When I asked Eleanor a few weeks ago what she'd like to do for her 5th birthday she excitedly jumped up and down and declared she'd like one of those parties at the indoor padded climbing places.
I was OK with that..... until we took up pad and pen and started to write an invitation list - it hit 45 names before I called a halt to proceedings. All the while she was reeling off the names of her chums in Foundation Stage, I was mentally clocking up said number by £7.95 per head, plus the nightmare of handing out invitations and co-ordinating replies.
I'm a good Mum, but I'm not that good.
After sitting her down and explaining that there were too many people we struck a deal that maybe it would be too large and because everybody does these sorts of parties, it would be just like all the others and that maybe she should do something extra special just for her BEST friends.
So, just as my Mum had had done for me as a child in the 70s, she had her best friends over for three hours on her birthday for a playdate and birthday tea. Lots of bouncing on the castle in the garden, arts and crafts creations for them to make and take home and a birthday tea in the garden in the blazing sun.
With a giant chocolate fudge cake baked by Daddy and decorations in the form of pink and lilac smarties adorning the entire surface, her day was complete. ('Operation Girlie Smarties' was aptly performed by me and Joshua spending 20 minutes sifting through the smarties bin at the Woolworths pick'n'mix the day before - how we managed to pull it off without being accosted by a store detective suspecting us of foul play on the sweetie stall I'll never know).
Happy 5th Birthday Eleanor!