufficient party packs if you are coming.

If you cannot make it, no worries, just let me know, as then I do not have to wonder if you are coming and then start catering if you might come.  It really would save me about 3 hours and probably a few hundred rand if you did RSVP.  Use the cell number or the email, sms or email, you do not actually even have to talk to me,
I am fine with that.  Totally fine.   Just do not leave me hanging in this middle-earth of not knowing what you are doing.

But parents don’t RSVP.  Granted people don’t RSVP.

But why?

Is the time to write a “Yes, love to be there, thanks” or a “No, can’t make it, thanks” message either via sms or email just too straining on their time?

Is it because they are so inundated with invitations to so many events that they hand them to their personal secretary and she has overlooked this one.

Is it because they are unsure of whether they wish to come or not, and want to sort of leave it open in case something better comes along?

Is it because they really do not like me or my child and by not RSVP’ing they know that this will annoy me no end and also be a personal snub on my child?

Well, what is it then?

I am gob smacked as to what is wrong with people.

Why must I have to go back to each person and say “so are you coming?” so I can be sure whether to pack a party pack or not.

<I have had instances in the past where kids arrive to a party and the parents have not RSVP’d so I am left without a party pack for said child.  As a rule I pack 5 extra party packs now without names on them.  How bizarre is it that I adjust my behaviour because I expect parents to be self-absorbed-I-don’t-care-about-other-people-and-their arrangements people!>

<Sidebar:  I have had the same thing for big people parties, baby showers, weddings, so I am thinking that is not anything person against my child, though right now I do feel like it is a personal snub.>

If you get an invite, just respond say yes, say no – it really is pretty simply stuff. Takes no more than 5 second, 12 if you are stupid and can’t work an QWERTY keyboard.

Surely you get an invite, check your diary, right there you know.

If there is a conflict and you are unsure if you can make it then email the person ‘Would love to join you on the 11 of June, might have to have an anal tumour removed, but specialist doctor is checking avialability.  Fingers crossed.  Will let you know if it is a go on the anal tumour on the 9 June, if not, then I am definitely there.  Would much rather have some cake and jump on the jumping castle than the anal tumour removed.  LOL”

You get the idea.  What is the FUCKING big deal?

Do it within 48 hours of getting the invite, then you know they know and everyone can get on with their lives.

There are family and friends coming, but I wanted to include some friends from Georgia’s class and school who she asked to invite.

I sent out more than 20 invites to kids at Georgia’s school last week Friday and asked them to RSVP by the 6 June – I have heard from 2.

But that being said I had worked out in my head that of the 20 invites, I would get 10 RSVP’s and of the 10 only 5 would be able to come, I was fine with that as a final figure.

What has annoyed me is that even with my very practical mental calculation, and rather (very) pessimistic view on how crap people are, the RSVP rate is still lower than I had pitched it.

Really if you perform lower than my expectations, then you must suck!!

<I have some family members who I have sent invites to who have not RSVP’d either.  I am actually at the point where I want to go and sh*t on their doors steps. I am not sure of what point that would prove, but I am actually out of ideas.  My guess is if someone shat on your doorstep for not RSVP’ing, my guess, is you would be the best darn RSVP’er from that day going forward.  So it might work.>

Spur people … people with a taste for life ….

I am really not a Spur-Party person there is just something about it I find a little cheap-and-well-not-so-cheerful for kids parties – I don’t know why, I just do.  I like to plan extravaganzas.  I have made a silent pact with myself to never have a Spur party for my kids as long as I can avoid it.

This year I planned a great Princess Party for Georgia’s fifth.  I booked a great venue and pretty much had it all planned.  I just had to do the invites and the small details.

Georgia then piped up that she wanted a Spur party.

Some times it does help to just ignore the wishes of your child and continue on your merry way.  However Georgia is not one of those people who you can just ignore and act like they never said anything.  She is the insistent memory-like-an-elephant variety.

I tried to explain that we can go to the Spur ANY TIME – and really we do – at least once a week – the party I have planned included a castle, go karts and ponies and so many cool things.  But Georgia was not interested and insisted that a Spur party was the answer.

I thought okay,  maybe I can sell it up a bit and have all the kids dressed as cowboys and Indians – at least then I could use the excuse as to why the Spur seemed a good venue, but it was not to be.  She still insisted she wear her fairy outfit – so there I was stuck with a Spur party on my horizon.

We scouted out a few Spurs to find one with a good play area, and then booked it.

All things being equal, they are really well organized and just seem keen to help.  Spur throws in a cake at no charge, they have face painting and the kids get much more to eat that they need.  You actually do not need to do anything – you do not even need to do a party pack – they give a cup that the kids take with them filled with sweets, so it is the easiest party I have ever planned in my life.

So there we were on Saturday celebrating Georgia’s party at the Spur – I have never seen her as excited about any of her parties as she was about that damn Spur party.  She spoke about it for about three weeks before, and on the day was so excited it was really very sweet to watch.

What I liked most, was when the moms were all sitting around the spur table, the kids were running around and I ordered a bottle of wine – initially they were all sipping their coffee and reluctant to partake, but it only takes one to say “yes, I will have a little …. and then off we go.”

Life’s rule # 56 – you really should not have to attend a child’s party unless there is wine on offer – or some form of alcohol.

The party was really easy, we had about 8 kids there – which was a damn side easier than the normal 25 I drag along.  They had a good time, then after it all, everyone stood up, said goodbye, I did not have to clean up anything, and we decided to sit down for lunch – yes, still at the Spur!!

So I take back all the things I have said about the Spur, and think that if Isabelle is not careful she might be getting a Spur party in the next three to four years.