My lovely lawn, trampled and matted with play dough, day old balloons hanging in pairs like old lady boobs, a deformed scarecrow staring at me as though he wants some spare change and has a thousand tales to tell. Just some of the signs that we survived our first successfully executed childs birthday party. A position I didn’t think I’d find myself in for a few years at least…..
Tash and I aren’t really a couple that like to conform and just do something because it’s the thing to do. One of the reasons we’re still engaged years later – that’s what I’m telling myself anyway. She didn’t want a big church wedding and considered having a baby with me more commitment (that or can’t bring herself to share her battered old golf that she treasures).
With this in mind, Raffy approaching 1 didn’t phase me like other dads, because usually at this point I’d imagine begins the nagging for the lavish party and us men weeping quietly into our already empty wallets. (Cash and Condoms a thing of the past, now full of receipts and vouchers to some urine smelling, ball filled, foam covered, gossip gathering, scream festival.) This time however I knew I was safe. Thankfully, as I hadn’t stopped weeping about the cost of nurseries yet.
Then it started, other children’s birthday parties. Every weekend, another present, more awkward dads huddled together while the babies and mums gathered and began what can only describe as organised chaos and cult style chanting in the form of Twinkle Twinkle – if Stephen King had decided to incorporate a musical element to IT he’d take inspiration from this.
Every party I’d leave holding my breath waiting for Tash to have changed her mind. Nothing. (She was too busy eating sweets from party bags – for safety reasons she tells me, choke hazard, sugar intake, or something along those lines.)
As the weeks, months and parties rolled past. I began to not even wait in suspense or plan a counter argument, in fact I had got involved in the health and safety sweet consumption and was consumed with a bouncy ball with LED’s in. That’s when she delivered the dreaded line. ‘So Raffys birthday party, what theme should we……’. The ball gently bounced into the distance and the fruit pastille lingered in my mouth (ever tried not to chew one, if so, you know the severity of the conversation).
As it turns out, this was one of the only times ‘uh huh’ accompanied with a head nod had come back to bite me. Well that and the time she ordered 3 pairs of custom trainers from Australia (that didn’t fit and now act as a support to prop up the baby monitor). As apparently she had mentioned it before.
Tash had already drawn up a secret list – well actually not that secret, it was on an envelope, written with a sharpie and pinned to the fridge. I can’t believe she actually caved in to the pressure of putting on a party. My carefree Fiancé replaced with a Monica style events planner (if you know you know).
I tried to argue that he’s one and has zero idea on what’s going on and think of the poor old debit card. All she countered it with was ‘better not tell you how much I’ve spent on the cake then’ – note; I’ve since found out, my reaction was the same as pulling a single nose hair.
Having finished weeping and deciding which credit card company was going to get my business, on with the planning!