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One a year, and only once a year its Rosies Birthday.

We start getting hints months before the BIG day as to exactly what she would like for a gift and how the day must pan out.

For years now Rosie has wanted a beautiful tweed jacket for horseriding.  We simply didn’t have the boodle to fork out for a really nice, proper tweed jacket, so, every show she would beg, borrow or steal one, or simply wear her black normal jacket.

We always said to her, “the minute you can fit into a size 34 jacket we will consider buying you one”.  These jackets are an investment.

Rosie has been surfing the net for months looking for THAT jacket, and a couple of months before the birthday she starts laying down hints, pictures and supplier lists.  Eventually we work out that ordering the jacket over the internet is the best.  We measure her, re-measure and measure again.  We place the order, and wait for it to arrive, praying the jacket will fit.

We also lay down “Birthday Rules”.   “This will be your only present”.  We said.  “No party this year”.  We said.  “We will take you out for a small family meal to celebrate your birthday”.  We said.

“Shame, we cant do that to her ……… Rosie why dont you invite 4 friends to come out with us on your birthday”.  HE said …………. Dad knows there is nothing Rosie enjoys more than celebrating her birthday with her friends around.

Now, Rosie being Rosie, does her sums, tweaks and plans, schemes and dreams and after the big day, when she safely has her new, beautiful Shires tweed size 34 jacket AND has been out for a quiet family supper (where she has quietly declined her friends comming to dinner …. citing exams!), announces:

“since I didnt have friends come out for dinner on my birthday, I have decided that I would like to have a small party on Friday the 18th of September”.  (Which really conveniently corresponds with the end of exams).

“OH!” …. I say.

“That sounds good”  HE says.

Rosie hears. “What a good idea sweetheart, go for it, why didn’t we think of such a brilliant idea”.

So as the big party day draws near, we get a list of goodies to buy.  We are assured that all we had to do was supply the goods and Rosie and her friends would do all the preparation.  BARGAIN!

Now although Rosie and her mates were going to do the setup, on the day of the Party myself, Afro and Toss (the gardener), worked our butts off to make sure the house was perfect.  Furniture was cleaned, the garden and beach tooted and frooted, plates right, table set and by one o clock we were done.  Literally and physically.

Rosie and the team arrived and immediately started working.  After a while Rosie comes to me:

“Please can we get some balloons so we can mark where the house is?”

“No Rosie”  I reply, this isn’t a tots party.

So the girls carry on working.

“Mom, please can we get balloons?”

“No sweetie, it definitely isn’t needed”.

At about 5 the masses start to arrive.  Along with the phone calls.  “How do we get to your house?” I explain in detail to each and every one how to get to our home.

“You should have put balloons up …………..”  I get told numerous times.

Anyway ……… party up and running.  Frans and I neatly tucked up in our room as per instructions.  The deal was at 7.30 I would come down and do the final tweaks on their dinner and put the food out.

I duly come down at 7.15, warm up the burgers, and put everything in the serving hatch.  I am now pooped, more than this I REALLY want a cigarette.  Little bit of a problem, I know my lighter is behind the Hi-Fi (being used), and, I know my ciggies are in my handbag in the kitchen (we have a pretty open plan home).  I also know that Rosie will not be impressed if she sees I am having a ciggie.

So I creep downstairs ………. I leopard crawl to the Hi-Fi and quietly put my hand behind the Hi-Fi.


“Nothing ……….”

“MOM, please give us some space!!”

“okie dokie”  I whisper, quickly grab the lighter and move off.

I then rush to the kitchen and pretend I need something to drink ……… I am being watched.  I grab my bag and rush upstairs.

Right, I have all I need, and a coke to boot!!!!  Relieved I step onto my little balcony off my bedroom……….

“MOM!  What are you doing”  I hear …….. Rosie thinks I am spying on them.

Flippit!!!!!  I grab my bag, my lighter and march downstairs and out the front door,  as I walk down our street I think to myself “What on earth am I doing??”  It was the best ciggie I have ever had.

Now I have to get BACK into the house without anyone seeing me …. least of all my beady eyed daughter who,

a.  Wants me to give her space, and
b.  Doesn’t like me smoking.

So , again, I sneak sneak sneak along the dark wall, and peer inside – they are all on the beach.  YAY!!!!!  I sloooooowly open the sliding door and quietly slip in.  As I get into the room Frans looks at me “What are you doing?????”  I give up.

The party was a huge success ……….. how do we know?????  The size of our daughters smile afterwards.

The morals of this story:

If you want your friends to be where you are ……… guide them ……… show them the way – this ensures that they wont get lost along the way.

Smoking is just one big hassle.

Have your kids parties at home, lots of them.

And lastly, listen to your kids, sometimes they just may make sense.


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