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Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Supermummy for a Day (well, at least five minutes)

So, we had the party for Ava on Saturday. I am only just recovering. The weekend started well, with a shopping spree with girly pals for new shoes (I'm attending a black tie event on Weds - work thing - and s'funny, but somehow I just didn't have quite the right shoes to go with the red Karen Millen dress I'm borrowing. Well, I saved on the dress, so I could justify new shoes, right? If girly pals are to be believed, they are more than justifed; I deserved them!! Well, what are girly pals for if not for generally making one feel better?) Anyhoo, once shoe spree completed, I squeezed in a haircut before grabbing a fish and chip supper with the kids, cuddling them all into bed, and it was off to Sainsburies for me to shop for the party food. After a somewhat self-indulgent day, dragging the children in my wake, I was of course consumed by The Guilt, and so breezed past the tempting array of beautifully presented Cakes For All Occasions and on to pick up eggs, caster sugar, cooking chocolate and piping icing. Yes! Dammit. I might bugger off to work four days a week, I might sneak in a haircut on my day off when supposed to be making papier mache models with the kids (or something), and Ava might be my third, attention-starved child, but she was damn well going to have a home-baked cake and - be impressed, be very impressed - some home-made puff pastry tarts to go with it. Shopping packed away, I stumbled into bed and set the alarm early in readiness for the baking extravaganza to follow the next morning. The party was at 3pm on Saturday. I started tidying and cooking and preparing and baking at 9am and it was all done by about 2.45pm. Mainly, I enjoyed doing it. Ava sat in her highchair in the kitchen and watched me perform my whirlwind routine with mild amusement, banging plastic spoons together. Nathan ran in and out of the garden grabbing spoonfuls of chocolate icing. Eden went off to another party with Paul (better social life than me). But I did ask myself a few times, "Why did I feel the need to spend my day doing this? To put myself under this extra pressure to Produce Something, to Perform?" I guess the answer's obvious. It became clear when I brought the cake out into the sunshine of the garden, the single candle lit, everyone singing Happy Birthday to my little Ava. Just for a moment I felt like a Proper Mum. And it felt really good.

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