Swimming in chocolate
Yesterday I threw a small Easter party for Sam. Though it turns out that limiting the guest list does not necessarily mean ‘small’ is a fitting title.
As any parent knows, the amount of mess a toddler can make is really quite phenomenal. When a toddler is excited, EVERY toy is suddenly breathtakingly compelling…but after approximately two seconds, it is cast away in favour of a louder toy/a toy with more pieces that can scatter everywhere/a toy that is located at the bottom of the toy box and requires said box (and others) to be upturned and spread about the room.
Mathematical rules probably denote that double the children = double the noise and mess. This, however, is inaccurate. The mayhem is quadrupled at least. Add two further toddlers, a baby, three other mums, two non mums and a landlord…and you’ve got yourself quite a hectic day.
Sam had an absolutely brilliant time; he has two friends in particular whom he plays beautifully with, and vice versa. There’s the gorgeous, chatty, self-assured little girl who bosses the others about…but in a nice way; mostly to ensure the boys are fully appreciating their surroundings and are having as good a time as possible. There’s the lovely little boy who has grown to be the most wonderful big brother; already gentle and kind, he now has the confidence and added independence that he has gained by sharing his mum’s attention. Then there’s Sam; the BEST one – obviously. I can’t really distinguish his role in the trio, as to me he is just ‘Sam’, but make no mistake: he is AWESOME.
I rather optimistically decided that the children should make Easter bonnets…a traditional part of Easter in my family, but one which, over time, became less and less relevant; I distinctly remember my aunt wearing a hat she had fashioned to look like a credit card…not exactly in the spirit of Easter, but I think by that time most of us had dropped the bunny/chick/egg theme also.
Our ‘bonnets’ this year were Easter-connected in only the very loosest sense, but the kids seemed to have fun and I felt like I earned some Mum Points through not letting Easter slip by unrecognised. I do a fair bit of crafting with Sam and I really want to put up a huge school-style notice board in our kitchen to document our efforts and add a little colour to our otherwise neutral décor. Does anyone know where I can find such a thing?
One of my friends provided card-making equipment and also face paints…I didn’t get involved in these activities but by the state of Sam’s appearance, he enjoyed both; and didn’t limit his face decoration to just face paints.
We also did an egg hunt in the garden which I knew would be a success after the triumph of last year; when Sam knew immediately what to do, as if he had an innate chocolate-finding sense built in to his DNA. This year was just the same, and it was so lovely to see the friends comparing each other’s collections – swopping a few here and there – taking unwanted leaves out of each others Tupperware tubs (I failed on the basket front!).
I had two other types of treasure hunts up my sleeve but they didn’t quite come to fruition. Maybe another time. I am going to do one tomorrow just for Sam and myself, as I can’t wait until another get together. Here are some of the clues (an insight into our house!):
(All nicely laminated for long-term use!)
My baking beforehand was meant to include some Shredded Wheat chocolately nests with Mini Eggs, but my determination burnt out after creating these masterpieces (an idea which I would like to take credit for, but alas, I cannot):
…..Not Easter themed cupcakes as such, but a bit of a pick-me-up after our wonderful weather gave way to this nuisance rain.
All in all I had a brilliant time. I expect I dented my hitherto up kept reputation of being a quiet, tidy tenant…but who was I to know the landlord would choose that day to come and have another stab at mending Sam’s leaky ceiling?!
We were practically swimming in chocolate, but I didn’t so much as indulge in a sniff all day as I knew I had an 8 piece KFC Bargain Bucket waiting for me in the evening. We generally avoid fast food (apart from at service stations) but I have signed up as a Mystery Shopper and couldn’t pass up the opportunity of a free meal (plus leftovers, plus teeny tiny fee). With glue and feathers all over the kitchen surfaces, we were lucky enough to take refuge at another friend’s house, and she and her daughter kindly helped us with what was mistakenly given to us as a 10 piece bucket. Filling out the online forms took over two full hours when factoring in the computer crashes…but still…a total of £18 in food and pennies meant I deemed the effort worth it.
Even though the added trip out, after such a wearisome day of entertaining his guests, resulted in Sam throwing THE biggest toddler tantrum I have ever witnessed. Bless him; it was a lot to ask in one day.
I am looking for more ideas to add to my Easter traditions…does anyone do anything particularly quirky?