Despite my 6-year-old daughters belief that Saturday would never come, it did. And then passed. But while it was there it was fun and tiring. Mostly tiring for me. As I had indicated in a previous post, the whole week was filled with pre-birthday activities. The preparations for the party went swimmingly, despite not being completely sure who was coming since half of the invites never RSVP’ed either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. After a full day friday, we got the little one to bed and my older daughter and I started on the cake. The cake, it was a project. After becoming addicted to the show “Cake Boss” this past summer, my daughters both insisted on a cake with fondant. Hence at 10 o’clock at night we were taking cake pans and cupcake tins out of the oven to cool overnight. All I can say is thank goodness the party wasn’t at my house because I didn’t have an inch of counter left in the kitchen, and you can imagine what the rest of the house looked like. After the cakes, we wrapped up some presents and both fell into bed. The next morning was bright and sunny, absolutely amazing after the weather reports had been predicting rain with mournful certainty all week. Dealing with an extremely excited 6-year-old is always exhausting. Dealing with MY over excited and normally hyper six-year-old was a feat. That’s an understatement. At least we were able to get her to watch a movie while wrestling with fondant. It really wasn’t so bad for the first time. The cake was colorful, I’ll say that. a little cartoonish if you ask me, but then I wasn’t choosing the design. It was sort of like 3 presents stacked on top of each other with different colors and then a few garish looking flowers and bows that my 9-year-old bestowed on the cake like some over zealous fairy godmother. Needless to say my birthday girl LOVED it. After that was done, we whipped ourselves to the church hall, where we feverishly put up decorations (this being at 12.30 with only a cup of tea in me) After this we raced back home, I threw some food on a plate for the kids, and breathed a sigh of relief. Now all we had to do was have the party and hope there were enough goodie bags. A few nervous moments ensued as only a few children arrived at 2, but then the rest gradually made an entrance. As is usual with children’s parties, they do tend to do what they want as opposed to what’s been planned. For them it was running around the back lawn and crawling up the treehouse like little monkeys. I shepherded the kids back inside for the ‘activity’, cupcake decorating. They were to make a cute little cupcake with the icing and sprinkles and fun things I provided and then take the cupcake home in the little sparkly take out containers. Most of them ate the cupcake. I am sure I could have done the same, they looked pretty good and gooey. Once that was done, the kids ran back outside again and my parents and I got ready to bring out the cake. Presents followed this timeless tradition as the kids dove into the fondant. By this time parents started showing up to collect their children. After successfully remembering to give them a goodie bag (for the most part) I breathed a sigh of relief as we started to clean up, with the help of one of my friends, whose daughters thankfully stayed until evening and kept my kids out of my very tired and probably sugar covered hair. However, the party was deemed a success by my daughter, and that was all that mattered. Her favorite gift seems to be one of the cards, which is a picture of a hamburger that sings a happy birthday song and a large doll I had gotten her. She solemnly thanked me for giving her a ‘new friend’ and spent most of Sunday playing the card so many times I am surprised it is still working. All in all it was quite an experience, and more than once I asked my self if it would have been easier just to have the party at some skating rink, or even pick up a cake at the store instead of making it so complicated. But I wouldn’t have traded seeing the happiness on my daughters face or hear all her little friends giggling while they spooned icing into their mouths instead of on the cupcakes. Looking back, I realize that I don’t remember the times I was angry or grumpy at my parents as a kid, or when they were in a tired or bad mood. I remember the fun times and the family gatherings. That’s what I want to give to my daughter too.
Finally, the long-awaited week (day) is here. My youngest is turning 6. After months of asking when it was and how much longer it will be, it’s finally here. The eve of her birthday. She is very concerned about the state of her birthday treat (chocolate chip muffins for her class) and how many friends are coming to her birthday party on Saturday. For me, I can hardly believe she is six years old. She is such a little munchkin still, and so snuggly. But on the other hand, I can scarcely imagine not knowing her and find myself wondering how she can only be six, when I feel as though she has been here my whole life. I say birthday week, because as we all know, for kids, their life centers around this milestone, weeks of counting down turn into weeks of telling their parents how much older they are. For adults, it’s a day, in which hopefully nothing catastrophic happens, like tripping over your own foot in the middle of a crowded room, or dropping the birthday cake. (No, neither of those things have happened to me, amazingly) Personally I would prefer to stay in bed with the covers over me for the entire day. But, for my little one, not so little anymore really, it is all about her. Today involved buying cake pans and muffin tins since I couldn’t find mine. Now that I have the muffins in the oven, I remember that the old muffin tin rusted away and that the old cake pans were on loan to a friend. Tomorrow is the official birthday dinner. I always take the kids to the restaurant of their choice on the actual birthday. Thursday, hopefully, I will know how many little friends will be attending her party and can pick up decorations and party favors. Friday will be the making of the cake, an endeavor which is fraught with a little anxiety, being the first time I am using fondant. Sometimes I wonder why I get so swept up in the details. Saturday will be the last, the finale and the most tiring day of all. Knowing my daughter however, it will be as fun as can be because she is essentially a happy kid. It’s a tiring and slightly more stressful week than usual, but all in all it’s well worth the smiles and hugs. Then I have a month or two respite, so that I can gear up for my older daughter’s MUCH more detail oriented birthday…..