Thursday, September 16, 2010

Snappy September - Day Sixteen - Ladies Only

Poor old Love Chunks was shown the door.

"Dad, thanks for all your help getting all the ingredients and tins down from the top cupboard and everything, but it's an afternoon tea party for ladies, so, um, can you find something else to do?"

Grabbing his tennis racquet to join his mate Daniel for a couple of hours of bashing and crashing he did so, vowing that he'd keep his tears of sorrow and betrayal repressed and hidden until he returned home after her party.

Sapphire had been planning it for weeks. The invitations were sent out saying (in fancy floral lettering she'd found on the 'net and all her words): 'You are cordially invited to join me for an afternoon tea on Sunday at 2.30pm sharp. Refreshments will be provided and fancy dress is mandatory.'

There were tea cups, doilies, sprigs of lavender, individualised place cards, fresh flowers and the ancient bird-poo splattered chairs were hidden under some crepe paper. Even Milly, as a furry female attendee, had to match the decor of the day:

Sapphire had collected recipes and road-tested her final selections last weekend, deciding on Grandma's cup cakes, my old Golden Circle Cookie Book melting moments and the raspberry slice clipped from Better Homes and Gardens.

When tennis finished on Saturday morning the rest of the day was spent blending, rolling, baking, icing, slicing, cleaning and styling. Love Chunks and I left her to it; allowing ourselves to be summoned whenever something was indecipherable ('Mum, what does Grandma mean here?') or out of reach ('Dad are the sprinkles up on the top shelf there behind the polenta?'). I could literally see the spirit and DNA of my own mother in motion as my daughter sang, ticked things off her 'to do' list and called out every now and then with, "Hey Mum, take a look at this!"

Finally, Sunday afternoon arrived. With ten minutes to spare, I put the kettle on (raspberry tea, green tea and peppermint were the order of the day) and the hostess placed Chopin on replay on the iPod docking station before taking a moment to reflect and remind me that I'd promised to wear a skirt and some mascara and should hurry up and do so.

Love Chunks rang my mobile. "I just hope she realises that her friends might not notice all the work she's done and that she should just enjoy it and not worry too much," he fretted.

The guests - sorry, Ladies - had arrived. Juliet looking as if she was ready for Ladies Day at Flemington racecourse; Tara about to take her poodle for a walk along Fifth Avenue in the 1930s, Phoebe to teach 'The Wind in the Willows' to her Edwardian school class and Sarah ready to belt out a song in a seedy Berlin nightclub. They'd all gone to such an effort but would they let me take a photo of them at the start? No!

It was only at the very end - all high on sugar and life, I was allowed to snap them with shoes off, smeared lipstick and big grins on their beautiful faces.

As instructed, I kept a very low profile and meddled not at all but couldn't have been more proud of her.


Elisabeth said...

The joys of playing ladies, and all the effort that goes into it. No wonder you're proud, Kath. They look wonderful.

franzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
franzy said...

Elisabeth - I completely agreeer umI HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

But may I say, without a word of jest: GAWJUSS!

Kath Lockett said...

She's so much like my mother it amazes me, Elisbeth - all that clever planning and pretty stuff completely skipped a generation

Thanks Franz. I keep telling Sapphire it's why I pat and kiss Milly so much - it's to stop me from doing it to her (which she gets sick of far quicker than the dog does).

River said...

Don't they all look gorgeous! And the cakes too, well done there Sapphire.
I can see you asking Sapph. to cater all your future dinner parties, Kath.

Kath Lockett said...

That's the plan, River, that's the plan. She and Love Chunks can team up and I'll be 'front of house' !

Lorna Lilo said...

How very civilised, I'm very impressed.

mele said...

It's great that she has friends who think her creativity is good and allow her to express it without fear or judgement. Having a mum and a Dad who get into the spirit of things (even though it's not their thing particularly) because they love you is amazing parenting. Sounds simple but not a lot of people do it. Maybe that's where the confidence to express herself comes from?

Let me know, I'm taking notes for charlie...he is like an AFL FOOTBALLER HE MAN. *Arty, gentle parents puzzled*

Deep Kick Girl said...

Not much to say except: aaaaahhhhh, your little girl is growing up. Just gorgeous!

Kath Lockett said...

Lorna it was rather civilised but the sugar did hit halfway through and it sort of degenerated into toe nail painting, running around and incessant giggling - all good.

Thanks Mele. Re Charlie - isn't it surprising to note how (mostly) toddler girls and toddler boys differ so greatly? I remember seeing Sapphire gently pluck some petals off a daisy bush and stare at them intently whilst her daycare buddy Ben found a palm frond and wacked the daisy bush with it!

DK Girl, yeah..... Still it's nice to know that she still cracks up at a good fart joke (especially if it's her own).

Helen said...

Wow, she's a very talented girl! And now I want a tea party. Feel like shipping her across to cater?

I'm really glad she seems to have resolved her friend-troubles, she's looking very happy. And I think giggles and toenail painting are important activities, regardless of the occasion!

ThirdCat said...


Nicole said...

Just delightful Kath!