For the first time she could remember, my daughter’s birthday fell on a weekend. She was excited about this, but then disappointed that a) Daddy and her middle brother would be at football all morning and b) the kitchen fitter would be in and our house would be looking like a bomb-site, with bits of new kitchen stacked up in every room.
I always try to make birthdays special, but how to make it extra special after the tough month she’d had and with the house looking like a complete tip? Clearly, a special birthday was going to mean spending as little time in the house as possible.
Every Saturday and Sunday, my daughter goes to Costa for breakfast with Daddy. It’s their special thing they do together. As her birthday fell on Saturday, she decided the whole family should go to Costa for breakfast before football. Being dragged out of the house that early on a Saturday didn’t appeal to my eldest, but birthdays are family days and the whole family will celebrate!
My daughter likes nothing better than to go swimming. I’m not keen (too cold, too wet) and also don’t like to go in winter because swimming pools are a breeding ground for bugs, in my humble opinion. But maybe she could go swimming on the afternoon of her birthday?
My husband, who is not renowned for keeping surprises, got very excited about this idea and said he’d come up with a great surprise for her. Personally, I thought he’d bigged it up a bit too much. After all, it was only SWIMMING. I’m not even sure why we did it, but we checked the opening hours. The damn pool was only closed ALL DAY on her birthday. Why?
The cinema? We’d missed out during our half-term from hell. Nope, Shaun the Sheep was showing only in the morning, when Daddy and my younger son were at football. Bowling? My highly competitive daughter had got a bowling birthday party booked for the following day and had been nagging us for weeks about going beforehand so she could practise. The thought of coming last at her own party would be just too much to bear.
Thankfully, there were lanes free at the bowling alley. Which happens to be very close to Nando’s. My daughter and her brothers love Nando’s, my husband doesn’t like it at all. But it was her birthday and there was no way we could have lunch at home while the kitchen fitter was working, so she got her dream of lunch at Nando’s.
We always invite my family round for tea for all of the kids’ birthdays, but there was no way they could come round to us. Thank goodness, my mum said we could go round to hers instead. My mum had even made my daughter a cake – the first homemade cake my kids have had for their birthdays since their 1st birthdays (I was determined to make them all their very first cake).
We kept Nando’s and bowling a secret, so they were a lovely surprise for my daughter. I suspect that, due to the kitchen works, she ended up with a far more special birthday than she would have had otherwise!