Tag Archives: children

Pirates & Parties… [Part 1]

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Pirates & Parties… [Part 1] ”]

So as per yearly event, the Child’s party looms once more – and with the introduction to Pirates of the Caribbean this year, in the form of Jack Sparrow in Lego form [on X-box – and NO, not because he’s one of those little TV consumed piglets], the theme had been decided upon reasonably early and had been made up months and months prior to the actual event [how’s that for a 5 year old, to be discussing party details in what? Feb? – bizarre].

As it goes, I unwittingly entered the realm of ‘competitive childrens parties’ some years ago without realising it at all – and believe me when I say it is a very ‘real thing’ that occurs/exists and can be the sole cause for your exclusion to other childrens parties or parental circles… and from what I can tell, the unspoken ‘rules/laws [whatever]’, are as follows:

 

 

  1. Ensuring that your childs party is better than any other childs party Рwhich includes really elaborate party favours, speciality cakes, exclusive  venues (which all equal much money spending and psychotic behaviour Рthe psychotic part comes naturally, however, the money bit, does NOT)
  2. Ensuring that the current event ‘outdoes’ the previous event of same nature… ie, this years party has to be better than last
  3. Try to use a theme that ISN’T currently ‘trending’ so that YOU’RE different…or
  4. If used theme IS trending, make sure you don’t do what EVERYONE else HAS DONE (or YOU’LL become a HAS BEEN)

Anyway… I chose, no wait – the Child chose “Pirates of the Caribbean”, which is unique, because although ‘Pirate Parties’ are trending, my child is the only one who otherwise would have opted for a zombie theme party and proudly, I’m somewhat of a ‘MacGuyver’ when it comes to these sorts of things – only because I don’t have infinite financial resources and because I myself am reasonably ‘resourceful’ – I make the most impact with as little cost as possible, and stun the competitors with my self-made invites and HOMEMADE cake. (of which I take great pride in advising the invited individuals that I made the invites and that I (I, ME, MOI) made the cake, well at least, decorated it).

So with the process having been set in motion, the only thing remaining to do is have the actual event – but in the interim, here are this years invites [unfortunately, and I dare say – I actually forgot about the looming party and had the husband remind me that the invitations needed to be sent out, which I sent out too late, that’s why the date on the invite doesn’t coincide with the actual party date, because I subsequently had to text message all of the invited childrens’ parents – to advise that the date would have to be moved, only because of the ‘lack of attendees’, due to the invite and party falling at such short notice…) As well as the actual invite not meeting with the standards I had previously set for myself, but the Child was thrilled ūüôā

Marriage…A lot like having children [Part II] – “Who Would Have Guessed…”

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I had¬†heard somewhere, that there are specific events in ones life which age you up to ’10 years’ a time. They are listed as deaths, births, moving house and getting married. Well having suffered several losses, one childbirth and roughly 24 house moves, mostly with much household contents, I could never understand how marriage factored into that little ‘saying’.

That is however, until now.

I’ve also heard many a time that having children is not for the faint-hearted. Well, neither is marriage and by comparison, having children is a walk in the park. Having made the decision in January to set the date for July and with what I thought to be ample time for planning and preparation, nothing could have prepared me for myself.

Everything is set and ready to go, in 10 days that is. My second dress fitting is on friday afternoon and it is simply beautiful, my bridesmaid is at my side after her tragic ordeal, all attending friends are excited and waiting anxiously for the big day. The table seating plan, table arrangements and service are all organised and the flowers are ordered and should be ready for collection on friday the 22nd. So what seems to be the problem?

I think the thing about marriage is that we as the human race have decided that everything is disposable and most things in our lives are contract driven –¬†and usually lasting no longer than¬†24-36 months. Everything is in the “here and now” and if you don’t like, you can always get another one, regardless of whether it’s a car, a cellphone or a hobby. But marriage, as the institution would have it, is supposed to be permanent. Forever. Until death you do part. People don’t like being told what to do… so rebellion dictates that as soon as you’ve signed your life to someone, you’re not going to like it.

That’s stupid. Because parents don’t have children on a short-term loan basis, it’s also a life sentence, and somehow they cope. I’ve been with the man for 5 years and never questioned my love or devotion until I decided to set a wedding date! This whole thought process has had me turn from butterlies-in-my-stomach-bride-to-be into the dragon lady and then back again, at least 32 times – to the point where He asked me if I had remembered to take my medication!?! Then I threw a shoe at him. He still loves me [apparently]¬†and¬†hasn’t called the wedding off…

It’s scary to take the big step to make the whole thing ‘official’. Taking on a new surname, making decisions about things -TOGETHER and doing so for the rest of your natural life… My parents have been together for 30 years. Awesome. Has it been easy? NO. I have learnt from them however, that if you have certain fundamental principles in place, then you’re on a good inning. Namely to have trust and respect for one another, to remain honest and open at all times, to communicate effectively and to love unconditionally. When I think of these things, my nerves calm and I stop fretting over having the wrong flowers or not having lost enough weight to look like a skeletal bride.

The question I pose though, is with it being such a very huge decision and ‘lifelong’ undertaking. Why do it if you’re not in it for good? Why are divorce rates so high? Because people treat people &¬†marriage like they treat ‘things’ and ironically treat ‘things’ how they should be treating people. I may have thrown a shoe, but at least we spoke face to face – and when we were done, I hugged him and kissed him all over the face and told him how sorry I was… as he simply shook his head and mumbled something like, “Until your next tantrum”.

Marriage…A lot like having children

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When you’re a young girl, your world is abuzz with fantasies of being a princess, living in a castle and marrying the knight or prince and living happily ever after. You also spend a great deal playing with dolls. The only difference being, that when you have real children – you can’t simply put them away when you’re done ‘playing’ (since that’s deemed as abuse in most countries), besides you can still hear them scream from behind closed cupboard doors. The reality of changing diapers, colic, cleaning up vomit, infinite loads of laundry and sleepless nights are not something you get told about until you’re actually pregnant and start feeling excited about the notion of bringing a part of yourself into the world and the stories are confirmed once the little ‘spawn of self’ arrives and you¬†turn from an excited mother-to-be, into some grey-in-colour, bewildered, crazy person, with a strand of patience the length of a matchstick.

I have since realised that marriage is somewhat shrouded in much the same way. You have these preconceived notions about how wonderous it will be to get married and that it should be ‘perfect’ – even though logic and common sense dictates that you already know, there’s ‘NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT’. But you strive for it nonetheless.¬† You think of it as a day of a beautiful bride who is simply glowing, a groom who sheds a tear at the sight, the happy guests, the stunning venue with the most quaint and unique table arrangements – that really capture the essence and eccentricity of the bride and groom and then after the most wonderous day, they float off on a dreamy honeymoon…

Bulldust.

The bride is simply glowing because she took an all too strong combination of the ‘calming medication’ her mother gave her, accompanied by the champagne the bride has had¬†as an extension¬†of her arm since 10am that morning¬†when she realised the cake that¬†was delivered wasn’t what she’d asked for and the flowers were the wrong darn colour.¬† The groom sheds a tear out of sheer jubilation at the fact that the crazy ‘bridezilla’ is finally walking down the aisle, and the terror and extremist demands should hopefully end within the next 6 hours or so and maybe he can actually ‘get some’, because the crazy woman has been about as loving as Hitler and as attentive as a child with ADHD with a generous dose of ‘ZERO’ rationale.¬†The guests are all happy because it’s not everyday they get treated to a FREE 3 course meal and wine. The table arrangements should look unique and capture some essence, albeit an insight into the dissection of a womans derranged brain. The honeymoon probably won’t be dreamy either – as I for instance with all the stress and worry of everything I have already tried to plan, some things successfully and other not so much… my darling dearest said,

“…since I probably won’t find the right place or you’ll find something to complain about, why don’t I just give you my credit card and you organise it…”.¬†

To which I replied,

¬†“…NO, because through all of this, I think it’s only fair that you actually do something…”.

Strangely only about 3 or 4 months before the wedding, just as in my pregnancy¬†–¬†did all the horror stories from past brides begin to¬†surface and¬†seep through the cracks of my perfect vision. It was also at that stage where I noticed things were not quite as they should be. For instance the flowers I had planned on apparently would not¬†be in season, much to the denial of the florist whom I had consulted. The dressmaker forgot to actually cut the pattern or make the dress for my first actual fitting (which is on monday) and certain delegated tasks, I’ve established have not been executed as other individuals don’t seem to have the same sense of urgency –¬†I was also reprimanded by said individual for being crazy and acting stupid and that they can’t wait for the wedding to be over and done with.

In my defense… I have an idea for the table arrangements that apparently only I can see, a¬†dress that I designed in photoshop by ‘cutting and pasting’ roughly bits from 4 or 5 other dresses, a bridesmaid who is MIA and boss who won’t sign my leave form due to the fact that I don’t have a replacement for all of a week. I was stressed last week, but once my stomach ulcer started to flare up and my head was met by a neverending migraine… I decided dying over it may not be an option – and that firstly, the universe has a mysterious way of sorting itself out and secondly, sometimes the harder you try to get things to go the way you want them to, the more they’ll tend to bug out. So, take a deep breath – approach a wedding like you would children. Know that no matter how much you expect them to behave and act like you know they should… they won’t – but as long as you came prepared for everything from chocolate milk spills to dirty diapers, it may not be as you’d imagined – but at least it’ll be funny.

So please as friends and family alike. As¬†wrong as it is to scare someone into not having children or getting married, I do think it only fair that they be forwarned – that it¬†WILL BE¬†stressful, tiring and test all human levels of endurance, patience and the boundaries of love, as I’ve learnt with my child – it was all worth it in the end. As I’m sure what I’m feeling now will dissipate and my wedding day will be just¬†as I’ve always imagined¬†ūüôā