Christmas is over already
By Friday evening, my eyeballs were staying in their sockets by sheer habit and through my accidental blast in the face with loo freshener instead of in the direction of the particular loo that needed the freshening.
The weekend had not even started, and already my body and brain was 'over' the whole Christmas celebration thing. The two days looming ahead filled me with about as much excitement and anticipation as a yearly pap-smear appointment full of student doctor onlookers.
And yet, somehow, by 4pm, the little kid in me started to emerge. I started to feel, well, kind of excited. No, not in a naughty "Oh err, how's your mother, Vicar" way, but in a "Goody goody gumdrops, it's going to be fun tonight and there's not too many sleeps to go until the big day...."
Naturally, when Sapphire (aged 7) and Love Chunks (39) arrived at our be-decked workplace a couple of hours later, the party was in almost full swing. Food, kids, decorations, drinks, adults and the conversation was changing from shy pleasantries to good old Aussie shit-slinging which serves for familiarity and respect.
By 10:30pm, the decorations were being worn around necks like feather boas, the ground was covered in chalk drawings and guacamole had been trowelled on as an experimental cement under the kitchen counter. But enough of the children - the adults were either busy cleaning up (god bless that particular breed of party guest who, no longer eighteen and eager to drink themselves into bush-puking stage, instead gather and clean up bottles and glasses like locusts on tour) or the adults were becoming rosier cheeked, more willing to put their arms around previously un-met partners of work buddies and pose for photographs with their tongues out and eyes partly closed.
It was time for us three to leave, but only because we were due at Sapphire's tennis coaching park at 7am in the morning to BBQ bacon and egg muffins for the rest of the parents and kids we had befriended there. Beautiful, organised, gorgeous, culinary, talented Love Chunks did the lot - the planning, buying, packing, unpacking and cooking. All I was required to do was drive the two minutes back home to fetch a couple of forgotten sharp knives, praying all the way that the police wouldn't pick me up and, if they did, NOT be concerned about my nervous tic and my honest statement that "I want to go and be with the children..." whilst the Wiltshire Stay Sharps were glinting in full display on the passenger seat.
Food galore - Rocky and Ali brought along their special Columbian coffee blend and home-made chocolate mousses; Grant made pancakes and sloshed a bit of champers about; Trish and Rob did the obligatory sausages, sauce and bread, and Father of Four (as at only two days ago for the fourth one) found some Christmas tree-shaped Corn chips to share around. This breakfast naturally segued into lunch....
After which, I took Sapphire to her friend Selene's birthday party at the local pool for three hours. Her mother, Rachel, is committed to promoting organic foods, so the party fare was popcorn, fresh cherries, organic liquorice and pretzels. The kids loved it - mostly because they were in the water the entire time and not about to waste precious dunking, arm-farting and water spitting time eating. They only surfaced to grab their take home party bags - also laden with PC foodstuffs and hand-made Indian glass marbles.
Two of Sapphire's little mates Margot and Lucinda were also under my care, poor things. As a 'Helper Mum' my role was to regularly patrol the middle-sized and big pools to make sure that all 21 guests (ie the entire year one class) were having fun or at the very least, still breathing. Let's just say that I chattered away to fellow parents until I lost my voice and then praised God under my breath that all three girls miraculously appeared at my side when it was 6pm and home time.
Saturday night was spent in front of a DVD of 'Black Books' with a glass of Baileys and Love Chunks. Perfect.
Sunday was time to be up and ON again - a run with Dogadoo at 7am and the annual family get together for lunch. This event is now designed so that we cousins, aunts, uncles, new partners and various children and grand children are forced to remember that we are related to each other. Friendly canines were invited as well, so Dogadoo got to play with Robbie the exuberant kelpie who liked to bark at birds in the trees, and Katie, the shy ugg-boot with a tongue.
Sapph busied herself with her second cousins, Love Chunks played cricket under the gum trees with the rest of the males aged from 2 to 65 and us mothers glued ourselves to the deckchairs with food and drink only an arm's reach or a sharp order to a child away. A rather nice way to do things - bring your own lunch so that no-one had to sit starving and resentfully waiting for cousin Eff and Fred to rock up with the entrees two hours late or have to debate what bowls to serve the warmed pudding in or whose turn it was to dry the dishes before offering to make cups of tea. A sunburned neck at the end of the day wasn't too much of a price to pay.
However - and this is where my Bah HumBug emerges and the little excited girl is stabbed to death in an Anti-Christmas frenzy - I've now had enough. ENOUGH.
- We've been to Sapphire's school concert
- Run an end-of-year Christmas fund-raising stall
- Attended the Steiner Summer Celebration lunch run by Sapph's class
- Coordinated fresh picked cherry orders as an additional fund-raiser for the school
- Supplied three different plates of party food for Sapphire for three separate occasions
- Decorated the office
- Scrubbed the years of bird turds from the outdoor chairs outside of the office
- Somehow successfully dressed her as a sailor and the Moon In the Night Sky for two different concerts
- Done pizzas for karate's end of 2006 classes....
But wait, that's not all, there is still:
- Wrapping presents;
- Dinner or lunch with the Gregory Five (who we love love love);
- Getting our new shed built and up before Christmas;
- Discovering (only yesterday) that what Sapphire really, truly only wants is a turbo-charged water gun like the one she saw cousin Jack blasting at Grandpa and finding out that K-Mart, BigW, Toy World and Myer are all sold out of them;
- Catching up with Love Chunks' side of the family;
- Planning Christmas lunch and dinner (at our place);
- Running the Boxing Day catch up (our place, with family members committed to their spouses's families on the 25th);
- Being in Victor Harbor when the older brother and spouse arrive for NYE....
And we only have the one child. Maybe Christmas 2007 we three will go to outer-Afghanistan with an empty diary and no commitments. Yeah and Paris Hilton will win the Nobel Peace Prize and John Howard will be forced to resign over a sordid sex scandal......