Friday, 4 July 2014
a month of birthdays
I did myself no favours having two of my babies in the depths of winter. There may be five years between them, but there are only ten days separating the annual celebrations of my big and little boys' birthdays. Keeping a bunch of excited kids entertained on a cold, rainy day is always a challenge. I get to do it twice. But now that the cake baking and party bag stuffing is done and dusted for another year I can let out a big sigh and look back on the photos to fondly reminisce. I do tend to get just a little bit frazzled once the birthday month rolls around each year. It coincides with end of term tiredness and winter colds, but we just have to grab the balloon and run with it.
Quinn helped me decorate the lounge room for his birthday gathering - then did his best to tear the balloons down again before the first guest arrived (this proved a popular game throughout the afternoon). We had a scavenger hunt in the backyard; braving icy winds and passing showers to collect eggs, snails, worms, leaves, feathers and flowers. Some kids didn't want to touch a worm, so teamwork was involved. I don't go in much for traditional party games, preferring to let the kids free range and make their own fun, but it proved a good way to get them out of the comfort of the warm house and wear off some energy running around the garden.
When Lewis' birthday rolled around it was still raining, so it was a relief to load up the cars with party food and a few friends and head somewhere sheltered; with more room to run and shout than our little house. Bowl of the day went to Grant, who got a strike while simultaneously holding a baby; winning him the admiration of the next lane's contingent of bowling mothers.
I tweaked last year's soccer ball cake to create a chocolate bowling ball (as requested), and when the last pin was knocked down we sang happy birthday and unleashed the boys on the video games at the back of the alley. They play the jukebox very loud at these places, and it seemed to be rotating mostly between three particularly shouty ACDC songs. The quiet of our own home and a steaming cup of tea has never felt so good as when I had waved goodbye to the last guest and collapsed on the couch at the end of the day. That's it - I'm done for another year. We have a clear six months between now and Christmas with not a birthday to be seen.