I am a woman on the edge.
It is Frog’s 1st birthday on Monday. Not such a big deal you might think. Well, you’d be wrong.
The thing is, it feels like just last week I was working out how to change a nappy without getting poo on my face, while simultaneously getting to grips with the babygrow’s complicated press-stud system.
And now, here we are. Organising Frog’s birthday party.
And it is just this birthday party which is sending me into the kind of frenzy you wouldn’t have thought possible. I don’t want to be outdone, you see.
So, in an attempt to win at the birthday party (and yes, I realise I’m the only one who cares) I went to the supermarket.
As I was walking around said supermarket I found a strange and terrible thing started happening. Anything even slightly glittery, or plastic, or inflatable, or birthday looking started jumping right off the shelves and into my shopping trolley. By the time I got to the check-out I appeared to have amassed a lorry-load full of tat. Pink, sparkly, birthday tat – but tat all the same.
I have bouncy balls, bags, balloons, bunting, banners, badges, bowls – and that’s just the B’s. I also have paddling pools, sandpits, glittery platters, streamers, cake stands and bubbles. Not to mention the pile of plastic that has an unknown purpose.
And that’s not all.
I went to the garden centre this morning. I bought a hanging basket. That’s right, an actual hanging basket to hang outside my house, to scream, “Welcome to the home of the best 1st birthday party in the world – isn’t this home sweet and quaint and pretty – we win! We win! We win!”
I also bought runner beans, even though the lady at the garden centre told me not to, because it’s “too late” to plant them. Doesn’t she realise I couldn’t give a fig if they grow at all? Doesn’t she realise it’s all just for show – decoration to back up the hanging basket and its web of lies?
The party isn’t until next weekend. That gives me a whole week to bake. That’s right, a whole week. I will NOT be outdone – dammit! There’ll be sausage rolls and quiche and cupcakes and biscuits, all served up in pink and sparkly plastic tat, in front of a backdrop of runner beans and hanging baskets.
Oh yes, I’m going to win – WIN I tell you!
Or at least I would win if I was any good at baking and gardening. But I’m not. No, what I’m really good at is buying pink and sparkly plastic tat from the supermarket and hiding it around the house, rather like I imagine an alcoholic would hide their empty bottles.
So this may not be the best birthday party in Berkshire after all. It may just be, well, rather mediocre.
But at least there’ll be a hanging basket and runner beans – not to mention the piles of pink and sparkly plastic tat.