A Roman birthday



It was my mum’s birthday this weekend. She rang the day before to say not to bother if we were too busy. Too busy for a birthday? Never! In the past we have done a couple of themed birthday events. One year the theme was tropical island. We dressed in swimsuits and created a boat out of the baby basket and escorted her over the living room to the ‘beach’ where she had fruit cocktails. Another theme was chocolate. My mum LOVES chocolate. She can seek out an uneaten Easter Egg from 500 metres away.

This year we decided to do something educational. My mum has studied the Romans and Greeks for Open University and is now living in a very old village with Roman links. Only son has been studying the Romans at school and played Julius Caesar in drama. Daughter two is always up for anything dressing up wise. I have old sheets which can be adapted into any manner of toga. And everyone loves a pizza, even the vegans.

So we set to work. Only son was keen to take a step up from Julius Caesar and decided he wanted to be Jupiter. I was going to be “an average Roman woman”, but only son said I had to be a goddess. Daughter one, who is very rock n roll, said she would be Venus in furs. Daughter two was going with Sophia Loren. Daughter three opted for Audrey Hepburn [circa Roman Holiday] and I suggested an Italian footballer for my partner since it was the World Cup Final. The Roman theme was being very loosely interpreted. So I spent Saturday evening sewing togas and creating a Jupiter crown. Daughter three and I had got some pizzas in. The vegans were going to create their own. And for double Italian we’d got some Cornettos too. Only son coloured some flags in and loaded up the Italian Eurovision entries.

He had been up early making a card. There was a woman at the bottom and a speech bubble. “I am going to poison myself,” it said. It didn’t seem very birthday-ish. Maybe it was a reference to the Borgias??? I asked only son. “It is Boudicca, mum. She resisted the Romans and would prefer to take poison than be a Roman slave.” Ahhh. Perfectly in keeping with the theme, then.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.

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