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Hello! My name is Paula and I love to write. I have an affinity for words and I want to tell tales about life and share experiences. I now have my very own canvas. I’m so excited! I have wanted to be an author since I was a child. I graduated from the Morris Journalism Academy in 2007. It’s funny how sometimes your passions are put on the back burner, while life goes on. You have probably heard the line “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, (is it from a song? Not sure). I am blessed with the gifts of time and space now, and here I am doing what I love.Check out some of my articles.. Happy reading!


Pass The Parcel And Pin That Tail! A Look At Why Birthdays Seem To Come More Than Once A Year.

How does one deal with the constant stream of birthday party invitations lurking in your child's school bag among lunch remnants and artwork?

"Look Mummy! It's an envelope and it has MY name on it! Open it, Mummy, open it!"
My daughter is standing before me beaming excitedly holding the pink glittery envelope covered in fairies. She cannot read my mind, nobody can. I am having the same thoughts I had early this morning as I opened my refrigerator and they all fell off their designated magnets on to the floor. There were Superman ones, Wiggles ones, quite a few Bratz and even a Thomas The Tank Engine one, all with different dates and times during which we are most certainly available. I confess I have rejoiced at the odd double booking.

"NO! No more! Please no more party invitations!" my mind screams as I open the pretty envelope and say "Oh, look it's a birthday party!" and I smile a sweet, although internally hysterical smile. I turn to glance at the birthday girl a short distance away also beaming at the prospect of 20 to 30 children trashing her house. Okay trashing is a strong word, but I am a little irrational in regards to this issue.

I counted at least 35 celebrations last year, while my child was still at kindergarten! We had a combination of playgroups, neighbours, relatives and kindergarten kids.

As I walk out of the school with my excited little girl, my mind is formulating an excuse, immediately replaced with gift ideas as I glance at my child and the party giver waving to each other as she too walks away with her mother. Once again, I don't have the heart to lie. All I am left with is the slight hope that we have already accepted a previous invitation.

It makes me sound so mean spirited, doesn't it? I honestly adore kids and yes I know each one is special and deserving of a decent fun gathering to honor the day he or she came into the world but when will it all end? The way I see it, there is no conclusion as it is ALWAYS going to be someone's birthday while she is at school. We are only in Year One so it's not going to finish any time soon. I should be thankful my little one is so popular I guess.

Late last year I decided on payback and I conceded to a party of our own. Kayla was so happy and I felt ever so guilty for my miserable attitude that I figured she deserved not only a home party but a home made cake as well.

"Of course all 30 of them can come sweetheart," I said with a sinking heart. I began to plan the event very carefully from decorations, party games, loot bags and of course a fabulous cake only mother could make. That's right, my mother perhaps, certainly not I. How do I know this? Well thank God I had the presence of mind to experiment by making a "dummy" cake first. I only used packet sponge mix and that was okay but the problems began with the icing stage. I wanted to cry as all the Smarties were falling off the sides of the lopsided cake covered in almost one inch of icing, "just a little more on this side and it will look perfect"...

I had just as much trouble organizing games and activities and as I thumbed the yellow pages for food caterers I decided a change of venue would be a really great idea. So I began to ring around local fun centres which were a little more expensive than I had budgeted for. "If it wasn't for all the gifts I've had to buy lately", here I go being miserable again!

We held a family meeting and after convincing Kayla that a live pony would not be a practical present we came to a resolution. Our local burger joint would be the closest, cheapest and easiest alternative. "It doesn't matter that you've been to 12 parties there, sweetie, at least you know it's fun, right? What do you mean you hate chicken nuggets?" We compromised in the end. I promised a small get together at home with family afterward and the idea of a second cake sure appealed.

We opted for a theme, whereby all the guests would attend in fancy dress costumes. Real payback because the dress up parties are definitely more demanding, because you have to make the time, choose and buy a gift and organize, which in a lot of cases means make a costume as well.

So a great time was had by all as the grown ups stood close together in a confined space waiting up to 30 minutes for a coffee in a noisy bedlam occasionally picking up a fallen child, drying a few tears and saving a little girl's hair from catching on fire from the birthday candles.

I would not say it was entirely payback... My little girl's little face was worth every bit of discomfort and after all I am certain every other parent would claim the same thing.

So you can fight this thing, the party epidemic or you can open your heart a little more and imagine, especially if you are like me who has never had any sort of personal festivity, what it would feel like to be a fairy or a pirate for a day and to be the one they've all come to see. Pretty awesome I would say!

I did decide that day not to begrudge any more invitations as my heart filled with love that is until 2 weeks later, "Oh look, a 3 hour "come as your favorite fruit" party for twins on the other side of town!"

Well we are going on holidays... Not on that exact day, but I wouldn't be lying right?

Okay, I surrender. Should one buy identical gifts for twins? I'm sure I have some banana yellow material somewhere...

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1 comment:

rod said...

I gave up fighting this long time ago, at my first born coming of age. Now he is 15 and thanks God, his birthday parties are usually at the local pizza place. My second is still excited about his birthday parties, and there's no way to avoid it. But i'm happy because he is happy, and once a year is not that bad....

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