Children these days don't have Birthdays they have Birthweeks, I swear celebrations for Leyla's great day have lasted for much of the week. The build up began last year when ideas for parties were floated, eventually we decided on...? can't remember, because as with all things to do with The Leyla Monster rain stopped play, So party plans were cancelled due to a rolling programme of bad behaviour. I was thus racked with guilt, and so began the long road to 'make it up to Leyla time' on Friday, only I did not, because having suddenly been directed to collect her from school involving favours and a hasty exit from work, I was met by her class teacher who regaled me with tales of misery and woe. Leyla is the only one of my children who has failed to draw the line and leave at home her negative confrontational attitude. No, little Leyla wears hers all day like a badge of honour, and I guess the excitement of her birthday led to an attitude melt down. So my plans of beginning the birthday fest with afternoon tea at a local cafe were scuppered by my intense irritation and desire to bitch slap the teacher. She has 30 little buggers to deal with all week, I have 30 an hour, and I have less of a problem "Deal with it" I wanted to cry.
Come Saturday and I mellowed enough to take her for an early tea after Saturday school, we went to a lovely pan Asian place called The Banana Tree in Islington, the food was brilliant and more so since it only coast me £20. Recommended. We loafed around the rest of the evening and watched Coco Before Chanel ,which was as languid a film as you will ever see. I wanted to see it after seeing Marie Hartnett's* drawings here.
Sunday. The Day itself, saw a trip to Bluewater to spend a book token and swap her present from me, swimming goggles and flippers. Sadly the cheapo kids set were too small so I had to double my money and buy the adult stuff. Still she seemed happy enough. She then had a big box of sushi and with £20 burning a hole in her pocket we attempted to buy some glitzy sandals. Clark's that bastion of cobbling tradition had other ideas. As far as Clark's are concerned childhood screeches to a halt at size 2 and a half, after which you are pointed in the direction of a dark a sleazy corner where shoes that would make Humbert Humbert tingle with joy line the shelves. It seems at the lowly age of 10 Clark's deem you an adult, clearly then a company run by Humbert Humbert Jnr. She took it well after a brief rant. After the shop I took her for a swim to test out her new gear, she did two, count them two, lengths, that's £20 a length. JOY.
Back home having bought enough food for a family celebration they elected to take her out, she was thrilled and so I sat alone with my dip's'n'nibbles. She was delivered back to us on a celebratory high, saturated with chocolate cake. Finally persuaded to go to bed I went to tuck her in, I was told to "wait", I was tired so said "goodnight", and what did I get for my weekend of endless pleasure? I get called an "Idiot"
So ye shall sow, So ye shall reap.
*superb exhibition more details tomorrow