Birthday week

14 March 2010

If anyone is wondering why I haven’t blogged for over a week, here’s why :):

Lucy had her first birthday in France this last week. As with all childrens’ birthdays, this is not a straight forward one-day event, but one that extends over a certain period of time, say a couple of months at least. The first phase is always the run up to the birthday, mounting excitement and discussions about where and how to celebrate. This starts rather early with Lucy, we have been discussing various options since January. The tension is starting to increase some weeks before the actual birthday,  the final decision on how to celebrate has to be made. This year, we booked an afternoon of indoor climbing in Le Mur de Lyon, a climbing hall very close to where we live, and very good. Linus climbs there every Monday. So with that organised, we had to design appropriate invites, always important too. Oh, once I had booked the party, Rolf told me he would be in London that weekend. Not nice for me, but this year Lucy had not invited 16 children to her party as in previous years, so the thing was going to be manageable. That was the first phase covered.

We entered the second phase last weekend with only two nights to go until the actual birthday! More planning to do. Lucy wanted to take cakes to school for everybody. This means that we had to have cakes for her French class of 27, her English class of 12 and her FLE class of about 10 children, plus teachers.  And this was our birthday week schedule:

Monday night

The night before the big day,  first batch of those little cakes for French class. Getting Lucy’s presents sorted for the morning, organising flowers for the birthday table – an important tradition in our family. This year I made some out of napkins. Lucy loves those paper flowers.


Tuesday morning:  7:15 sharp we were ready to congratulate Lucy. This had taken some effort on Lucy’s behalf, she ensured that even Linus was there, half awake and barely able to see or sing, but he was there physically! First telephone calls for Lucy and first round of presents.

Tuesday night: birthday dinner for Lucy – Pizza and Orangina, lots of telephone calls.


More birthday wishes arriving in the post. More baking for school, second batch of cakes


More gifts in the post, present from a friend in Lyon. Forgot the cakes at home. ARRGHH


Manic shopping for party on Saturday, sweets and drinks, fruit and nibbles. Took the cakes to school and was informed by my daughter after school that I hadn’t made enough. The FLE teacher actually had to half the cakes to make them last for ALL FLE children in Lucy’s year. Will have to bake about 40 more next year….


THE BIG PARTY DAY. Made party boxes (the ones we had did not meet Lucy’s standards) from 8am til about 9.30 in the morning. Filled them with sweets. Had a gut feeling that I should make a birthday cake. Ignored this feeling because the climbing place were going to supply the cake and drinks. Got on with the preparations and took Lucy to violin class. Lucy so excited she couldn’t play properly.

14:00: start of the party. All climbing, having fun.

15:20: cake and drinks time. Various multilingual versions of ‘Happy Birthday‘ for Lucy – Spanish, English, German. That was really sweet. Cake awful, tasting of hair shampoo according to one girl. Blast, should have listened to my instinct and made a perfect birthday cake this morning! Never mind, decided to improvise and recorded the children’s comments on camera instead which was hilarious. Mental note for the future: Guys who climb for living should not do your catering.

15:45: No point lingering with cake being a disappointment. Off home in the car. Journey home longer than expected: shortcut I wanted to take turned out to be the long way home as one road was blocked by police with dogs, emergency vehicles etc. Must have been some sort of demonstration or emergency or strike action that was probably announced but that I missed in the news. Ooops.

16:00: Party continued at home. Me: wondering whether I should cook some pasta… or make waffles??? Children hungry as birthday cake was so unsatisfactory. Decided to supply healthy snacks like crisps and nuts, chocolate and oh, I threw in fruit too. Children happy. Unwrapping of presents followed by silly games with balloons and pots and blindfoalds, musical bumps and musical statues….

17:00 ish first mum arriving for pick-up. Lovely girl, hadn’t previously met her, so I chatted with her for ages, until next set of parents arrived. Lovely people too! Made tea and we all carried on nattering until about 18:30

18:45 : Two children staying over night. Time for a rest, all kids watching video. Me: cooking dinner.

20:30: After dinner and video with batteries recharged,  total madness with light sabre and paper rolls. Linus having a ball with three girls chasing him around the flat. He thinks he should own a light sabre too (this one is Sophie’s), because it will be a super way to attract a girl if he should ever want to have a girlfriend. Not sure about this myself. I wouldn’t have chased Rolf had he carried a light sabre all those light years ago when I first met him, I think. But then, I don’t know what kind of girl Linus would try to attract….

22:20: children volunteering to go to sleep, the girls actually kicked Linus out. Thank goodness. Peace, quiet. But it’s been a great day and they all enjoyed themselves. Including me!

And that’s it, I think we have again successfully mastered the birthday week. Oh, only one thing missing. That will be the thank you notes. But that will be a walk in the park. I am considering doing this by email…

Have a wonderful Sunday, I hear the girls chatting, so I will get up now, it’s time to make pancakes…

3 Responses to “Birthday week”

  1. birgefamily Says:

    Here is a late little birthday thingy for Lucy – hope she likes it

  2. birgefamily Says:

    … and oh, I know she turned 9 but I think this is funny for grown-ups, too 🙂

    • birolilu Says:

      Birge, I DO like this, it’s a bit like the bunny rabbit jokes from the late 70s… ‘Hattu Moehrchentorte??…’, obviously just a lot more … aehm…sophisticated. Will show it to Luce tomorrow.

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