The misfortune of the handsome shirt

A 10am kick off for a kid’s birthday party was always going to be something of a challenge for us this weekend. Not least because Super Daddy was out for ‘a few’ last night but also the ‘lost hour’ from last weekend hasn’t yet caught up with the nippers and we’re all getting lie-ins beyond 7 o’clock (bliss).

We did however make it out the door by half past nine, treat little monster smartly dressed in his self titled ‘handsome shirt’ with a smidgen of Daddy’s hair fudge for reworkable style and little princess duly following along since I’d promised her a malteaser cake at the soft play whilst her brother partied. Daddy was chauffeured to the local gym first for a spot of sponsored cycling (regretting those few last night) and then we were off on our merry way.

We took the twisty windy road for quickness as we probably should have left ten minutes earlier than we did, unhealthy but hey. With 6 minutes left until the commencement of party central, and a fifteen minute drive still to go, the little man pipes up from the back seat “Mummy, can you slow down please, I’m going to be sick.” I took a glance in the rear view and saw he was chalk white. Less than ten seconds later and we were in Barfsville, which for those in the know is just down from Puke Alley and round the corner from Vomit Lane.

“Aw, big guy!” I exclaimed, my heart going out to him as I looked on helplessly from the front whilst his sister made gagging noises and retching gestures as she frantically fumbled with the button to slide her window down beside him in the back.

“My handsome shirt.” he whimpers.

Swiftly followed by “can we still go to the party?!”

Certainly his colour had returned to his usual healthy ruddiness of the cheeks, and as a bad car traveller myself I knew it was the journey that had made him sick and not some contagious bug that would see me fall out of favour with all of the nursery mums if we did indeed spread the love at the party.

Trouble was, we stopped travelling without the usual kit and caboodle of a suitcase sized changing bag sometime ago. The depths of my handbag offered some hope however and a clean pair of trousers and a pack of baby wipes were successfully located. No replacements for the handsome shirt however. We had a problem.

Delicately peeling his sick-soaked shirt from him whilst we were haphazardly parked by the roadside, I weighed up our three options. The little monster was either going to the party bare chested, wearing his sisters cropped denim jacket or I was taking an emergency shopping trip on route to the party we were already late for.

If we’d wanted to stop for an eye test, a sandwich or a browse in a book store as we drove along the high street, we’d have been just fine, boys clothes aged 3-4 however, nada. My last hope was a mini retail park just on the outskirts of the town. We were already beyond fashionably late for the party anyway.

And there to our joy was a Peacocks. Not convinced they stocked kid’s clothes I set about exploring its wares with gusto, wondering whether my boy would be emotionally scarred if I had to fashion him a top from a ladies size 8 t-shirt.  Joy reigned however as I stumbled upon a very trendy striped polo shirt number which at six quid did just the trick.

One happy boy, one boisterous soft play party, one scary monster face paint and a quick stop off at the same Peacocks on the way home* and we’d once again started the weekend off in our usual chaotic spectacular style. C’mon on then Sunday, show us what you’ve got!


*No more sicky incidents thankfully, but spotted a few many very cute holiday numbers for the little princess on my earlier fleeting visit. Purse £74 lighter as a result however….

Smug Mum

I’m feeling rather smug after some successful sales shopping today, order no massive bargains to be had on designer handbags or big electrical appliances, order no, no, no. I have well and truly stocked myself up on children’s birthday gifts. Yes, I feel very smug indeed.

Any mum or dad will know just how many party invites come home in school bags over the year. We averaged 3 a month last year between our two and quite frankly the amount spent on ensuring our kids were suitably gifted up to attend  said parties could have bailed out the troubled Eurozone countries.

Not just stopping at gifts, I’ve managed to get gift wrap and generic birthday cards too. How organised am I? No more last minute dashes to Toys R Us on the morning of the party, where nine times out of ten I’d end up spend more than really appropriate on a school friend I only ever see giving his mum backchat in the playground, just because I’m rushing / feeling guilty for not being organised / secretly trying to show we give good gifts . No more.

Yes, I appreciate hosting a kids party these days can require the taking out of a second mortgage and I acknowledge that the parents are kind enough to entertain, feed and fill our kids up with enough E numbers to ensure there’s no bed before 10pm, but surely a birthday gift shouldn’t break the bank.

Gasp. I’m now one of these mums with a birthday present drawer. Never again shall I be caught out by a rogue party invite lurking in the depths of the nursery bag, tucked under nappy sacks filled with wet clothes and three scribbled drawings of the Gruffalo. I’ll just be able to select from my wide array of gifts for girls and boys ranging from aged 3 to 6, wrap it beautifully, and write a tag. I feel serene and calm at the thought.

Now, where did I put the sellotape again?

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