Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A little boy's birthday

My beautiful little boy was four on the 28th June.

Dylan in a Fire Engine

My daughter Charis' first Speech Day and end of term Prize Giving at her private boarding school was also on the 28th June.

That is one of the problems with big families - days get double booked far too often. One of the advantages of big families is that there is usually another sibling to step in and help out.

My boy started the day surrounded with presents to open on the Birthday Chair we had prepared the day before (putting to good use the flag that seemed somewhat redundant after England were knocked out of the World Cup).

Addy and Dylan help decorate the 'Birthday Chair'

Big sister Taylor then took responsibility for keeping the birthday fun going whilst my husband and I headed off to Chapel where I became predictably teary eyed listening to my Charis singing her angelic best with the school chapel choir.

Next was the Speeches and Prize Giving and eyes welled once again as Charis went up to collect her prize for the best Extended Project Qualification. She has achieved so much already, taking full advantage of the privileged position she finds herself in.

There was a whole day of events and exhibitions to showcase a year of achievements at the school but I felt guilty about not being with my son on his birthday. We gave Charis a picnic lunch which she happily went off to eat with someone else's parents and we drove home. Of course I felt guilty about not giving Charis more time and attention too. All in all I was feeling like a rubbish mum.

I tried not to let my feelings of inadequacy get the better of me and forced myself back in a 'party' mood.

We had cake. That always helps with the party mood.

My sister had told me about this idea for a cake. It sounded fantastically simple - and it was - especially as my husband completely took over the decorating part, feeling that construction sites were his area of expertise. I made the chocolate cake and chocolate fudge topping and he did the rest with the addition of some Maltesers, chocolate raisins, flakes and a pack of mini JCB vehicles.

I did begin to relax and unwind a little seeing my boy so happy playing outside with new toys. I even had the chance to complete a review jigsaw I was sent some time ago and had been saving for when Taylor was back from Uni.


When Charis was finished with all that was on offer at the end of term celebrations, my husband went to collect her (and all her dirty washing!)

To round off the day perfectly, we were all invited to a barbecue at Taylor's boyfriend George's house. Only one of my daughters couldn't make it. Having five out of six of my children all together for the first time in ages was wonderful and I always enjoy spending time with George's family. I let myself relax completely... with the help of a bottle of red wine! The birthday boy was presented with another cake and had a wonderful time running around the garden until he and sister Addy fell fast asleep on the sofa ready to be carried home to bed.

Pokemon birthday cake made by Danielle

I did feel slightly worse for wear the following day but had time to reflect on a mostly successful navigation through a hectic day before starting on the next one!

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