Over at the Middle of the Darling Daughters’ place, party preparations are almost certainly in full swing.
I am not
there, being here, but I am pretty sure that I am correct in the above assumption, bearing in mind that tomorrow will see a Gathering of the Clans to celebrate Young Faris’s First Birthday. As regular blog readers will recall, Faris wrote his own Birthday
Blog which meant I didn’t get the chance to reflect, myself, on this his first year. It’s possible, of course, that we would have covered much the same ground...
Wednesday was, indeed, an emotional day all round for everyone who has watched Our Soldier grow and thrive over the last twelve months. And because his Mum, the Middle of the Darling Daughters, has been so very generous in sharing her delight in her
little son through regular postings of the latest photo, funny story, "must tell” moment in her baby’s life – well, lots and lots of people feel they know him, even if they have never met him. ”He’s, like, a famous baby, isn’t
he?” someone remarked to me once. I knew just what she meant.
My main party preparations so far have been to pack our overnight case, wrap up our presents
and stack bottles of lemonade and coca cola left over from Mr B’s own birthday party in the hall where we may well trip over them, but at least we will not forget to take them. Faris’s Mum has been much, much busier - I know because
she has relayed her progress to me, via Skype and the phone over the last few days. Tomorrow we have been asked to arrive early so that we can be of rather more practical help. I do have a few ideas as to how I can make myself useful.
For starters, I am good at making party sandwiches, having been deployed to do so on many an occasion in the past. I do need to be advised, however, by the hostess, whether she
prefers the sandwiches to be cut in quarters, triangles, fingers or – most exciting of all – animal shapes. All of these I can deliver though, in the case of the animal shapes, a cutter is helpful unless one wants to risk unrecognisable animal
shapes appearing on the sandwich plate and small children freaking out at the thought of eating them.
If strictly necessary, I can blow up balloons,
though I don’t like it when they burst on me. There is a critical point, isn’t there, when a balloon reaches its ultimate size? Tie the knot in its neck too soon and the result is a pretty poor imitation of a party balloon; too many
puffs and it will blow up in your face. Out of a packet of, say, twelve balloons, I can usually guarantee that three or four will burst on me. It might be good, perhaps, to delegate responsibility for this particular task to somebody else?
Possiby Faris (see photo!)
Need someone to organise a party game? I am your man. Or, to be strictly accurate (though I don’t like to be pedantic) your
woman. Many’s the game of Okey Cokey I have led at a Littl’uns Party. Though so many people are coming to Faris’s party tomorrow that it will probably be difficult to get your left arm in, let alone the rest of your body...
My main job at children’s parties these days is to take charge of the kitchen and to provide the adults present with welcome cups of tea and coffee. I find this an
ideal task in that it enables me to meet my children’s friends, who will exclaim at my general helpfulness and make me feel a Most Valued Party Helper. At the last party (it was a Little Welsh Boy’s special day) someone else had the nerve
to take it upon himself to try to take over the kitchen instead of me. We dodged around the kettle for a while, got in each other’s way over the placement of mugs on trays and had a really quite serious skirmish over the sugar bowl before we finally
agreed a common modus operandi.
I can’t wait for tomorrow. Almost all my Best Beloved together – and the rest will surely be there in spirit.
It’s going to be a fabulous party.
Okey Cokey or not.