It’s always a bit of a full on week that we have at the end of July. Both boys’ birthdays arrive within 5 days of each other. On top of it all, it also always falls with the end of a school year and all the anxieties and excitement that come with that. So to be on the other side of it, remarkably unscathed, feels a bit of a relief.
Stig’s birthday came at the weekend, he was awake early and to keep upset and stress to a minimum, we brought him up to our room and he opened his few presents before his brother woke. I was concerned about how Tink was going to deal with the day as he had been moaning all week about Stig’s birthday being first and how “it’s not fair”. Not exactly sure what he would like me to do about it, well actually I have an idea, and I think it would go along the lines of “let’s cancel it”.
So one happy 10 year old received a Kindle Fire with a few apps already downloaded, charged and ready to go, his beaming face made it all worthwhile. Surprisingly Tink was very amiable, produced a lovely card he’d made for his brother and made little to no fuss. Daddy and Stig went off to do some necessary jobs (one broken pair of glasses had arrived home on the Friday) and I took Tink to do another necessary job, buy a cake.
Later we attended another little boys party, he was turning three. We had given Stig the choice of attending or not but he had wanted to see these good family friends. We spent a couple of hours relaxing whilst the kids played really well with the other older and younger children there, before we left for a family meal.
Our meal was at our most favourite Nepalese restaurant, where the food is loved by all of us. It was a very enjoyable evening and we returned home with full satisfied tummies and smiles on our faces. We did candles on cake and singing, and then Stig refused his slice of cake and unusually went to bed without a fight. He’d had a good day and his growing maturity told him he’d had enough. On top of all that Tink had been a delight all day and enjoyed his brother’s birthday. Results all round.
Fast forward five days and we’re doing it all again, only difference is we now have staying guest Grandpa and Aunty W (dad’s wife). Again it’s an early rise, but on this occasion Stig is invited to the present opening ceremony. This was the start of what would be a day of feeling annoyed. Stig instantly sulked as he was asked to move over, not sit in the centre of the bed. He went as far as saying “right I’ll just go then” to which we all had to go “no don’t go”. And so it continued lots of behaviour that was undeniable y saying “I do not like it when I’m not the centre of attention”. It surprised me because I had expected it from his younger brother and had really thought the older ones developing maturity would have got him through. Not the case.
We had dragging feet, head on table at lunch and lots of provoking his brother and pushing of boundaries. Nothing really big but enough to make it all very irritating and I inwardly seethed at him. Needless to say it wasn’t a late night for that one and after an enjoyable BBQ at home it was his bedtime.
So, phew, the actual birthdays are done but a party remains. I had pencilled in a date for a small gathering of children and adults at our home, a BBQ with games for children, lots of food and maybe some drinks for the grownups. I had cautiously not sent out invitations months in advanced, instead whispered the possibility of a do to a few close friends and family. I then kick started myself into action about a week before, when I felt fairly certain that it was a good idea, not too much for anyone involved, including myself, and party preparations were made.
Each boy had a couple of friends from school to come for a couple of hours. They played a few games, ran around the garden, ate sausages in buns, bashed a piñata and sang happy birthday whilst we did cake and candles, again. One child, as he was leaving, said the party had been “mint” so I feel it was a success and both Stig and Tink seemed really happy with it all. We moved on to adult food and mummy letting her hair down a bit.
Later as a few of us sat under our covered seating area, Mr H mixed Hendricks gin and elderflower presse for us to drink, and the storm came down and surrounded us. There was a real sense of drama as we huddled and watched the night sky struck bright by lightening. Mr H, not only the bar tender but also the DJ, provided the soundtrack too, an eclectic mix of 80’s music and it all felt really perfect. I felt a warm and happy glow inside, could have been the gin but I’d like to put it down to the company.
It has been a long time since we have confidently had people over for a gathering/party, we used to do it all the time and I always really enjoyed entertaining. Times have been so hard that I have not felt like it was something I currently wanted to do. Too ashamed of the children’s behaviour and too drained from the day to day battles to find the energy to make our home presentable. We did it though, we pulled it off and I think I might try and do it again soon. It was a wonderful way to finish a week that was all about the birthdays.