Yesterday morning was quite exciting. Tiny Miles is accustomed to being plopped on a beanbag in the bathroom each morning while Helpdesk Man and I shower; recently, he has taken to sitting on the floor instead, playing with the snortlepig’s Noah’s Ark. It keeps him happy.
Sadly, for the last few days Miles’ usually benevolent personality has been switched with that of a manic demon hellspawn who thinks the floor is lava. So yesterday, as we washed, he howled. (Interjection: I think there’s a rat in the ceiling. I can hear it oosing about. Should I have a more constructive response to this than going “Huh, there’s a rat in the ceiling?”) And suddenly, the shower curtain heaved and the front two-thirds of Miles plopped, wailing bitterly, into the shower - which, due to a drainage/water pressure imbalance, was as usual three inches deep in water.
I rescued him from a soggy grave - though not, regrettably, before panicking and screaming “AAAHHH, HE’S IN THE SHOWER!” in the manner of a horror movie ditz. Then I decided I was clean enough, and joggled him on the bathmat for some time, kissing his wet head, until he became tranquil once more. Then we changed his onesie, and decided that from now on, he can bally well have a nap while we wash.
So that was fun. (I think there are a passel of rats up there. Or one practicing the Virginia Reel.)
Also, it’s the pig’s fourth birthday in a few weeks. It will be quite the event. Until now, I have cunningly avoided the horror that is children’s parties by inviting our families and mostly adult friends to a picnic in the public gardens. But this year, in a fit of Pinterest-fuelled domesticity, I decided it would be fun to do the real thing. Small children, cupcakes, games in the orchard, balloons by the gate.
I am now regretting it, and we haven’t even sent the invites yet. But on the bright side, after a whole year of pondering, I have decided what I’m going to do for the birthday cake.
It will be a large, flat, rectangular cake, covered in green coconut to look like grass, with a hill at one end. On the flat bit I will make a lake, with jelly, and some ducks if I can figure out how to wangle them (fondant, I guess?). There will also be meringue mushrooms and possibly cupcake shrubs; I haven’t worked out the details yet. Then there will be a path, made maybe of praline or caramel popcorn, or chopped nuts, although that’s probably not such a good idea for little kids, is it? - a path, anyway, leading to the top of the hill, on which I will have made a gingerbread castle. Or maybe a sugar cookie one, if they hold up - I’ll have to experiment. I’ve only ever made one gingerbread house, when I was about thirteen, and it collapsed, so I have some research to do.
Anyway; could be fun, no? I thought the castle could somehow incorporate those wafer stick things with the chocolate and vanilla stripes, like barber’s poles. Perhaps. Or not. And I can pipe pink around the windows and things. I’m tempted to go all out with a hedge-maze and a cutout bit at the back of the hill showing dwarves delving, and possibly some dungeons; but one should not get carried away. I have the rest of the party to plan. (Fairy bread! One of the best foods ever.)
So does anyone know any games suitable for 2-5-year-olds? Nothing too competitive; I don’t want to deal with the angst. I thought an egg and spoon race might be kind of fun, but I can see it ending badly… maybe a treasure hunt in the orchard? (By which I mean, “Kids, there are lollies hidden between here and here; don’t lick the electric fence”, not a hunt with actual clues. Given the snortlepig’s recent attempts at I Spy with colours, I think that might be beyond her.)
Also, I will be spending from now until the 17th making presents. We got a bookshelf off Freecycle I need to sand and paint; she went into raptures recently over a Snow White costume a girl in the supermarket wore, and my mother-in-law lent me a pattern to sew one; the summer quilt top is inching towards completion; and I have her bedroom curtains, fabric-covered pinboard and ruffly tablecloth in various stages of doneness, as well as vague plans to make her a proper nightlight. Ack.
(Rats seem to have gone. OK. Whatever.)