Today was Lolly's last minute, thrown together tiny birthday party. I really did intend to throw her a big bash, like I did on Fifi's 3rd Dora the Explorer party, but this year, with panto the week before, and packing for America the week after, I just didn't have time. So I invited just the smallest group of kids I could manage (only the kids her exact age from toddler group), meaning there were only 7 kids total, including Fifi and Lolly. Five three year olds and two 5 year olds (the siblings).
I thought it would be rather relaxed that way.
To be honest, it wasn't bad. But hosting in your home is always stressful, with all the friendly chatting, food preparing, drink serving, and overall managing that needs to be done. So the first half of the party I spent jumping back and forth between trying to be social with my guests in the living room and keeping on top of the food in the kitchen. Scott helped get drinks out and served to everyone, which helped loads. But it was still wild with kids running everywhere, particularly into the kitchen asking for food and drinks. So we did the food thing early. I set out a blanket in the living room (knowing in my heart there would be disaster, but what else could I do?) for the kids to eat on, then we did the birthday cake first so they could eat the cake with their food. (I've never understood this thing they do over here of cutting the cake, wrapping it in a napkin and sending it home in the party bag... bizzaro if you ask me. And messy.)
We went with star-shaped cupcakes this year instead of a cake for the sake of ease, and because the cupcakes fit in with the Dora theme (estrellas! and all). So I arranged a few on a platter for blowing out the candles and then we set one of those celebration firecracker Roman Candle sort of candles on top of the cupcake tower for effect. Scott carried the cupcake tower, and I carried the cupcake platter out and we all sang happy birthday.
Except we barely got past the first Happy Birthday to You when...
The Roman Candle cupcake fell off the top of the tower, landed on the floor, and kept shooting off it's sparks.
Right into my new cream carpet.
Obviously there was no way for Scott to catch it bare-handed. I mean, this celebration candle sends off firecracker flames literally a foot and a half high in the air. So all he could do was reach down as quickly as possible and get it off the floor.
By which point a black hole had already burnt its way through my carpet.
It was all I could do not to cry. After the song ended, and Lolly blew out the candles on her little cake, I got down on my hands and knees and cleaned up the (blue, of course) icing off the carpet and investigated the burn. Everyone was watching me, all probably feeling my pain (in fact, I heard Maria say if it was her, she'd be crying). But I managed not to cry. I just went back into the kitchen to regain my composure.
From then on, people kept telling me how it wasn't that bad and how it could be fixed, but I just couldn't listen. From that moment on, I had a hard time focusing on my precious baby's party. We still had fun though, don't get me wrong. We had a pinata and the kids had great fun trying to bust it open. I think I may have had the most fun as I violently bashed it over and over, releasing a whole lot of tension in the process.
The party was still a success, and Lolly had a ball. She loved all of it, and loved her presents too. The cleanup afterwards was a bitch, but that's children's parties for you! Now I'm sitting in a freshly hoovered living room, and Scott managed to cut away most of the black bits of the burn so now it's just a brown singed smear, so I'm not feeling as distraught as before. But I think I will maybe never have another party in the house ever again. Sports Centres and community halls from here on out.
(What's left of the 'carpet burn'. Not too bad. Annoying, but nothing like it was before Scott cut away all the black.)