Last week, my eldest daughter turned 9. (For the avoidance of doubt, she received neither an iPad, an iPhone, nor a laptop. Not for any specific moral reasons, simply because she – and my bank balance – needs an iPhone like a fish needs a bicycle.)
I cannot believe that on her next birthday, she will be in double figures. The years between now and her birth have picked me up and spun me in a tiny tornado of motherhood.
The love that I feel for my little girls is incomparable to any other. I remember being astounded after India was born at the physical sensation that it produced within me: the drag and tug of maternal love in my chest caused simply by the thought of her.
To celebrate her birthday, India wanted a party that was arty and crafty. We veer towards these types of parties, as it tends to keep the kids occupied and on-task, as opposed to hyped to the eyeballs and flitting about like Kate Bush in Wuthering Heights.
Having learnt my lesson early when it comes to opening your front door to a flood of mini-Kates, mid-sugar rush, I usually insist that we travel to the location of said parties. However, this year we broke with tradition, and booked the fabulous Fiona Burn from The Creation Station. And may I just say, what a wonderful plan that was. The credit for the ‘perfect’ nature of said party is due in no way whatsoever to me; instead, it lies entirely with the aforementioned Fabulous Fiona.
We had already experienced a Creation Station party when the girls went to their cousin, Pippa’s, back before Christmas, and it is a well-oiled machine of an event.
Fiona arrived 45 minutes early to set-up, and I had cleared floor space in our dining room to accommodate her. She then proceeded to childproof all surroundings by protecting the floor, and by the time the children arrived, Fiona was good to go.
Each child was clad in a Creation Station apron, music was provided, and they decorated photo frames and made air-drying clay models. The entire schedule ran to the minute, and my husband took a photo of the kids. We printed this off to go in their frames as a keepsake, and ushered them through to wash hands before eating lunch.
During all of this, we sat in the kitchen reading the paper (I KNOW! DURING A 9TH BIRTHDAY PARTY!) and enjoying the morning (I KNOW! DURING A 9TH BIRTHDAY PARTY!)
Just after the kids finished eating, parents arrived and collected their kiddiwinks, and we packed them off at 1.15pm with the Creation Station party bags that they’d decorated themselves and filled with their goodies.
By 2pm, we’d tidied up and left the house (I KNOW!) I cannot recommend it highly enough!
First published in The Portsmouth News, Tuesday 17th February 2015