The music from the CD of Songs for Kids, helpfully purchased from the local supermarket by the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, filled the room with sound. "Let it go! Let it go!" You know the song, I'm sure, it's from
the film Frozen. For the last couple of years, no Little Girl's Party was complete without it. Yesterday, at a party to celebrate the Twinkles' second birthday, it could hardly have been more appropriate.
were sitting on the living room floor, a circle of guests together with the Birthday Girls and their big brother (and hero) The Rascal. We were all ready to play that most traditional of party games - Pass the Parcel. "Let it go! Let it go!" the music rang
in our ears. But neither Tala nor The Rascal was prepared to. Let it go, that is. As in, the parcel, don't you know?
Whose sadistic idea was it to invent such a game? Can you imagine him / her explaining it
the first time around? You take a large, beautifully wrapped, exciting-looking parcel, then you give it to the first child in the circle. You might like to make sure that is the Birthday Child who will now know exactly what to do with a parcel, having had
lots of practice that very day. Except that you won't let him or her do what comes naturally - you will force him or her to pass on said parcel to the next child in the circle who will, understandably, think it must be his / her birthday, even if it isn't,
and will start trying to rip off the paper. But because the music is still playing ("Let it go! Let it go!") the Unbirthday Child will also be forced to pass the parcel on. More tears and tantrums. A chocolate coin, or two, may escape from the wrapping paper.
Several children will pounce on it, claiming possession ("Let it go! Let it go!")
The Middle of the Darling Daughters, mother of the Twinkles and The Rascal, had lovingly made a parcel with no fewer than fourteen
layers of wrapping paper. By the time the music had stopped for the third time, she was already regretting it. Seven layers, one for each child, would surely have been plenty, she agonised. I, the veteran of more children's birthday parties than I care to
count, was quick with a slice of maternal wisdom. "Let it go..." I advised, sagely.
It is a Time Honoured Truth that the most truly memorable of children's birthday parties are those which don't go completely
to plan. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I still cringe at the memory of her Jack's third birthday party, for reasons I can't bring myself to go into here; Jack, from the height of almost nineteen years, still remembers it fondly on account of the
Jungle Book parade which ended the truly chaotic proceedings. Hazel Bagel, likewise, will always recall with affection the birthday when we celebrated the Blowing Out Of Candles on a Cake in the dark of a multi-storey car park. The Twinkles' second birthday
party will always be the Let It Go Party.
Oh, but it was SUCH fun! We decorated Ready, Jelly, Go traffic light jellies with squirty cream and sprinkles and Jack, Hazel and Jack's girlfriend, the beautiful
Zoë, all decided unilaterally that they weren't too old for jelly. My "sconners" (recipe courtesy of my young friend Connor and available on my Cook Book page) went down equally well with the grown-ups. The cardboard Christmas tree I'd brought along as
a diversionary tactic looked fabulous by the time we had adorned it with gift bows, ribbon and plenty of scribble.
Our Hostess with the Mostest served up a delicious chilli with rice for all the grown-ups
which made me ponder, shamefacedly, on the fact that she had definitely gone The Extra Mile, compared with her mother, who never actually thought of feeding the children's parents at the parties I organised all those many years ago. It's a good thing my children
were popular or they'd never have been invited back.
A pink cake decorated with butterflies. Two candles for each Twinkle. Two large silver "2" figures, one for Tala, Little Miss Blue Eyes, and one
for Lilia, our Brown-Eyed Girl. Two dear faces, shining in the soft light of the candles as we sang "Happy Birthday" and thought back two whole years to the scary but special day they were born.
Tiny but perfect.
The same - but different.
Happy Second Birthday, Tala and Lilia. I will hug the memory of it in my heart forever and will never Let It Go.