Once upon a time there was a girl whom was inconsiderately born just 5 days after Christmas….and on that day she would quite liked to have crawled back into the womb and saved everybody the pain and heartache of complaining about this ‘Christmas birthday’ every single year for the rest of her life – but not before giving these mum and dad people a right good talking to about the planning of these things. Lest that didn’t happen and she kind of let it slide because these two people looking down at her may not have been the best planners, or the most thoughtful of her future celebratory pain when her friends don’t want to go out the day before New Year’s Eve so as to ruin the drunken escapades of toasting in a new year whilst not actually remembering it come the next day. But, they were full of love for this little girl and promised her that it would be ok.
And it would, December birthdays were ok, right?
That girl, that girl was me and I’m here to tell you something about that woman I called mum that day. You see I know now, I’m 6.
Come the next year as I was about to celebrate my very first birthday and this woman was like something possessed, organising all of my so called baby friends, whom she had basically bought at an NCT class, to come to my house sit round in a circle while frankly ridiculous octopus arms appear from behind my back to help me pass a stupid parcel to the next person until the music stops when really I would quite like to rip open the parcel and listen to a whole song like we do the rest of the year through. And why is everyone else opening it anyway, isn’t it my birthday? I was quite glad when everyone was gone and I could eat olives and houmous alone in my house even though it looked like it had been burgled, but it was fine, still loads of houmous for me. Who knew other 1 year olds didn’t like houmous.
By my second birthday I knew what was coming, dining room filled with what felt like 100’s of balloons and shouts of “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” what felt like every 5 seconds (you know just in case I forgot it wasn’t still Christmas). Then my home suddenly filled with more people than a 3 bed semi should house and more sitting around on the floor while the mummies stand in the kitchen drinking wine at 2pm on a Wednesday discussing potty training and whether they had managed to house the avalanche of Christmas toys yet.
God I thought this day was supposed to be special for me, I don’t see how attempting to hit a brightly coloured horse filled with sweets which of course doesn’t break and the dads have to get involved only for sweets to appear on the floor. Sweets she won’t let me eat anyway, sweets which magically disappear from their safe place of the ‘snack tin’ when the woman is on a clear-out and filling it with rolls and shapes that are pretending to be sweets but are kidding absolutely no one and anyway the fruit on the front of the packet gives it away. She said next year would be different because we were about to move house and it was bigger so at least we wouldn’t be at risk of being trodden on by my over excited friends or wine fuelled parents.
The third year, now here comes the epitome of ‘no it isn’t still Christmas it is my big girls birthday and I am going to show the world and his wife (meaning the new preschool parents) that it is worth celebrating and bringing their children to my party when they would rather still be sat at home eating mince pies and finishing off the leftover gammon.’ Now. I liked the little mermaid when I was 2, so a mermaid party seemed a fair request, oh and a disco too, not too much to ask right? To which my mummy took to mean ‘under the sea theme’ with no sign of blimmin Ariel or Disney whatsoever, because apparently it looks nicer that way I heard her tell dad. I don’t think she likes Disney.
Cue late night painting of mermaid scenes in the kitchen, becoming obsessed with something called Pinterest which I am positive is the place she goes when she has too much time on her hands. So many ideas and so little time to actually do them that she then sends me to play by myself because she is busy making paper Pom poms. She even drafted in a friend to help and that’s when I knew it was serious and I had better leave her alone before she cries in her second glass of prosecco…well it is Christmas – oh wait no.
There was so much bloody stuff in fact that we had to hire out the local village hall to house it, I think they spent more time setting it up than the party lasted. But. It was pretty good. I mean the bit that I saw when I wasn’t hiding behind mums legs because actually I’m really shy and don’t like it when there are lots of people around that is. You’d have thought she’d have known that being my mum, but then I did ask for everyone to come so I guess I can’t blame her entirely. I can just never leave her side and don’t participate in any conversation/present/game/food she has made until everyone goes and I have the best time when they are tidying up with no other children about, yes that ought to do it, that will teach her.
I’m not sure whether they remembered that or not but my 4th birthday was quite a bit different. Or maybe it was because mum was the size of a beached whale with a baby in her tummy and could barely walk never mind climb on a chair to pin a giant net of balloons to the ceiling. Although quite frankly bowling was a comical choice as I am pretty sure I saw a guy double take as she left thinking maybe she stole one. I had fun bowling though and we went with some twin friends of mine who feel my pain, it’s their birthday too, so I have to share it with Christmas and with my friends, I mean what is the world trying to tell me. It was icy that day too, being December, and I swore mum was going to fall over like she did at my friends party just a few weeks ago trying to save me from getting taken out by a rubber ring at snowplay. Apparently growing a baby means she can no longer manage to walk without help, I’m never doing that. This time though she didn’t fall. I’m not sure whether I’m relieved or I’d have quite liked the laugh. I blame my sister for this low key birthday anyway.
For my fifth birthday I was back in charge and despite hating physical activity of any kind and shunning all bikes/scooters/roller skates, practically anything on wheels they have tried so hard to get me on over the years while I scream that I don’t like it and I’m going to fall off and I’d rather just sit and read a book. I chose…… ice skating. Yep, ice skating for a bunch of 5 year olds. That was fun, I didn’t want to do it or get on the ice without gripping mums hand so tight that she couldn’t feel her fingers, so I sat on the little seal I made her hire for me. “Sitting” I heard her say very loudly numerous times, I don’t know what her problem is to be honest, ice sitting is quite fun and I had a great time. I think she was a bit tired of pushing me around but when her and dad were having races they seemed pretty happy, though my dad looked a bit like bambi and was prone to falling on his face, that was fun too.
I am getting a bit older now, a bit more used to what I like and the fact that low key is definitely for me and definitely the way to not give mum a coronary every December. So this year I desperately wanted a fairy theme. I have a new love of fairies and although mum says she didn’t know I liked them I tried to explain that 5 minutes is a long time in my life and it just must be a fairy theme. She went on that Pinterest again that I was sure she had forgotten about since she became a blogger. I mean we don’t get rainbow spaghetti play or number hunts with water pistols or anything anymore. It’s tragic really. She’s basically neglecting me.
Anyway she made up for that and went to town buying sooooo many little ornaments for me and my friends to build a fairy garden each. I think she must feel bad about the fact she has been in bed for months with pneumonia, I have missed her a little bit but I am glad it means I get a great party again. She even made fairy themed food which my friends thought was awesome and I was a little bit proud of her for that. Even the cake she made looked soooo good I kept telling her, but it took the shine off a bit when she told dad it was easy and she decorated it in like 5 mins with shop bought frosting. See I told you, neglectful.
It looked super pretty in my house that day and I was very very excited, she kept telling me to calm down which is confusing as she has spent every day since Boxing Day asking when my party is and if I am excited. You can’t please this woman. Actually it seems like you can, she seemed so happy that day, I think it was because there were less children around and because she didn’t have to watch we weren’t breaking things and could sit and chat to her friends. Or maybe because she could see that I was having the very best time I think I ever have at one of my parties.
She moans about it a bit, this party planning stuff, but I know she loves it too. She loves it to look pretty, when people compliment her party planning skills it makes her smile in a way she is trying to hide it and say “oh this old thing”. And I know that above all she does it all for me. The date of my birthday is a bit rubbish. I’ll probably hate it when I grow up. But I will also have so many amazing memories of my childhood birthdays. When I forgot it was even Christmas at all, 30th December will always be. My birthday.
So thanks Mum, for overcompensating, for getting stressed and running yourself ragged practically the whole of December, for being the warder off-er of joint presents or re-used Christmas wrap. To do this all for me, to make sure that every single birthday is as special as the last.
Here are quite a few photos of my party and a video too. Aswell as drinking wine and chatting to her friends my mum can usually be found behind a camera at these things…or crying in the background as she looks around and has apparently not grasped the concept that time flies and that children grow up. I mean even I know that and I am 6. I have been around for 6 whole years and I know (because she tells me every chance she gets) that my mum has loved every single one. She says if she could choose any 6 year old, it would be me.