Only son celebrated his birthday with an arts and crafts party in the rain on Saturday. The Happy Retirement banner was still up [I was momentarily distracted in the party shop and got the wrong banner] and only son was up at the crack of dawn ready to do some cleaning. My partner did his usual rant about the state of the house. To be fair, he was feeling a bit down, having taken pictures of the weather to send back to his friends in Spain, tagged “the British summer”. He always raises his eyebrows slightly when the papers report that on one day every year that the temperature in London was “hotter than Ibiza”. Only son set to work, with his eyes focusing first of all on my workspace. Oh dear.
I tried to rouse the troops to tackle the “state of the house”. Daughter two was in her room. There was a wardrobe door lying ominously on the floor alongside a sponge full of white paint. Daughter three was put onto cake making. It’s important to put all those Youtube tutorials to good use. Daughter one was in bed. The cat was spotted in the garden with a small bird in its mouth.
Only son started doing the party bags. I was piling up toilet paper for the mummy game. My partner began cooking something gourmet for his breakfast while switching between the referendum debate, the Spanish election debate and the reports about football violence.
Several hours later the house was, if not clean, at least cleaner than it had been. We were ready for only son’s party. Everyone set to work designing a t-shirt. Only son did a Just Dance 2015 replica, naturally. People ran around, throwing balloons full of water. Games were played. Cake was eaten. Within a few hours, the party was over and the house needed to be cleaned all over again. The cat had walked onto daughter two’s wardrobe door and got wet paint all over the floor and carpet. Daughter three and only son started chalking the shed in the colours of the Spanish flag. Their hands – and feet – were various shades of yellow and red. Daughter three and only son had to be escorted to the bath.
Sometimes it feels a bit like Groundhog Day in our house. Unfortunately, Saturday is my designated lie-in day since Sunday is mostly taken up with pre-work/school preparation. Having been woken up by an overexcited only son, I had forfeited my rest so by Sunday I was quite tired. This meant that when people suggested summer holidays in Ibiza or Canada [daughter one is mounting a one-woman campaign for us to move to Canada] I was not at my most receptive. After a rant about the cost of plane travel for a family of six, I departed for Asda.
When I returned, I was informed that we had forgotten to do at least two of the party games on our list the previous day – the Haribo game where you dress up in hat and scarf to eat Haribos with a knife and fork when you roll a six [a very popular game in our house] and the mummy game, where you wrap your sister/parents in toilet paper [basically because you have overordered toilet paper in the online order and currently have around 16 rolls of Tesco value toilet paper]. We decided that, as is the trend in films these days, we would have a party sequel on Sunday.
Roll on the summer holidays.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk. Picture credit: Wiki commons.