Every year we are presented with the same dilemma with regards the big brother’s birthday celebrations. His actual birthday is mid-July, but as the school year here in Dubai invariably ends in June, at which point every expat flees the city for a cooler climate; having a birthday party on or around his actual birthday isn’t practical.
For the past two years he’s had a joint birthday party with the lovely Talullah whose birthday falls in August. However, this year, Talullah has decided she will be celebrating post-summer.
So with this in mind, the big brother had the option of waiting until September (no chance), or having an early celebration of his own. It didn’t take him long to announce that a pre-holiday bash was required.
Not fancying the thought of managing the entire class on my own and taking into account the lack of free weekend days left before the end of term, I came up with what I thought was a fabulous solution. A small, select gathering of close friends at a sleepover party. We could theme it as a Star Wars Sleepover, let them stay up late to watch a movie, eat popcorn and then pack them off to bed exhausted.
How hard could it be?
Well as it turned out, absolute bloody torture.
I had 7 children in my house overnight. As my lovely friend B pointed out, that’s more than Angelina Jolie!
They were utterly hideous. A total of five, 6 and 7-year-old boys who screamed, shouted, burped and farted their way through the birthday tea before taking off all their clothes and running around the house playing ‘naked Batman’. Just don’t ask!
The girls were stunned into silence which was about the only upside of the entire proceedings. They sat open-mouthed in awe/horror/fear at the dining table as the chaos unfolded.
I sent the party boys out to the swimming pool for an hour in the hope of wearing them out before the movie but this just served to fuel their energy levels further.
By the time twinsdaddy got home from work (an hour earlier than normal… he’d correctly assumed I’d need back up), I’d poured myself a large drink and was hiding in the kitchen with the baby gate locked firmly in place in the hope that no one could get in.
Even the movie and a seemingly non-stop 2 hour light sabre battle slowed them all down. At 10.10pm they were still jumping from bed to bed pretending to be crocodiles.
Twinsdaddy gave a brilliantly terrifying, “GET INTO BED…. NOW!” speech and at around 10.30pm it finally went quiet.
Fearing an early start, we fell into bed soon afterwards, desperate for as much sleep as possible before the mayhem began again.
As the screams and shouts commenced, I glanced at the clock hoping it was at least 6am. No chance. 3.05am.
And that was the end of the sleeping.
All the parents had kindly offered to collect their offspring at ‘some point in the morning’ but there was no way we were lasting a minute longer than absolutely necessary. By 8.30am twinsdaddy had all the little sweethearts loaded into his car and began a 2 hour-long trek across the length and breadth of Dubai to get rid of them all.
I think it’s fair to say that for his 8th birthday celebration, we’ll be stocking up on Valium before even thinking about sending the invites.