The first of September is not only the start of a new month, nor the first day of Spring but is also the start of Birthday Season.
Only because two of us have birthdays in September and one of those birthdays is mine and that’s all that matters.
Or so I like to believe, but given 3 quarters of the rest of my family have no idea what date it is actually on, only that it is “sometime in September”, and the final quarter really is too young to give a fuck (and it is his birthday month, too) it relies heavily on me to be considered Birthday Season.
I realise it is also Father’s Day today but as Grumpy Pants a) never tells us what he would like for Father’s Day and b) this year he isn’t actually home, it hasn’t really entered my headspace.
Grumpy Pants is also away for four days, which is really taking things up a notch. A few years back, I realised we had no candles for cake, so I sent him up to the supermarket, just before party kids were due to arrive, to obtain some.
He returned two hours later and left me to deal with it all.
I ummed and ahhed about this date for Chippie’s friends’ party and did manage to swing a ‘joint’ family party last weekend when all the family were over and a niece was celebrating her 18th. I asked if we could just acknowledge his birthday whilst we were there and ticked that one off The List. All good.
I also have a disorder where, whilst I’m happy to host a celebratory party on an alternate date to the actual birthday, I don’t like it to be too far away from the date. If a birthday, for example, falls on a Monday or Tuesday, we will have it the weekend before. If it’s a Thursday or Friday, we go the weekend after. If it’s a Wednesday, I’m fucked, and weekend birthdays just make life easier.
As far as I’m aware, there is no medication for this disorder.
I went ahead with it anyway, despite it being Father’s Day. Of course, I did check first with invitees before sending official invites. Then, three last minute cancellations “because it’s Father’s Day” left me with a much smaller number of children to manage. Being five, the mums all hung around anyway and it wasn’t long before vodka and tonics were being handed out.
Chippie was presented with some LEGO from his immediate family, which his immediate family then constructed.
I used my pack as a deterrent to completing the cake far too early, but also mindful of the fact that I didn’t want to be too stressed and rushed leading up to party time.
I have also, over the years, worked out that it is not a good time to host parties over a “mealtime” – like lunch or dinner, and instead to hold them in between times and offer a morning or afternoon tea. For no longer than an hour and a half. Some days, even that length of time is pushing it.
Still the cake, covered in “green ooze” (made from lime jelly with added green food colouring) was a hit and exactly as the littlest one requested.
Well, as he requested at some point; the engine went from needing to be blue (except I lost the blue colouring, only to find it post part in the bag of party things I had put aside so I would remember where it was) then green and, finally, once completed “I telled you the engine needs to be red!” and then being ok with green again.
The trucks had to be off the tracks, yellow, then green, then yellow, then blue and then, finally, a toxic yellow that was more an “oh, fuck, I slipped” than planned.
The children were involved in helping decorate the cake and when they weren’t looking I removed about half of the lolly “Trashies” they’d added when I wasn’t looking. I wasn’t looking because I was trying to prevent the consumption of said lollies before they ended up on the cake.
Chippie ate green jelly for breakfast and then it was time for the party.
Except that I got a hankering for a dip that was my favourite at a restaurant we used to frequent, but no longer exists. I’d forgotten about the dip but, now, really,