It’s been more than a month since we celebrated Raven’s birthday at the play centre and I still feel bad that we rocked up to the venue 5 minutes late. Or maybe 7, including the time spent outside of it jumping and posing as Jeff took photos of Raven and me to document the occasion.
By the time we arrived at the Comet Room, most of the guests were already there. Some parents were sitting at the table. Some were following their kids around who took the liberty of exploring the jumping castles and the slides.
“Relax, it’s just a party,” Jeff said to ease my tension. Fair enough, as I was acting like I was late for an important job interview. I don’t know. I get anxious at the thought of being late. Probably because I was always late from Prep to High school. It’s like a PTSD or something.
The good thing with play centre parties is that everything’s pretty much taken care of. Obviously you get the venue, but aside from that the food is sorted in advance. Even the lolly bags. You just have to bring the cake and you’re set. Although you can opt to not bring a cake as they have ice cream cake available as well anyway and you can just go with that if you’re intent to not lift a party finger.
Having said that, I didn’t even have to bring the cake. I ordered one from Beverly, a family friend, and her husband brought it with him along with their kids on the day. They arrived earlier than us, too.
A little something about Bev: She’s very talented at making and decorating cakes. She’ll tell you it’s more dedication than talent but I reckon the former simply moved the latter along. I don’t know how she does it, too, building a business while managing three kids on the side. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, her house definitely looks cleaner than mine.
As soon as I came home from visiting her at her place to pick up the Easter cookies I ordered, I got so inspired by her I actually washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen like I suddenly realized my life’s sole purpose. That only lasted for a week but every time the dishes get overwhelming they scare me away, I think of her and I start to feel brave.
The night I picked up the Easter cookies was also the night I decided to order a cake from her. Actually, I ordered cookies as giveaways and she was like, Why don’t I make you a cake as well? I’ll give you a discount and that was that.
“What cake does Raven like?” she asked, referring to the design.
“She likes to draw mermaids,” I offered. I only had half a clue.
“How about a cat?” she offered. “She likes cats.”
A lightbulb moment.
Seriously, sometimes I question myself as a mother.
I didn’t bother with the party decorations. We got party poppers last year and although the kids had fun with them, I felt sorry for the staff who later had to sweep up the confetti. And besides, they’re not very environment-friendly. Maybe next year we’ll have balloons.
*Raven at 6 years old