Ten years ago last Thursday my life changed forever. I gave birth to my eldest; a serene, smiling jolly little lad, due probably to the fact that I was laid up from the start of my maternity leave and forbidden to do anything. This, having just moved house and almost given birth the next day.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of such a momentous occasion I asked my lovely boy what he'd like to have for a special dinner. My cookbooks open, suggestions ranging from his absolute favourite mummy-cooked dish, or from his wildest imagination, I sat on tenterhooks waiting for the decision to fall. What delectable dish from my repertoire would he choose?
It didn't take long. The answer came swiftly and with conviction. "To Jacksonburger, please!"
I sighed, hardly surprised. So, off we went, en famille, to the local Jacksonburger and the boys had chicken nuggets and frites and a kid menu surprise of sword and Zorro mask. Delighted, they ate up and went off to play in the activity corner, finding other like-minded children and spent the evening fighting each other, climbing on the roof of the plastic wendy house and having a lovely time.
His party was yesterday afternoon. Five 10-yr olds plus three 5-7yr olds = noise, contained chaos, rampaging and hunger for sweets. All I can say is that it must have been a success because there was no blood at the end of it. The weather was warm and steamy and it had rained earlier on which meant they got very sweaty and thirsty. I managed to keep them off the pop until teatime, giving them water or nothing.
I heard that one of the girls had a best friend who had not been invited because she had made life hell for another of the girls there. This little brat, L, had tried to manipulate the invited friend not to go to the party, but to stay nice and cosily together just the two of them. Yeah, right. Unsurprisingly, the prospect of a party was way more enticing than spending a wettish afternoon talking Barbieshop...
Tea consisted of Nigella Lawson's Malteser Cake from her book 'Feast'. We made two and stuck them together to make one big cake. Baking the halves had been done on two consecutive busy days, and on day two, confusion was setting in and I forgot to include the cocoa powder, so we had a two-tone cake; upper half pale, lower half dark. No one noticed anything untoward, natch. In fact, the kids ate most if not all of their pieces, which is rare at parties, I've found. They seem to be a tad suspicious of home-made cake unless it's one of those chocolate ones from a packet which are always wolfed down.
So, birthday success can be described thus:
Presents - check
Birthday dinner - check
Birthday party - check
Birthday cake - check
Parental exhaustion - double check.
We finished off the day making pizza for 7 of which only 2.5 were finally present as the RA and her two male friends disappeared, my eldest went for a sleepover opposite, leaving enough pizza for an army to share amongst a puny handful.
Didn't have to worry about what to have for lunch today, however. There's always a bright side.