On Saturday morning, my four-year-old dragged me from a blissful state of slumber even earlier than normal.
I heard the pitter-patter of his feet getting louder as he crossed the landing, then within seconds he was standing by my side of the bed, squealing:
“Mummee, is it my birthday today?”
“No, it isn’t,” I mumbled, half-asleep. “That was last week.”
Then, as my brain began to muster, “Oh yes! Oh God. It’s your party!”
Everything came flooding back as I woke more fully. The venue, the cake, the number of guests expected (23, plus parents), the food. Everything had been outsourced, but I hadn’t heard from the organiser in several days, despite my attempts to wrestle the answers to a couple of questions from her.
Here are some snippets of conversation from the next few anxiety-filled hours:
LB: “Is it my party now?”
Me: “No darling, it’s after lunch.”
“She still hasn’t replied to my email.”
LB: “Is it lunchtime now?”
Me: “Six hours to go [counting the hours out on my fingers]. First breakfast, then lunch, then it’s time for your party.”
“She’s not answering her phone. WHY is she not getting back to me?” [remembering glumly how the booking was messed up to begin with)
“It’s the first party of the new school year – I blanket-invited the whole class and nearly everyone said yes!”
“What if we get there and it’s all locked up?” [cringes with the predicted embarrassment]
LB: “Can we have lunch now?”
Me: “We haven’t had breakfast yet, love.”
“Her phone is OFF. We should never have given this party a Titanic theme.”
“It’s a sinking ship” [tries to think of an escape plan and fails]
After a couple of hours, DH gets in the car and drives there to put me out of my misery! “Don’t worry!’ he texts 30 minutes later. “They’re ready.”
PHEW! “And the cake?” I texted back at lightening speed.
“It’s here – pink with a princess on.” [very funny, DH!]