Saturday, 17 November 2007

Happy 1st Birthday Ollie Dumpie!

I am sure I'm not the first mother to bring this point up, but why oh why is a mother not lauded as Queen and Goddess every year when her offspring have birthdays? Shouldn't it be WE who receive presents and get spoiled within an inch of our lives? I mean, the child has done absolutely nothing but be born, yet guaranteed a mother went to hell and back delivering that child and has the scars/stretchmarks/post-traumatic syndrome to prove it.

I think these thoughts whilst surveying the remnants from Ollie Dumpie's 1st birthday party last night. There is dried vanilla frosting absolutely everywhere – ground into the carpets, on furniture and even a smidgeon plastered to the side of Dumpie's head behind his ear. Since the little man is still, well little, I decided to bake him a dozen vanilla cupcakes – the better to demolish them with his round little mouth and grabby fingers. I wasn't wrong. He clambered off the sofa when Egg and Auntie Mo came in bearing a huge plate of lit cupcakes, singing Happy Birthday and trying not to ignite egg's silky pageboy hair.

Dumps was especially fascinated by the giant number 1 sparker (thanks Grandma for that – for all birthday paraphenelia come to think of it!) and made quick work of pulling out all the candles (once Egg had spat – I mean blown – out the candles for his wee brother) and handing them to his devoted admirers. Grandpa got the first one, Auntie Kenz got not one but two, and the next few were tossed over his shoulder as he decided to get busy on the more interesting business of demolishing a dozen giant frosted cupcakes. He did not disappoint.

If you wonder where his father was in all this, well uncharacteristically (for Jay is never one to miss a party…and is often to be found in the hosts kitchen whittering away happily over a glass of scotch whilst his host makes obvious yawning sounds and stretches and comments how it's going to be light soon) he was absent. Poor Dada was lying immobile upstairs in bed, greyish tinted and moaning about being unwell, while half-heartedly watching telly from underneath two duvets.

It has to be said that 'Mama' was not terribly pleased with the situation given that 'Dada' had been unwell that morning and she had advised that he stay home and take it easy instead of going into work and maintaining his pristine work attendance record. (Apparently his colleagues are always taking days off when unwell but not my man – he goes in sick no matter what. He even went into work the day after a knee operation last year when he could barely walk. Any potential employers take note – my man is there for the taking if you value old-fashioned work ethics.)

Anyway, somehow I've gone off-topic here, but the point is that Ollie Dumpie had a lovely little family birthday, with his beloved Grandpa in attendance (who he shows more and more resemblance to as the days go by), two adoring Aunties who spoiled him rotten, a big brother who looked lovingly on during the proceedings and insisted on giving him two presents (two of his own toys), and an exhausted but happy Mama.

I still say though, that I should have been ensconced on the most comfortable seat in the room, being fed peeled seedless grapes, having a neck massage and draped in newly purchased cashmere. I am the one who a year ago wished for death rather than continue in labour. I am the one who moaned and screamed so loudly from our little first floor bathroom (where the illustrious 'Dumps' first made his appearance on this earth) that I put the fear of God in our nasty downstairs bachelor neighbour in the middle of the night, and I am the one who surveyed her newly mutilated body the next morning while shaking my head slowly thinking of the thousands of sit-ups which would be required to put my tummy to rights.

Think about it. You know I'm right.

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