My daughter turns 5. The world turns Covid-19
My daughter turns 5 on May 25th and we have accepted that we will be celebrating at home in our own bubble of 5. My husband and I are both from big families and usually use any excuse for a good ol’ party. Even our kid’s birthday parties start in the afternoon and go through the night. It is usually as much for the adults as it is for the kids and a great excuse to get everyone together. As adults, we can understand and accept that celebrations need to be cancelled, postponed or adjusted. My husband and I had a lockdown 10th wedding anniversary and instead of sunning it up, kid-free in Tuscany as planned we ended up drinking wine in our treehouse at 2 am.
Like I say, we can adjust our plans. It is a lot harder for kids to accept that their birthday is no longer the big celebration they are used to or that they must wait 4 months to celebrate their 5th birthday with the family. I have been known to not tell my kids it was their birthday on one day so it can be celebrated properly the next but now my 7-year-old is onto me with that one so that ruse is rumbled.
So we all adjust. And we do what we can.
Oh, the cake! I am not a baker and I am very lucky to have a sister in law who is and she creates the most amazing cakes which leave the crowd in awe. She has 5 children all in lockdown at home so that rules that out. I have decided that we will make her birthday cake as a family (so I can blame them when it goes wrong, I’ll let you know how that goes) and she can decide what she wants to eat all through the day. Finger food? Done. Pizza? Absolutely. Chocolate salad? Who am I to argue?
She has seen her older siblings celebrate with McDonald’s over the last year or 2 so that is what she (currently) wants. I have ordered some happy meal type boxes off the internet along with a toy that will be used for a day and then discarded in true happy meal fashion. Nuggets and chips will be cooked up and probably not eaten in true happy meal fashion too.
Buying gifts when no shops are open is another challenge
From ordering a 7-foot unicorn sprinkler at 2 am when a few drinks in (and then forgetting I ordered it) to scouting marketplaces for gifts that can be picked up from a social distance like a ridiculous drug deal.
Last year I forgot to get my eldest daughter a badge and she was not happy about it. Apparently, a badge is a big thing when you are walking down the school corridors and she wanted in on that fame and glory. Blackmark for Mummy that day. However, on the plus side, the next time I was in a card shop I bought badges in blue, pink and neutral for the next few years. Thank you, pre covid me. I can decorate the house with all the usual decorations I have in the draw and recycle any ‘5’ banners from siblings and cousins that have ended up here somehow. I am currently searching the black market for balloons as they seem to be out of stock everywhere. Que novelty prophylactics.
Now to entertainment…
I have a pinata, some apples to bob and pass the parcel for 4. In 1935 this would be the peak of entertainment, but this is 2020 and life is digital. I was very lucky to be chosen by Danni at Mama Tribe to be gifted with The Magic Package via Zoom from Non-Stop Kid’s Entertainment. My daughter is so excited about this new concept. It promises to be an interactive, comedy magic show, keeping the kids on the edge of their seat. Zoom has been a link to the world outside for many and this is just another notch in the Zoom bedpost. Bethany will be able to celebrate with up to 100 cousins, grandparents and friends on her special day in the comfort of her home.
I usually relish in the party planning and take care of all the catering myself but I must admit that I am actually looking forward to the novelty of a lockdown, low key celebration. The day can be solely about my daughter and with Non-Stop Kid’s Entertainment taking the reins I am not stressing about what time the bouncy castle arrives or if the spoilt kids are going to tut when they pull out their lucky dip. It is going to be strange, but we will make it the best we can for her.