There was a party – Small Z asked three of her friends and the two kids from next door – one a bit older and the other a bit younger. This, with the addition of her aunty and cousin, nana and nana-squeeze, and various siblings and parents of her three guests… created twenty-six people…

CUT TO:

My mother: “Can’t the parents of her friends just drop them off and pick them up in a few hours? That’s what *I* used to do when you were her age. That would be much less work…”

In this statement she failed to mention the fact that I had my sixth birthday in Kuala Lumpur – and it is mentioned in her diary of that time as, “Got up. Beth’s sixth birthday. Had breakfast. Packed up our gear and left.” THAT’S IT!!

Luckily I remember being bought some kind of apple cake, as birthday cakes for six-year-old backpackers were not in abundance in KL circa 1979.

Also in the statement was the fact that most of my friends, while I was under ten, lived in the surrounding suburb. Thus, it was easy for parents to drop their kids off and return a few hours later, rejuvenated from their kid-free Saturday morning…

But you know what? This;

I *like* the parents being at the party. Yes, it means more preparation, but it’s a chance to catch up, and also, it is not down to M and I to be responsible for them

There was ONE local kid at Z’s party who was not a neighbour. When you live an hour or two away, dropping off the kid is not an option

The siblings! The siblings of the Z-friends are inevitably the same age as DB, so she has a great time with them, instead of following the bigger kids around, trying to keep up…

And finally – the mixing of all of the above! The little ones also play with the big ones, the parents get to chat and eat and have a glass of champagne…

It was a lovely day – M had made Small Z an ice-cream cake – you can tell he works with fibreglass because he did all the shaping SUPER fast so it wouldn’t melt!! Small Z was rapt. I am not a fan of doing organised games and activities – just getting all the food together, house cleaned and music sorted is enough – so I borrowed the jumping castle again from the toy library…

We also have in our backyard already a trampoline, three chickens, a four swings, two treehouses, chimes made from old bits of metal, a flying fox, a Hills Hoist (clothesline for your non-Australians) and a paddle pool. Kid heaven. Move over musical chairs…

Flying fox!
Happy Birthday to Zoe!
'SIx' photo collage
Zoe and Elijah: Sparring partners
A trio of three year olds
Paddle pool!!

I learnt from Small DB’s birthday that cooking stuff on the day kind of sucks the big one. On that occasion there was hardly any sitting down and mingling time because I was hoping M was getting the sausages cooked, putting trays of chips in and out of the oven etc. etc. Also, it began before noon. MISTAKE.

This time around (thank god it was not stupidly hot) I just made a mofo lasagne beforehand and froze it. Put out some dips, carrot, celery and beans. Made a whole lot of rice paper rolls with chicken, rice and avocado in them the night before. And also pre-made jellies (in cupcake papers to save on washing up), coconut chocolate crackles, raw chocolate brownies and mango-raspberry icy-poles. Done. Had all morning to finish things and tidy up as people weren’t due until midday…and I knew they would be late…

My mother was again a fruit-skewer making machine. Oh! And I also made a punch that the Smalls could all dip a ladle into and serve themselves. There was too much, but that was OK. I am hoping to get some food photos from SWWNBB – who raced around doing ‘before’ photos before everything was chomped/drunk and was VERY handy with the broom throughout. 😉

Small Z had a lovely time – the party continued onward through dinner and our Hastings escapee neighbours stayed over night in the caravan 🙂