It’s my birthday, birthday, ha-ha-happy birthday… (for those who watch Nick Jnr, that song will be in your head for the next twenty-four hours…you’re welcome).
So yes. Today is my birthday, I turn 32, and as I type this blog post I’m sipping a glass of fizz while I wait for my sweet potato fries to cook. I say fries,they’re more wedges, I couldn’t be bothered to cut them any thinner.
Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way. YES I KNOW this is about a child’s birthday party, YES I KNOW Marks and Sparks do bloody amazing cakes and nobody cares, and YES I KNOW I go through this EVERY SINGLE YEAR, but I just can’t help myself.
Why? I got asked when I say I’m cried over the birthday cake for the 4th year in a row.
Why? I got asked as I desperately tried to encourage Mr Aimee to redecorate the entire three storey house in three weeks.
WHY? I got asked, when I went to the supermarket and came out with enough food that a) doesn’t fit in my fridge b) could feed 100 children not 8.
Just BECAUSE ok? That’s just who I am. As a teenager, while my friends where gazing longingly at the “Rachel” cut I was desperately wondering what went in Monica’s super homemade cleaning spray. Just because as an adult I have been known to watch Desperate Housewives wishing I could get my wine glasses as sparkling as Bree. Because I wanted to be the hostess. (Yes, I know that’s another Monica reference :().
But over the years, I’ve been beaten down by my children as they trash my house grown as a person, and have become a lot more relaxed about these things. This year it was going to be different.
This year, I decided to play it cool, just a small gathering of friends in the garden. Then I made the stupid mistake of asking The Beast who he’d like to come to his party, and during the course of a week he added about forty-five names to “the list”. On visiting the supermarket “Mummy…can I ask him to my party?” “who?” “That man…the man in the Spider-Man socks at the door” “The man who was putting the trolleys away?” “Yes. Him, he seemed nice”.
In the end, we managed to cross it off to about twenty names including siblings. I didn’t have to do any underhanded “yeah, but this person is on holiday” or “Yes, but they’ve moved to another country” at all. I also had to break it to the family that there physically wasn’t enough room in my house, after all, WHAT if it rained? I HAVE CREAM CARPETS GODDAMN IT.
So with this in mind I made a plan. I booked some amazing entertainment. You see, in case you hadn’t guessed, I’m not that great with kids, and the thought of entertaining and keeping control of twenty in front of their parents filled me with a fear I had only ever felt when I thought Office had sold out of my Red Joules wellies (they had them in navy, but that so would not have gone with my kitchen). Therefore, I called the wonderful Wow Factor Parties. I’d been to one of their parties before, and we all know about how our family feels about superheroes so with a chance of Spider-Man visiting, we were ON IT.
After we booked it Mr Aimee and I were sitting out in the garden drinking some booze and planning the month. “So relaxed, I’m just going to buy a load of pizza and make the cake, and I’ll be sorted”.
“Sorry What? I thought we had talked about the cake this year, you’re not making it.”
“OHHH, don’t worry, it’s easypeaseylemonsqueezy” I said, showing him the picture on Pinterest.
He grudgingly agreed to let me do it.
Then I saw this.
I didn’t tell him about the 3 layer change of plan, he’d have gone mad. But I knew it would be easy. Especially when the fantastic PartyDelights.co.uk sent me some wicked superhero supplies , which included a cake topper which I KNEW would just make it look AH-MAZE-ING.
So I trotted on, I went to my new favourite supermarket (Aldi), and swept the shelves of Pizza, Dough Balls, Ice Cream, Garlic Bread, Fruity Shoots and their version of Pimms. I played fridge Tetris with little trouble, noting that considering it’s the favourite thing in my house, it was pissing water all over the floor for a FOURTH time this year. I made Mr. Aimee take the day off on the day of the party so we could clean and he could wash the decking. WE WERE SET.
On Wednesday I started to make the cake. Thank god I left two days before the party. It consumed nearly the entire time between Wednesday and Friday morning where I finally added my eighth (ninth just don’t tell Mr Aimee) bag of M&Ms.
After a day where my cake tin broke, my other cake sunk, and I had to bake whilst wearing a Ninja turtle face mask using golf clubs as my weapons, he walked in on Wednesday night after work and could and I quote “sense the atmosphere”. Before he could turn around and leave I sent him for extra supplies “I NEED MORE KITKATS – OWN AND BRANDED, M&Ms AND I NEED YOU TO POUR ME A GLASS OF WINE…NO DON’T EAT THAT BIT OF CAKE, YOU DON’T KNOW WHETHER I’LL NEED IT OR NOT” I *may* have screamed before frantically shoving extra bits of cake under the bottom layer in a desperate attempt to stop it leaning dramatically on one side.
I then tied it with wool, and collapsed into a heap of melted cheese and wine, and gave in for the night planning to go out and buy extra M&Ms and ribbon to tie it together the following day. It stayed in the fridge, and I managed to make it look reasonably acceptable, and it made my day when he walked in saw it and said “WOW IS THAT MY CAKE?”.
On Friday I did worry that my house looked like it could make you catch the plague so I tidied up, cleaned a lot bit and then watched as the children tore it all about ensuring extra ground in mud and orange crisps.
Then, as if by magic Jools from Wow Factor turned up, and calm descended on the house. They set their stuff up, the children began to turn up and I hid in the kitchen while this happened. It’s worth watching just to see Spider-Man doing Gangman style.
It was better then I hoped for. They did everything (SHE EVEN ASKED FOR A BIN BAG AND CLEARED UP PAPER PLATES AND CUPS!!) which meant that (I *think*) I even got away with looking like a perfectly calm hostess “oh I do this every day”. There was just enough food to feed everyone, just enough Pimms to keep me sane, and because the plates and cups were so awesome, I only needed balloons to add to the decorations. The only slight disaster was that I nearly fell over holding the cake, and when it came to cutting it the top and bottom layer had so many sweets on top that it had been squished down to barely 1cm of cake. YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY.
Looks like everyone had fun.
The only problem now is that The Beast keeps asking when Spider-Man is coming around next, and can he come for tea and perhaps a sleep over. How did I not see that one coming.
Thanks to Wow Factor, Spider-Man and Party Delights for helping keep the party relatively calm. It’s taught me that all kids need is pizza, somebody to entertain them, and the parents need booze.
Next year the cake is apparently coming from Sainsbogs, but what he doesn’t know is that I still have to make The Chunky Monkeys cake until his 5th birthday otherwise it wouldn’t be “fair”.
Thank you to Party Delights for sending us the fantastic stuff, they were all great, although the party bag handles did break very easily, perhaps that was because of the cake containing about 10 tones of sweets.
Wow Factors were paid in full, but they made the day so thank you.