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Oh to be 4!

August 28, 2012

Now, i’ve a confession to make.  Despite wee man having had various opportunities for parties (namely his first, second and third anniversaries), i’ve not actually ever thrown him one, til yesterday’s momentous event.  With hindsight, and despite all frequent indications to the contrary, this is indeed because somewhere deep down, well-camouflaged, i am a clever and wise thing.  I know now.

Perhaps i should’ve removed the wine glass from shot, somewhat ruins the children’s party image!

It seemed like a simple and easily execution-able plan.  10 kids, plus the Turners and the hat.  3 party games.  Food.  A cake for the kids (chocolate) and something something for the adults (booze/mini-cheesecakes).  Sleeping lions to finish.  2 hours to fill.  If i was one do be superstitious, then the fact that the chocolate fudge cake wouldn’t bake, could have tipped me off that perhaps things might not be all plain sailing.  Luckily, i’m not that kinda gal.  The fact that the chocolate ganache wouldn’t thicken, nor set, could perhaps have been taken as another omen, but obvs, i ignored that, and instead, allowed the gooey mess to sit in a bath of chocolatey cream, and hoped that the fridge would do some magic, relying on the fact that 4 year olds are luckily not that much of a discerning audience, and since the volume of chocolate involved would guarantee mess and hyper-activity, they wouldn’t notice that it hadn’t exactly turned out as per the BBC website’s picture (though admittedly, as ever i went somewhat off-piste/free-style whilst making it, so might have been slightly my fault…).  Luckily the mini-cheesecakes did turn out, if i do say so myself, spectacularly well.  Though using the word ‘mini’ in this context might be a bit of a stretch.  But, since i used fat-free cream cheese, despite the ludicrous amounts of sugar and butter and biscuits, i was able to claim that they were ‘fat free’, thus alleviating any guilt i may have had about having them for breakfast, lunch, tea and supper….

And so to the day.  Well, since wee man had been hyper-excited for days, it was a bit of a relief for it to finally be his big day.  Presents were wrapped and displayed the night before, and duly unwrapped, all of them, with much help and excitement from the 3 junior Turners, by 8am.  And from that point on it was simply a case of managing expectations as to when the party would really start.  Though, luckily, the bonanza of Marvel-sponsored toys helped the time pass quickly for all those who only have single-digits to their ages.

We planned pass-the-parcel, musical cushions and pin-the-tail on the donkey.  Well, pass-the-parcel went well, though, note-to-self, next time it might be a good idea to a) remember how many layers you’ve made, and b) highlight the penultimate one in some manner, as once everyone had got their sweet layer, it truly became a game of jeopardy as to who would win the prize (chosen by the birthday boy, and so therefore somewhat gender biased, it being a Spiderman activity book, though, would not want to discount the girls interest in this so went with it as the prize…).  However, i was not prepared for the emotional fall-out of musical cushions.  As i got up to explain how it worked, it dawned on me that this might be the first time that most of those little cherubs had actually played it.  I totally wimped out.  Rather than hand out a prize to the winner, as one might expect the game to go, i found myself handing out prizes to each round’s loser.  The despondent, tearful faces when i explained that they couldn’t play anymore was too much for me to cope with.  This kind of back-fired, as the kids worked out that in fact it was a good thing to be out, and so i was then coaxing kids to sit down on the cushions…ah well.  A part success at any rate.  Pin-the-tail on the donkey was OK – the donkey itself drawing a few disparaging remarks, generally from the grown-ups, but since i hadn’t actually fashioned the ass myself, this didn’t affect me at all.  Though Zoe and Andy, the true artistic heroes, may feel otherwise!!!!  Great improvisation with post-it notes to mark the kids’ places, and a bandana for a blind-fold, meant this game was perhaps more entertaining for us, the adults, than the kids, but still, it passed the time.  Though, not quite as much time as i’d calculated.  And so, fresh out of games (and sweets, since the musical cushions had somewhat wiped me out of prizes), we let the madness unfurl of its own accord.  Only pausing to corral the kids to sit and (not)eat some sandwiches and crisps, before letting them loose again.  By the time we’d cut the cake, and put it into the party bags, i was ready for the little dears to depart.  And thank god they did.

Generally, a great time had by all.  But next time, budget allowing, i think some constructive out-sourcing might be on the cards.  An entertainer?  A venue?  Am still shattered today!!!  And poor Adam had to go to work…ah well, we’ve got a good year to save for that (obvs the hat ain’t getting a party til she’s 4, no need to try and replicate the above mayhem with tantrum-ing toddlers, important lessons have been learnt!).

PS – the mini-cheesecake recipe was borrowed from Pretty Baking – she is a legend on cakes, i am, so very obviously, only an amateur in comparison.  Pudding Porn at its best (her site, not mine!)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2012 8:49 pm

    I think the donkey looks pretty good. Why didn’t ya kick ’em out into the garden for some childish mayhem? But sounds like it all went off pretty well so congrats on surviving first kiddies birthday party. I’m afraid we (me anyway) have, so far, flaked on this one but did send an e-card yesterday to your e-mail. Big granny hug to Cosmo from me – xxC

  2. September 6, 2012 6:26 am

    Aw, I’m glad you made (and enjoyed) the mini cheesecakes– and thanks so much for your kind words. 🙂 Looks like it was a great party!!!

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