And so comes around the day of Godzilla’s birthday parties.
There are always two, because a) I am pathologically incapable of not having a birthday party for my offspring and b) I like to keep the kids party and the family party separate. As much as I like being around people, there is a limit.
That is how it came to be that two birthday parties are held on the same day. Usually, I avoid having the children’s party at home. Having said that, this is the third time (and the second in just under five months) that I have done this. I think, somewhere along the line, I broke my brain, which as led to me saying “I know, let’s have the party at home!”
In my – our – defence, things have been more than a little stressful of late and the ability to think of suitable birthday party locations has escaped our conscious thought.
I had been a little organised, however, querying the impending birthday boy as to what his preference for cake design was.
“Trash Pack,” he replied, which was a complete surprise and I would never have anticipated this in a million years.
It was also good as that was what I had in mind for a cake design.
He would have been ecstatic with a round cake, in any given Trash Pack colour, with Trashies randomly placed on it. My mind, as it is, was incapable of accepting such a suggestion and came up with its very own design. As it does. Sure, the design probably exists out there, somewhere. I just haven’t gone looking for it and let my mind take over the creation process.
“What sort of cake are you making him,” asked older brother, Monkey Boy. “What book is it in? Can you show me?”
“Trash Pack cake,” I advise. “Can’t show you. It’s in my head. Wanna see?”
“You know the stuff in your head never comes out well,” he reminds me, with as much tact as he can muster. Which is about none.
Anyhoo, organised I was and had whipped up three butter cakes (the easiest ones to whip up) and discover it is nowhere near capable of resembling that final creation which remains residing in my head. So I make another.
I am, of course, also required to go about my daily business and parenty type duties, throwing in a business meeting and ensuring I purchase a winter uniform for Monkey Boy, who is still wandering to school on these Melbourne Autumn mornings in shorts. Which is ok some days, but mostly it isn’t.
I manage both these tasks yesterday. I am doing … well, not well, per se, but I am doing …
I take a look last night and contemplate turning this:
into the one that is still in my head.
I battle with the “leaving it overnight, iced and creamed” dilemma, am encouraged to complete the creation last night, whip the cream and am just about ready to spread it when Grumpy Pants points out it will require refrigeration and all current fridge space is taken up with a plethora of party foods requiring refrigeration.
This is another reason two parties on the same day is dumb.
I drink some more wine in a bid to free up some fridge space, then go to bed, leaving the cake unfinished. Or, unstarted, really.
Am up early, not because the cake needs seeing to, but because I’m just awake. So I start on the cake.
Coffee is poured, Monkey Boy is summoned as he insists on “helping” and Chippie hears the word “cake” and is up like a shot.
I commence the assembly of my Mind Creation, and am immediately aware that the sizing is out. I figure I will fix this when it comes to the icing part of it, as I appear to be under the total delusion I actually have a clue about these sorts of things.
The cream between the cakes is, of course, Pus Yellow in keeping with the theme of things. Cakes stacked with cream that looks like it has no hope of holding it all together, and the middle is filled with green jelly, that we made greener by adding far too much green food colouring to.
Blue (Trash Pack Bin Blue, of course) icing is added, with no hope of fixing the issue of size inconsistency, and I figure that’s where the lollies I plan to add will come into some useful play.
I add the “lid”, which isn’t sitting like the one in my head does, and ice it, too.
Despite every other frigging year being left with enough icing to ice a second cake, this year, I appear not to have enough, even though I made the exact same amount! Clearly, I possess a talent that is beyond explanation.
Bits of cake can be seen where the lack of icing failed to spread far enough. At this point, my Perfectionism raises it’s ugly little head (when it comes to birthday cakes, I am quite content with diminished perfectionism) and I am unsure as to what to do about the dilemma.
I eye the remaining three litres of green jelly (I may have overestimated how much we’d actually need by quite a lot) and start slapping it on to cover any exposed cake.
It seems to not only work, but have an effect that is beyond what I had envisaged. I like it!
And we experimented with using biscuit cutters on even more jelly that was supposed to resemble blobs of ooze, but, not surprisingly, didn’t.
Eventually, the cake is completed and I have time to be satisfied with my Domestic Goddess Abilities before realising that Chippie is not only still wearing the clothes he has had on since I picked him up from kinder on Friday just after lunchtime, they are also not his clothes, he hasn’t had a bath since Thursday evening and appears to have half a green face due to the consumption of green jelly and lollies for breakfast.
I suggest he shower with Grumpy Pants, to which he (Chippie, not Grumpy) runs to his room, screaming, strips off and puts on new, clean (I think) clothing.
Children aged guests arrive, Grumpy “Goes out to get some stuff we need” and I wonder how long before he will actually deign to return home (last party at home, he vanished for two hours of the 1.5 hour long party).
He does come home and I ask that he do some supervision of children as things appear to be going a little bit to hell. Also, I need to get some food on. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
He goes and cleans the bbq, so I send the kids outside.
I go out to see how things are going, and find Monkey Boy has taken charge. They are playing a version of Spin The Bottle, using a beer bottle. Glass. On the concrete driveway.
Another kid is inside, not wanting to be part of it. Another kid arrives late, and Grumpy offers his dad a beer. I leave the two of them out the back to supervise some more.
Find kids running around the front yard.
Inevitably, just as they’ve got into the swing of the game, it is time to leave. Parents start rolling up and we have yet to ‘do’ the cake.
Also, Godzilla had received nothing but Trash Pack packs as presents, all of which had been opened and the packaging left where it was. The house, quite literally, was Trashed. Again.
Finally, we can farewell them, and begin preparation for the Family Party happening not long after.
I have a timer on for the pumpkin I have in the oven. It goes off whilst the house is still full of children and collecting parents.
“Did you put a timer on so you know when the party was over,” asks the Grumpy one.
“Yes,” I say, to all assembled. “And if people don’t leave in the next five minutes, it will self destruct.”
They all think I’m joking.
But go not long after.
Family arrive. They bring wine and bubbles. They bring Godzilla a hermit crab, whom he names ‘Jared’. As one does.
They eat. They leave.
Grumpy Pants and I set about yelling at the kids to help tidy up. No one wants to eat. This is a good thing.
We wash the dishes and as I enter the laundry to toss an armful of stuff into the washing machine, I spot the brand new,winter uniform hanging on the door; awaiting my attention to be washed and the legs of the pants taken up.
(That I even think I’m capable of that is laughable in itself, but anyhoo).
Yes, the school uniform I went out of my way to purchase on Friday so he had it to wear this week.
I am doing … well, not well … but I am doing.