Five adorable little preschool boys and Matilda arrived at our house for Sam’s fourth birthday party this afternoon. Five adorable little preschool boys and Matilda left looking like sailors.
Back in January when I booked the campsite at Edisto Island State Park we had decided to just treat Sam to a beach camping holiday for his birthday and let him play diggers in the sand to his heart’s content. But as the weeks passed it was obvious that this was not going to be enough for our little guy. Nothing less than having his own special occasion playing with friends would suffice for his fourth birthday celebration.
Sam’s become very aware of birthdays, and birthday parties, and for months has been giving me a running tally of how old everyone in his class is now, and providing me with strict instructions as to what he wants for his own birthday party, and exactly who to invite. I didn’t draw up the guest list, Sam did. And he checked it several times to be satisfied. I was just thankful that the list was fairly compact. Though I did have to trim it a touch as we only have a little house, and I felt bad as I was unable to include several preschool friends who I really felt ought to have been invited. Even with the condensed list I closed my eyes and prayed for good weather.
Along with the guest list and the venue, Sam even had a theme in mind. He very insistently requested that we had to attempt to provide him with a “little green kitty cat/fire engine/dinosaur” birthday party. Well okay then. I sent out the invites and started to panic.
I ran the 8k in the morning, clambered all over town looking for supplies in the afternoon, and when the kids finally went to bed last night I started work on a birthday cake. With no grand master plan I ended up just baking some base cakes and winging it from there. I was up til gone 2 before I was satisfied with my efforts.
This afternoon, with minutes to spare the cooler was filled with assorted beverages (Bill did comment that this was the first preschool party he’d been to that had beer, I’ll take that as a compliment. Worked for me!) and nibbles laid out. The weekend’s frenzied preparations were put to the test when invited guests, very welcome little siblings and their parents descended on Applegate to wish Sam a very Happy Birthday.
As guests arrived bearing lovely gifts an excited Sam went into a frenzy. There was no waiting to open his presents. I think I rather liked that though and I hope the gift givers got a kick out of watching Sam relish tearing into the parcels and exploding with joy at the contents. Seemed much more personal and less awkward when done on a one on one basis like that rather than putting gifts in a corner and waiting ’til later. Sam got some fantastic birthday presents and every one really hit the spot and got him fired up. He was totally spoiled. Thank you everyone.
We released the kids into the backyard and pointed them towards the diggers and freshly replenished sand pile. They set to work landscaping with gusto. While the kids played, parents got to chill and chat and I really enjoyed dropping into conversations with everyone between hostess duties.
Eventually we declared it time for Pass the Parcel. We mustered the kids into some semblance of a circle and everyone stared at me blankly. Oh yes, I almost forgot for a moment that I’m the crazy Brit! I explained the rules and crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Bill was in charge of music and did a great job making sure that each child got to open a layer of wrapping and reveal their random gift. I’d laced the parcel with a mixture of fire engine, cat and dinosaur related treats and toys. The dinosaur tattoos were the surprise hit and soon it seemed that everyone was inked on hands and legs.
Next up was the cake. After an initial delay of scurrying around actually rueing everyone’s healthy lifestyle choice and hunting for something to light the candles with we were able to bring out my piece de resistance and sing Happy Birthday to my fantastic little boy. Sam’s eyes lit up and his attention easily diverted back from his important construction job with the boys when he caught sight of his little green kitty cat birthday cake. He was enamoured and even tried to pet it.
Bill carefully began slicing up the tummy, but ears, tail, paws, nose and eyes were soon plucked off, and happily devoured by the marauding bunch of children. Poor kitty didn’t last too long before it more resembled roadkill.
Sam really does have a great group of friends and I love how all the parents are just as pleasant, nice and good company too. It was a good crowd.
When I put Sam to bed this evening I asked him if he enjoyed his party? He thought, and grinned, and said “Yes.” Then I asked him if he liked his little green kitty cake? “Did I get it right?”
His response: “No Mummy. I wanted a fire engine, a mummy diplodocus dinosaur, and a little green kitty cat riding a sliding worm birthday cake!”
Maybe next year.