I’m only just recovering…

Last week was Sophie’s first birthday and so we engaged in a whole host of activities to celebrate with her.

Before our  family came over on on Saturday, we wanted to do something with the local parents and children who’d been so important during Sophie’s first year of life.

Which, naturally, meant transforming our house into a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, buckling in for the ride and hanging on for dear life!

We totally cleared our lounge of anything which took up space in order to provide maximum room for carnage and destruction. When the children (oldest 3, youngest 3 months) descended, we needed a large area for the chaos to ensue and we earnestly prayed there’d be some survivors.

My wife had made a whole host of bear-related goodies to snack on (she’d also bought Pom Bears!) and the timing of the parties to coincide with meals was an absolute winner. Rebranding raisins as “Bear Droppings” and rainbow fruit sticks as “Fruits of the Forest” not only made them sound nicer but gave authenticity to the theme.

The picnic table

The picnic table

Fruits of the Forest

Fruits of the Forest

We even had an amazing Teddy Bear’s picnic cake made by superstar cake producer Heather, whose detail extended even to making sure some of the sandwiches had ham and lettuce fillings! Impressive work.

What a cake

What a cake

As the only Dad at the parties, my mission was to hang in there and stay alive while I was bombarded with balloons, blocks and babies. To some extent it worked, although when I tried to be helpful and show my manly strength to help a child dislodge a trapped toy, the momentum ended up whacking him on the forehead with the toy! Now I know there’s always tears at parties, but this was probably an avoidable one!

Oh I also sorted out the shoes into the utility room. It wasn’t easy to get them back to the correct owners!

Eventually, the children began to get tired (Mums were probably already tired when they arrived) and seek the exit. Teddies even stopped being used as weapons and became comforters as they tried to fight off the onset of sleep. Patient mums located their children’s shoes and coats and dressed them for the outdoors before drifting off, leaving us to tidy up and crash out.

Three hours later (ish), when all the random objects from our lounge were back in normal position, we finally managed to relax. Such is the world of home based parties – I’m not sure when she’s 2 we’ll achieve even this level of normality!