How to have a birthday with Big…
Step 1: Spend WEEKS explaining that her party will not be EXACTLY the same as Little’s. She might not have gruffalo slippers as a present or the EXACT same book as a pass the parcel prize.
Step 2: Spend WEEKS beforehand explaining that as her birthday is on a Wednesday, extended family members will be coming on Saturday. (Still explain this at least fifty thousand times on the actual day.)
Step 3: Invite three friends from playgroup. Spend the entire week worrying that she can’t actually cope with this.
Step 4: Worry about when to tell her about said playgroup friends. When will it be too early and she’ll get anxious, when will be too late and she won’t have time to process it. (Again, wonder why you’ve done this.)
Step 5: Wake up to be greeted with a loud angry shout of, “NO Little, it’s MY birthday, DON’T you talk.”
Step 6: Go and greet a wee girl with no expectations but very high demands on these no expectations. Give presents and watch a wee smile every now and then.
Step 7: Lose birthday badge just before gymnastics. Just after you’ve told her that she could wear said badge to show everyone at gymnastics.
Step 8: Watch as many Peppa Pig episodes as you can to fill the space between gymnastics and ‘the party’.
Step 9: Watch husband’s face as he is greeted by three confident wee girls who answer his questions and are able to converse and have a joke with him. Watch realisation dawn across his face, that you’ve been saying for ten months (i.e. that more people should be helping our wee girl) starts to become very apparent.
Step 10: Be on tenterhooks throughout the whole 90minutes, praying she doesn’t bite someone, eat off the floor or something else that we’re completely used to but might be a bit disconcerting to other people.
Step 11. Wave bye-bye, put Finding Nemo on. Forget that this won’t be a relaxing time as she doesn’t like the fact that she doesn’t know whats going to happen and constantly asks, “What’s he doing?” “Where’s the big fish?” “Where’s the little fish? (Answers “Finding Nemo”, “In the ocean”, “In the tank” or ‘the bank’ as Little referred to it!)
Step 12: Serve leftovers for tea. Forget to say that there was no pizza leftover. Console about lack of pizza.
Step 13: Bath, story, bed.
Step 14: Pizza and gin.
Repeat in 364 days time.
Well done Big. She coped very well with what, for her, was a very tricky day. Here’s to many more we get to share together.