With the rush of christmas Sophie’s birthday being so close occasionally gets a little blurred. This year I wanted to make sure it wasn’t blurred and that it was a little extra nice.
My rule with birthdays is that once they’ve begun school and made some friends they can have a ‘invite friends’ party. So at kindy age they get a ‘party’…party. And then each alternate year after that they can have another.
Only Sophie’s birthday is in the school holidays.
I didn’t have specific plans for her birthday, a morning tea here, an afternoon tea there, a swim, some presents spread out over the day. Plenty of cake and sugar available throughout. I offer fruit like I always do but it ends up being my daily snack or the choice of those smaller kids who aren’t yet addicted.
Glen was away at work, so that made me feel bad, he wouldn’t get to spend time with her and I wouldn’t get my normal one on one birthday time. Sophie didn’t get to hand out invites or anything as her friends are away, so that too….made me feel bad. Closer and closer to her day I kind of began to get a little panicky.
Time was running out and I’d been so busy and disorganised.
Our kids don’t get all that much individual special treatment on a regular basis, which I actually think is good, but I do like to make sure that their one day a year is really, really THEIR day.
I’d like for them to look back over photos, and hopefully back on their fond memories and know that was a special day, all about just them.
So anyway, the night before her birthday I put it out there on my Facebook asking any local mums to bring their kids along for a play. Just so Sophie could have an ‘invites’ party as is my rule for kindy age.
After asking her “Would you like pancakes? Maybe fried bread (french toast)? Scrambled eggs for breakfast?”
“Just coca pops mum.” She replied.
So after her speical breakfast of ordinary cocoa pops we headed to the park.
Despite her only playing in the last half hour of our park visit, preferring to sit alone and paint. She was so happy to have some kids other than her siblings come along for her birthday.
I too was so thankful for the mums who came down to the park to hang out. It was such short notice too. It was good for me as well. Chatting with some lovely ladies I went to school with and haven’t seen regularly for years was nice. And I always love how when a bunch of mums get together and the conversation always turns to pregnancy, labour and birth.
One of my favorite topics.
I like how occasionally mid conversation we’d stop, do a head count and keep on chatting. Hear ‘mum’ called and all check to make sure it wasn’t ours, even though we knew their voices by heart.
Just to make sure.
Once the kids had demolished the cakes and were covered in a sufficient amount of dirt and fine wood chips we were off again. We headed home to where we found our jumping castle blower sitting on the door step!!!
It was the missing essential part for the massive jumping castle Glen and I splurged on last christmas. The kids had only used it a handful of times 12 months ago and we’ve had the enormous thing folded and packed away waiting for the blower to turn up.
What a perfect day!
Matt and his girlfriend stopped by the park for Sophie’s party and to give her a pressie, but they’d popped in home to drop it off before the park. He’d totally forgotten to tell me he left it. I prefered the surprise.
After a quick swim in the blinding heat of the sun, we set about getting the jumping castle up and going. All fingers and toes were crossed that it was still ok after spending so long un-used.
The wait for it blow up was painful.
The moment I gave the all clear, that they could go ahead…well I don’t think I’ve seen my kids happier, well not since christmas day anyway.
They played for hours!
More like one. But still….
I even hopped in too. Bud was only 6 months old last time we used it and he freaked out a little not knowing what it was. He and I climbed in and jumped about, slipped down the slide together, after that he was right. Screaming and shoving the girls to go down first. Using the hose to spray them as they came down.
I just want to clear up, that by this point I was so totally tired. I didn’t want to set up for the afternoon tea party I’d already told the kids we’d have. I didn’t really want to deal with Sophie’s blood nose.
I kind of was annoyed to be honest.
I didn’t tell her that though. I sat her down on the edge of the verandah and held her head back, gave her a towel to wipe away the blood. The moment she stopped crying and bleeding….I was like, so happy.
Off she went to play again, and I got a little boost.
I made a promise, I’ll get this thing done.
“Ergh why did I choose this spot for the afternoon tea?…It’s so far from the house!” I thought to myself after taking arm fulls of stuff down the little stream.
My mind frame was just tiring and draining. And I wished it would just shut up with its complaing!
I kept on going…..
It was worth it though. Sophie had a beautiful afternoon, despite getting a little upset that most of her presents were clothes.
Beautiful princesses dresses mind you, not the normal kind I’d buy if I were to clothe shop for them…and a pair of -small- heels, as the plastic dress up ones Santa brought for christmas were a tad too small.
She also got a box of chocolates, a fairy statue and paints and a little donut trinket maker.
After our afternoon tea, I declared it was rest time…but then I looked around and thought I should tidy a little, an hour later we were in the car off to pick up pizza for dinner. Sophie decided that she was old enough to pick up the pizza herself, so after Bella spent half an hour counting out gold coins in my wallet (there were notes?) Sophie and Bella walked into the pizza shop together while I stood by the car out front to get our dinner.
Bella paid for the pizza with the coins, from a hat in which she was carrying them and then Sophie also reminded the man they wanted a drink too. Both used exceptional manners…the kind reserved for everyone else besides their parents.
The beaming smiles from their faces as they walked out together, one carrying pizza the other the drink…..simple things make kids happy, happy kids make mums proud.
“I was a little nervous. But I’m 6 now, so I think I could do that again.” Sophie said happily.
We came home, ate pizza, feeding the crusts to the dogs who stared at us while we ate from the door, and went to bed.
I sat on the end of Sophie’s bed kind of feeling a bit dodgy. I mean I was tired from the start of the day, been feeling a bit off for the past week. I felt guilty that her morning tea park party was so last-minute, I felt bad that she didn’t get the gifts she was hoping for, I felt a little sorry that I wasn’t all that sympathetic during her bloody nose drama, I was frustrated that her sisters weren’t nicer to her and I was sorry that her dad wasn’t home.
I just felt her day could have had a little extra oomph, if I’d tried a tiny bit harder.
I was also sorry that she didn’t have a better understanding of what a Pavlova was. She asked for a Pavlova as her birthday cake, so I made one.
Turns out she didn’t know what it was and didn’t like it.
She ate the berries and cream off the top though.
So anyway as I sat on her bed, feeling like things could have been a little better I asked her ‘How was your day?”
“It was the best day in the world mum! I loved it!” She declared as she hugged me.
Well then….Thanks Sophie.
It doesn’t matter what kind of mother we think we are, our kids are the ones who decide it ultimately.
And I am thankful that on this one day when all I wanted to do was be super/awesome/fun mum that I felt a little like a slack mum. My beautiful, cuddly, sweet little 6-year-old Sophie thought I was the greatest mum ever. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought, or even what I was thinking. She was happy and that is all I needed to hear.
I am so happy that she’s mine and I am so happy that she enjoyed her day.
Thank you again to the lovely mums who came and shared the morning with us and thanks to those mums who would have come with a little more notice.
Next time we’ll do it right, invites and all.
Happy birthday Sophie Eloise!