OK, so I am not actually reviewing Piglet’s birthday, but rest assured that if I did, it would be a 10/10 from me.
It felt as though Piglet had already been two years old for several months, since I have been telling people that he is “almost two” for ages. I have also been fretting over his not terribly impressive performance in the competitive world of baby milestones.
“There are babies from my NCT class who KNOW WHEN THEIR BIRTHDAYS ARE!” I have been heard to shriek regularly over the past few weeks. “THEY CAN SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THEMSELVES AND EVERYTHING! PIGLET CAN STILL ONLY SAY “BALL” AND IDENTIFY SOME ANIMAL NOISES, AND EVEN THEN, HE’S NOT 100% CORRECT!”
I keep telling myself that I am being a ridiculous Competitive Mother, and that children develop at their own pace, and anyway, it’s a known fact that Einstein never uttered a word until he was at least fourteen, or something like that, so I once read on the Interwebs.
Anyway, Piglet, utterer of “ball,” maker of animal noises (the cat is a particular favourite) and all round Best Toddler in the Universe* has turned two. And what a day it was. My mother, as befits any event involving anything more taxing than putting the washing out (and even that is quite stressful) was extremely stressed for over a week previously, worrying that it would all be rained off (we watched the Countryfile long range forecast very carefully last week) and twenty five people including several small children would be let loose on her kitchen. Then the anxiety levels went sky high when my brother, who was supposed to be driving us to the venue, found that his car wouldn’t start on several occasions , including on the morning of Piglet’s birthday.
I, meanwhile, mooched around the house all morning making a few sandwiches and trying out my DIY skills or lack thereof on one of Piglet’s birthday presents, a toy car transporter which was helpfully screwed into its packaging with actual metal screws. Let’s just say that despite some promising early indications that this would turn out to be conclusive proof that I am a Capable Woman who can use a screwdriver effectively, as I managed to unscrew the front driver’s cab part from its moorings, the rest of the toy is still firmly attached to its base. Thanks for that John Lewis.
We finally headed off during the afternoon to Blaise Castle, a location beloved of my own childhood and remembered with misty-eyed fondness as the location of that most sought after of children’s attractions, a mini railway. Sadly, the mini railway is no longer there, but it does boast a rather fabulous play area, museum and, on this particular day, a fair which included a carousel with this bus, which Piglet quickly became particularly attached to.
Now you may notice that Piglet is on the bus on his own. This is because as yet I still have few friends in the local area, let alone friends with children of a similar age. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the number is so low as to be basically zero, so there were only a handful of other children at the party, and with the exception of one friend that Piglet has made at nursery (for all his lack of vocabulary, he is clearly better at making friends than me) they were all related to us. However, that did not stop me from polishing my Public Badge of Good Motherhood by attempting some party bags for those children that were in attendance.
This is where my shout out to Party Bags and Supplies comes in, as they kindly provided us with a set of eight party bags (reader, we had a few spares) and some additional party supplies. There was a mind-boggling array of themes to choose from, including Paw Patrol, which we have only just discovered, not being avid watchers of Channel 5 unless they are broadcasting some shizzle with a name like “World’s Most Deadly Tornadoes,” in which case Channel 5 me up, everyone loves a good tornado. However, I went for the safe option of Thomas and Friends (despite my misgivings about the not terribly progressive nature of the Isle of Sodor) as I suspected that this would be Piglet’s choice if he was old enough to make one without getting confused and shaking his head whilst answering in the affirmative, as he is weirdly keen on steam trains, and frequently shouts at BBC4 when one chuffs into view during documentaries on How Steam Revolutionised British Life in the 1800s (that is the sort of stuff we watch in our house. I can’t get enough of it. Give me Trainspotting Live, or Canal Walks with Julia Bradbury over anything on BBC1 or ITV. I am officially an elderly man).
I have to say the tablecloth was particularly welcomed given that we were having a picnic. Here’s a shot of it in action.
You can also see the party bags pictured here, which contained various bits of Thomas and Friends paraphernalia, including a whistle, which Piglet was particularly keen on, and also educational as he now knows how to blow it, having been taught to do so this morning by yours truly (proud mummy moment, albeit one I may live to regret), a set of train tickets to various destinations on the fair Isle of Sodor (which my mother was disappointed to learn is not a real place), a kaleidoscope and a few other bits and bobs which you can see pictured here.
I was disappointed that there was no food therein, however as they were sent through the post I can see why this was. In my attempt to wear my Public Badge of Good Motherhood with pride, I added a piece of Piglet’s fantastic birthday cake which my cousin’s wife kindly made specially for the occasion, a chocolate (badge may be removed by parents who were hoping to have a healthier option), raisins and the obligatory balloon. At least that was how I remembered children’s party bags from the last time I received one around 1988. Hopefully they haven’t now gone all ridiculous and it isn’t now the done thing to put in fancy gold-plated helium balloons, or the keys to a luxury pedal car, or my name will be mud, and my badge firmly confiscated. The main thing was, Piglet seemed to enjoy them. Even if I did quietly steal his extra slice of birthday cake. Got to keep that Public Badge of Good Motherhood polished, and too many sweet treats would never do.
*This may not be an entirely unbiased opinion.
I was given the party bags and supplies in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.