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One of the good things, theoretically, about having four children is that it is virtually always party time in our house. We are still tidying up from one birthday when another looms into view. It seems only days ago that it was daughter two’s birthday. Today is daughter three’s and in two weeks the baby is one. Daughter three is very excited about being six and wants a big badge to show everyone the proof. Meanwhile, daughter two mumbles in the background every time we mention her birthday. We were sitting in the car the other day and daughter three suggested she might like a bought cake this year. I expressed surprise that she did not fully appreciate the artistry that goes into creating my chocolate homemade extravaganzas when daughter two quickly piped up from the back: “You can’t have one. Mummy has already spent far too much money on your presents and I should know as I saw her buy them.” I pointed out that she also had lots of presents, but she has a list of perceived injustices an arm long.
She is, however, very happy to help her sister out with preparing the party bags as she reckons she is going to get one. They have divvied up all the usual plastic rubbish. I realised when they had finished that there wasn’t very much in the bags so I decided to get creative to save on money, but also to make the party bag routine a bit more exciting [if only for myself]. My eye alighted on daughter one’s perfume laboratory set which she hasn’t used for years. The only problem was to find eight small containers to put the perfume in. How difficult could that be, I thought. Our house is full of useless bits of plastic. However, the useless plastic we have does not extend to small plastic bottles. I was considering glitter bottles when daughter two shouted: “I know, Mummy. We could use Tic Tac boxes.” This seemed, to my sleep-addled brain, a very good idea as well as, clearly, an excuse to eat Tic Tacs. So we munched our way through four boxes in the space of three days before the baby got hold of one of the perfume Tic Tac boxes and turned it upside down. Small problem – it leaks, a lot. Daughter two was busy suggesting industrial strength masking tape and other options which would ensure we could still keep eating Tic Tacs, but it was too late. We headed for Superdrug and bought some little bottles and labelled them up. Daughter three loves them and has got one labelled “The birthday girl” all ready for herself.